Firefox 29 is out and the update is a huge one for the browser and it’s users. The update finally brings the much talked about Australis theme to the stable channel and it was well worth the wait. Austalis isn’t just beautiful it’s also the most minimal that Firefox has ever been. Other new features on desktop and mobile include brand new customization options for the buttons that appear on the Menu Bar, Firefox Sync which is now set up exclusively through the Firefox Account, and new repositioned buttons for bookmarks have been added. Developers get new features too with the implementation of <input type=”number”> and <input type=”color”> on both desktop and Android. Additionally on Android new share options, and customization options for the home panels have been introduced.
Firefox 29 For Desktop
Australis is sleek; tab corners have been rounded making it appear similar to Chrome. There’s a new button for accessing Firefox’s options and pinned tabs appear differently than they did before. The new three bar button lets you access zoom, cut/copy/paste options, sync, developer tools, and more.
With the new menu for accessing Firefox’s tools and options, there’s also a new way to customize them. The old way – right-clicking on the tabs’ bar and selecting Customize – still works but if you open the options menu you will see a Customize button there. Click it to enter customization mode. You can rearrange which tools you see in the options menu as well as which buttons appear next to the URL bar. There’s also a little button to show/hide the title bar.
What’s interesting to note is that Firefox has decided to introduce an exit button in the options menu (I prefer a restart button).
Bookmarks & Bookmark Button
The bookmark button has moved; it no longer resides in the URL bar. Instead it has taken up a place next to it and it’s been paired with a new button that lets you access your bookmarks. The bookmarks bar still exists and you can enable it if that’s where you want to access bookmarks from but the new button puts them in a position where they are just as easy to access.
No More Add-ons Bar
Firefox 29 has killed the Add-ons bar. Buttons added by add-ons should be placed next to the URL bar. Where this means that there is less space for these buttons, it also means a cleaner interface.
Gamepad API Finalized & Enabled By Default
The Gamepad API lets users play web games with a standard controller. The API has been finalized and is now enabled by default.
Firefox 29 For Android
More Sharing Options
When you tap the share button in the options menu, you will see a larger list of sharing options.
Customize & Hide Home Panels
The tabs that you see when you swipe across in a new tab in Firefox are called Home Panels. The home panels that you can swipe between are History, Top Sites, Bookmarks, and Reading lists. With the update, you can now hide any one of the panels and select which panel will be the default one.
Firefox Sync – Android & Desktop
Firefox sync now works exclusively through a Firefox account which you will sign up for when you first set sync up. You can sync bookmarks, passwords, history, tabs, etc between any number of desktop and mobile devices. To migrate from the old syncing method and to get started with the new and improved one, read our guide here.
Firefox 29 Features for Developers – Android & Desktop
Both Firefox for desktop and Android have implemented support for the Color and Number input types. This will let developers implement a color picker widget.
You can view release notes for the latest version here.