New clutter-free interface comes three years after last major design change
Mozilla on Thursday released a new beta build of its flagship product. Not only does the Firefox 29 beta with its minimalist ‘Australis’ interface bear a striking resemblance to Chrome, it also packs a much-improved Chrome-like approach to browser syncing.
“We redesigned the overall look and feel of Firefox to help you access your Web content quickly. We’ve changed the tab structure and functionality in Firefox to enable you to focus on your Web content,” Mozilla said in a blog post Thursday. “Tabs have a more fluid and streamlined shape, sit higher up in the browser and tabs that are not in use have been visually de-emphasized. We’ve also moved the bookmark manager next to the bookmark star in your Firefox toolbar to make it easy to save your favorite sites for one click access.”
Mozilla is also ditching its code-based-pairing approach to browser syncing in favor of a server-based one not unlike that currently employed by Chrome. Under the new scheme, users will have to register for a Firefox account and use those credentials to sync their bookmarks, tabs, and settings across devices.
“You can test the new Firefox Sync on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android by creating an account as a safe and easy way for you to take your Firefox with you anywhere. The new Firefox Sync makes it even easier to setup and add multiple devices while delivering end-to-end encryption.”
Another significant addition is the new customization mode which makes its possible for users to “manually drag and drop your favorite feature, add-on or tool anywhere in the browser based on your preferences.”