Photo: dimnikolov via flickr
We’ve barely begun getting used to Firefox 4’s amazing new features, and Mozilla is already preparing us for a June 21 release of Firefox 5.Mozilla has decided to ramp up it’s release schedule, similar to the way Google does with Chrome, so expect to see new versions of Firefox every few months instead of every two years or so.
We’ve compiled a list of features we already know Firefox 5 will have, plus a few current ones Mozilla should tweak to make them better.
These features come from various reports and screenshots (CNet found a bunch of screens on Mozilla’s development site Are We Pretty Yet), but keep in mind there’s nothing set in stone yet. With an accelerated release schedule, it’s likely some of these additions will get pushed to Firefox 6 and 7 this fall.
One of the best features in Internet Explorer 9 is the ability to pin site-specific browsers to your taskbar. It looks like Firefox 5 will have a similar feature. This means you can add your favourite sites to your taskbar, where you can launch them directly without opening your browser first.
For sites you pin to the desktop or taskbar, Firefox will create a list of links specific to each one. For example, you'll have a drop down menu linking to your Facebook messages or events.
This little tweak colour codes each search engine so you know which one you're using at any given time. The notes on Are We Pretty Yet suggest this will make it easier for users to select the search engine they want.
Mozilla recognises the importance of sync. It appears they're coming up with new ways to make Firefox 5's sync feature even more user-friendly. This is good news since we love syncing Firefox across our desktops and mobile browser.
Add-ons are essential to a great experience with Firefox, but it can be difficult to keep them updated or compatible with new versions of the browser. This screenshot suggests Mozilla is making it easier to keep your add-ons up to date.
Mozilla is likely to remove the home button and create a tiny home tab instead, according to Conceivably Tech. We're not sure what the reasoning behind this is other than to clean up clutter on the toolbar.
Firefox 5 will also be compatible with more file formats. Conceivably Tech says it will have a built-in PDF viewer and be able to play files like MP3s and other popular formats.
Conceivably Tech also says Firefox 5 will include an identity manager that will track log in information for websites and even allow you to log in to one site with two different accounts at the same time.
A new paper plane icon in the URL bar will be your portal to sharing websites across all your social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Digg.
This small tweak will be a simple status bar that pops up when you're uploading files to a website.
Firefox is our favourite browser at the moment, but it still isn't perfect. Here's what we'd like to see in version 5:
- Better 'Awesome Bar' that seamlessly integrates with Google search, just like Google Chrome.
- Easier customisation options. Right now you have to do some digging through menus to get Firefox to look the way you want it to.
- More mobile devices. We love Firefox 4 on Android, and we want it on everything else: iPhone, tablets, Windows Phone, you name it.