Firefox Friday Five: 3.6.4, 4.0, add-ons, tips and how Firefox is still miles ahead of Chrome
Let's get stuck in with some juicy Firefox 3.6.4 and 4.0 beta news:
1. Firefox 3.6.4 beta 5 is probably the final version, and Firefox 4.0 beta looks set to arrive in June
The official roadmap has Firefox 3.6.4 being released June 1, so unless Mozilla squeezes out another beta version of 3.6.4, the current beta is probably the real deal.
More excitingly (because, let's face it, 3.6 is a bit of a bore), Firefox 4.0 should have a beta release before the end of June. Its Mozilla Wiki page has been significantly updated in the last two weeks and we can now see which features are being frantically worked on for the first beta.
I think most people already know what we can expect from Firefox 4.0, but it's reassuring to see that Test Pilot is going to take the feedback-gathering reins -- hopefully when 4.0 launches it will already be as fast and stable as Chrome.
A new attack, outlined by Firefox's Creative Lead Aza Raskin, is a terrifying example of what we can expect from phishing attempts in the future.
It's delightfully clever, and incredibly easy to pull off. We'll be sure to report on any examples of the attack that make it into the wild!
3. Firefox for Android and Firefox for iPhone both get some lovin'
It seems Aza wasn't kidding in his interview last week! With two new releases this week -- Firefox Home for iPhone and crash reporting on Android -- Mozilla is seemingly serious about mobile.
Firefox Home is obviously more exciting than crash reporting, so let's talk about that: basically, it gives iPhone users access to their Firefox browsing history. This isn't quite as cool as 'sending' tabs from Chrome to your Android smartphone, but it's close! Firefox's Awesome Bar also makes an appearance, making it very easy to navigate to your most-visited websites.
Mozilla says they want to provide 'on the go' access to your Firefox browsing history, even when -- as is the case with iPhone -- they can't provide an actual Firefox browser. I wonder if Google will be providing a similar tool to expose your Chrome browsing history on the iPhone...
Get more out of your Firefox workspace with Tile Tabs
Do you often switch rapidly between tabs? I do it when
Well, how about tiling those tabs instead?! I know, you probably haven't tiled things since Windows 3.11, but still, check it out! You can tile your tabs in more ways than you can imagine -- widthways, lengthways, gridways -- and you can duplicate tabs, or insert blank tabs (i.e. your home page).
Most of you are probably thinking 'so what?', while a significant (intelligentsia) minority is probably wetting itself with excitement -- this add-on is cool, trust me.
If you watched the Google I/O keynote last week, you will have noticed a slide that showed Chrome growing from 30 to 70 million users in the last 12 months.
If, like me, you were slightly worried that Chrome was sucking users -- the very life force -- from Firefox, you'd be wrong. Just look at that graph above: while Chrome gained 40 million users, Firefox gained over 100 million in the same time period.
Asa Dotzler, Firefox's prime evangelist, also has an interesting take on that dip in the graph: Firefox has more regular users. Chrome is currently used by early-adopters, geeks that live most of their life online. Firefox actually has users that turn their computers off during the festive season.
Firefox ain't dead yet, not by a long shot.