Mozilla has begun rolling out Firefox 40, the latest version of its web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android.
Firefox 40 includes a trio of interesting features, starting off with full support for Windows 10. To be clear, Firefox 39 works properly on Microsoft's new OS, but Mozilla makes it fully official with Firefox 40. Indeed, the updated version shows off a slightly more streamlined design, with larger tabs and tab close buttons and darker hues for some icons. Mozilla says it also adjusted the user interface to give users more space when viewing the web.
"We wanted to make sure that Firefox showed up on Windows 10 as a first-class experience, so we've made a lot of subtle tweaks to the look and feel that both sit well in the Windows 10 context and are definitively Firefox," says Chad Weiner, director of product management at Mozilla. "We're taking visual cues from style changes appearing in Windows 10, and we're also reducing the overall browser UI footprint to increase space for viewing the Web."
Underneath the new aesthetics, Mozilla has baked in support for maintaining the user's settings on Windows 10, which is presumably Mozilla's response to Microsoft for making it more difficult to move away from Bing when making searches on the task bar. Now, if users set Firefox as their default browser in Windows 10, which Mozilla instructs them how to do in a short tutorial, they will then be able to search on their chosen search engine if they search on the task bar.
In the United States, users will also receive suggested tiles in the new tab page that Firefox will bring up based on the kinds of websites the user visits, as extracted from their browsing history. Firefox Hello, an in-browser messaging system available only in Firefox beta, also now gets the ability to share links.
Mozilla is also tightening the security against unwanted software downloads and add-ons for Firefox beginning with the latest version. On Firefox 40, users will receive warnings when attempting to install add-ons that were not certified by Mozilla. The process will become even more stringent in future updates, as Mozilla plans to disable installed uncertified add-ons automatically in Firefox 41 and prevent the installation of these add-ons in Firefox 42.
The mobile version of Firefox also received additional improvements, aside from the minor makeover and enhanced add-on security. These include new navigation gestures such as pressing and holding the back button to open the browser history. Firefox for Android has also received adjustments in the way it processes images so that JPEG images can now load faster using fewer resources.
Photo: Jennifer Morrow | Flickr