Firefox 29 launched, big revamp

Mozilla has announced the official launch of Firefox 29 in a press statement on Tuesday (29 April 2014), unveiling a number of new features and a new design for the browser.

Firefox tabs now have rounded corners and fade when not active, which Mozilla said is to make them less of a distraction when you’re not using them.

The Firefox menu has moved to the right corner of the toolbar, and Mozilla said it now puts all your browser controls in one place.

One of the new options in the menu is a “Customise” tool, which places Firefox into a customisation mode where any feature, service or add-on can be moved or added.

Mozilla highlighted the following new features in Firefox 29:

  • New Design: Rounded tabs that fade when inactive, new Firefox menu;
  • Customization Mode: Drag and drop your favourite feature, tool or add-on in the menu or toolbar;
  • Firefox Menu: Includes popular browser controls, features and add-ons in one place. The menu is completely customizable so you can edit or add features you use most;
  • Bookmarks: Create bookmarks with a single click and manage them from the same place;
  • Easy Access to Add-ons Manager: Firefox includes an Add-ons Manager you can access directly from the menu to help easily discover and install add-ons;
  • Enhanced Firefox Sync Powered by Firefox Accounts: Firefox Sync gives you access to Awesome Bar history, saved passwords, bookmarks, open tabs and form data across your computers and mobile Android devices.
Firefox 28 Afrikaans screenshot
Firefox 28 Afrikaans screenshot: Then
Firefox 29 Xhosa screenshot
Firefox 29 Xhosa screenshot: Now

Firefox 29 also has the following Web Platform and Developer Tools:

  • WebRTC: Firefox supports WebRTC, which enables video calls and file sharing between browsers;
  • WebAPIs: There are now more than 30 Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs;
  • asm.js and Emscripten: According to Mozilla, asm.js is a Mozilla-pioneered subset of JavaScript that can run at near-native speed for games and other performance-intensive applications. Specific asm.js optimizations in Firefox mean it currently runs asm.js-style code faster than any other browser, Mozilla said;
  • Web Audio API: Developers can now build robust audio engines capable of new features like positional audio and support for effects such as reverb;
  • CSS Flexbox: The integration of CSS Flexbox in Firefox makes it easier for developers to build user interfaces that adapt to the size of the browser window or to create elastic layouts which adapt themselves to the font size. This is helpful when developers are trying to create a consistent user interface to their Website or Web app across desktop and mobile, Mozilla said;
  • App Manager: Brings the Firefox Web developer tools to mobile app developers, along with live prototyping and debugging of apps on Firefox OS phones directly from the desktop;
  • Extension APIs: Developers using the Add-on SDK can now use the new button and toolbar APIs to easily integrate their add-on with Firefox’s new customisable toolbar.

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Firefox 29 launched, big revamp