Tag Archives | features

Firefox Plans to Turn Web Apps into Desktop Apps

Remember Prism?  It was the Mozilla powered application that let you turn any web page into a desktop application.  Not much has happened since it was released, however many other browsers have started looking in that direction (merging the web and the desktop program list).  So what about Firefox?

Turning Web Apps into Desktop Apps

It appears there are plans to include “Prism-like features” into a future release of Firefox.

The plan thus far is to help users discover when they might want to make a web application into a desktop application.  For example, if you use Google Reader a lot – after so many uses, Firefox may suggest to you, “Would you like to make Google Reader a desktop application?” or “Would you like to add Google Reader to your Quick Launch bar?”.

I like the idea – and I can’t wait to see it happen.  How about you?  (Source: Download Squad)

What Firefox Features Could You Do Without?

firefox features Everybody and their grandmother has done a list of Firefox features you would like to see come to the browser, but what features could you do without?  There is no doubt that fans of Firefox like a light browsing experience, so could Firefox do with a little house cleaning of features not used or loved by many? 

Security Zone Policy Errors – This seems to be more of a problem than most people realize.  From this one blog post, I see people coming in every day having issues with it.  So, should Firefox be relying on Windows security settings for downloading applications and other potentially unsafe files from the Internet?

Descriptions for Bookmarks – Have you ever right-clicked a bookmark, Went down to properties and typed in a description about a page you had saved?  No, I haven’t either – so this might be another Firefox feature ready for the junk yard.  Name, Location, and Keyword is good enough for me.

Now it is your turn, what Firefox feature could you live without?

intensedebate-logo Firefox Facts Bonus!  This morning I installed Intense Debate for FirefoxFacts.com.  I am really excited to see how much better this makes the commenting system here on the web site.  No registration in necessary, but if you do – there are some cool extra features you will get, such as reputation points, comment voting, and tons of other cool things.  (Learn More!)

Private Browsing Makes Debut in Latest Nightly Build

Private Browsing in Firefox 

A of noise has been made about the excitement around private browsing.  Personally, this isn’t the feature I have been waiting for years to see, but it is nice to see Firefox keeping up with the competition and adding this feature in.  With this new mode (coming to Firefox 3.1) your browsing, cookies, temporary files, search, forms, and download history will not be saved.

Best thing about it that I have seen is that they will not interrupt the interface with some big bold “Hey you, you are browsing privately now” graphic.  You just get the simple (Private Browsing) in the title bar.

firefox-private-browsing-2

So are you excited to see private surfing added to Firefox or is this one of those “ehh, I guess it is ok” features for you too? Learn more about it at ehsanakhgari.org

Foxmarks Introduces Password Sync

One of my favorite features of the old Google Browser Sync was the ability to sync my passwords between my laptop and desktop computers.  Till now, no other program has gotten that right.  That was the case till Foxmarks decided to roll out this new feature.

Password Synchronization is an optional feature for the newest version of Foxmarks that allows you to simply and securely synchronize your saved passwords. 

password-sync

Since this feature is turned off by default, how do you activate it? 

  1. Open the Foxmarks Settings dialog (located in Tools > Foxmarks > Settings…).
  2. Click on the “Sync” tab.
  3. Select the checkbox labeled “Passwords”. You will be guided through a quick and easy password synchronization setup flow.

Big congrats goes out to Foxmarks for making a damn good add-on even better.

New FirefoxFacts.com Layout and Design

In case you missed it, here is the new FirefoxFacts.com layout and design I have been working on for the past few weeks.  Let me know what you think!

new-layout-firefox-facts

It is live now, if you haven’t checked it out yet.  I have added a lot of nice features, fixed a lot of design flaws and hopefully, all the big changes have been done.  Will probably be doing a few more small tweaks here and there – but overall I am pretty happy with it.

Chrome Who? Get Chrome’s Best Features in Firefox!

