Shortly after the launch of Internet Explorer 9, the rival Mozilla Firefox has also been updated. Firefox 4 has a bunch of improvements, better website loading times, a more pleasant user experience and safer browsing sessions.
The first thing you’ll see is the totally revamped interface. Tabs are now on top of the address bar and the old menu bar has been replaced by a bright orange single button – though only in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. With buttons and menus so reduced now, Firefox 4 devotes more screen space to websites – something netbook users will be particularly happy about.
Thanks to the new Tab Candy visual feature you’ll never lose track of a tab again. Just press Ctrl- Shift-E and all the currently opened tasks will be displayed as thumbnails, so you can locate any website in a few seconds. This feature has also a built-in search field which comes in especially handy if you have way too many tabs opened at the same time.
Bookmarks in Firefox 4 are dead easy to create. All it takes to create a new bookmark in your collection is clicking the little star besides the website URL.
Another important feature in Firefox 4 is the new Sync tool, with which you can seamlessly sync data (bookmarks, passwords, personal settings and browsing history) across different installations of Firefox on different computers. This functionality used to be a Firefox add-on and has now been built-in with the browser. Your information is stored in Firefox’s Sync servers, from where you can download and sync it on any computer.
As with every major new version, Firefox 4 also includes a bunch of improvements and changes under the hood. One of the most outstanding ones is using a separate process for each tab, which means that a frozen tab won’t kill the whole browser – just close the problematic website, and keep on browsing at your leisure.
Besides, support for HTML5 and the increasingly popular WebM format for Google Videos makes online media far more enjoyable in Firefox 4. Video playback is much more fluid and provides a better user experience, as you can already test in YouTube and the Mozilla Demos website.