The team at Lifehacker have posted a great list of extensions you can use to enable some of Google Chrome’s best features inside of Firefox.

The internet is atwitter with Google Chrome’s innovative new features, but there was no clear winner in our speed test comparing Firefox and Chrome—which means your choice of browser may depend solely on features. Apart from a few specific issues (namely process management), many of Chrome’s best features are already available in Firefox 3, proving yet again the power of extensibility. From incognito browsing and the streamlined download manager to URL highlighting and improved search, let’s take a look at how you can bring some of Google Chrome’s best features to Firefox.

Here is a simple rundown of the tools mentioned:

Check out Enable Chrome’s Best Features in Firefox via Lifehacker.

Add-on Steals Internet Explorer 8’s New Feature

webchunks-for-firefox Not sure how closely you are following Internet Explorer 8 development, but they do have one cool new feature called Web Slices.  This will let you subscribe to only a section of a web page, and easily delete them when they are no longer needed.  You can now use this Internet Explorer 8 feature of the future now in Firefox.

WebChunks is a Firefox 3’s implementation of Microsoft Web Slices.  It allows you to “follow” an area of a web page through a dedicated feed bookmarked in a new toolbar. Clicking on the toolbar entry shows the information related to your choice in a popup, without the need to open a complete web page.

Where would you use this in the real world?

Now the famous example of this is eBay.  Lets say you wanted to follow an item you were bidding on, but you only wanted to follow the box that had the actual auction information in it.  WebChunks allows you to just watch that section.  When the auction is over, delete it.

Still lost?  Don’t be worried,  I was too.  Check out the developer’s tutorial on how to use the WebChunks add-on for more information on the idea.  For me, this new feature is on the fence of being useful on one side and un-necessary on the other.

This add-on was a runner up in the Extend Firefox 3 contest.  Check out this past post to see some of the other winners.

Gmail Redesigned (plus some more neat features)

I have shown you before, the awesome Stylish user style Gmail Redesigned before.  The version two of this awe inspiring graphical facelift just adds to the greatness that was already there.

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There are three additional scripts you can add to Firefox though that promise to make it even more customized to suit your needs.

Remember before you get started with any of these, you will need to pick up the Stylish add-on for Firefox.  To check out more Stylish tweaks and tips, also be sure to check the Firefox Facts archives.

Update – You can now get this great style as an add-on on the Firefox Add-ons web site too.

Firefox 3.1 News and Dates

Firefox 3 has been launched with great success, so now it is time to start looking at Firefox 3.1.  Right now it appears Firefox 3.1 Alpha should be released July 25th with a beta coming as soon as early August.  It doesn’t look like Firefox 3.1 will just be fixes though, there are a lot of new features coming our way too…

Here are a few of them that are targeted for Alpha 1:

  • worker threads (under review)
  • offline storage / local storage (under review)
  • downloadable fonts (kinda maybe)
  • native JSON (under review)
  • WHATWG <canvas> text API
  • Awesomebar improvements (need review gavin, shepherding)
  • border image (under review)
  • media queries (under review)
  • bulk tagging
  • ctrl-tab

Will Firefox 3.1 create as much excitement around the world as Firefox 3 did?

Memorial Day Weekend Link Off!

With the upcoming weekend holiday, I know a lot of you will want to stash away a few links to save for later – maybe when Uncle Sam is telling you his World War 2 stories again or when the pool is full, or you has a belly filled with mashed potatoes. Here is a little link love for some other popular, interesting and neat stories from around the Web.

Use Yahoo! Mail or Gmail for MailTo Links in Firefox 3

Top 10 Firefox 3 Features

Mal-what? Firefox 3 vs. Bad People

Firefox 3.1 targeted for year’s end

What Happened to the Microformats Support in Firefox 3?

Rotten Tomatoes says IE7 “Rotten”, Firefox 2 “Fresh”

Firefox Team Crossing The Delaware

Also don’t forget that today is Support Firefox Day! Have another link to share? Feel free to comment and post.