When we talk about privacy-centric browsers, Firefox might be the first name that would come to your mind. There’s no denying the fact that its Enhanced Tracking Protection has taken the safe browsing experience to the next level. However, there’s more to this browser than just its stringent privacy measures.
A plethora of baked-in features, tools, and add-ons make it the go-to choice for a significant chunk of users. Mozilla leaves no stones unturned to ensure that its offering remains up to date along the same lines.
It regularly releases updates that offer a stable browsing experience and, at the same time, fixes the underlying bugs as well.
Apart from that, some of these updates might also bring in a plentitude of goodies, which has been the case this time around. With the latest Firefox v89, the browser had undergone a significant redesign.
Be it for the URL bar, the tabs, the menu, the icon packs, or privacy, each one of them has been blessed with a significant revamp. So without any further ado, let’s check out these changes right away.
The toolbar is the browser component that you probably interact with the most. Moreover, since it is always in the center of every user’s attention, it is sure to catch quite a few eyeballs.
In this regard, Firefox has made a few redesigns to this element. In earlier builds, they were more compact, with very little space between the navigation buttons on the left and extension icons on the right.
However, in the new version, the URL bar looks completely decluttered and spacious throughout. You would also notice the much-needed spaces between the toolbar and other interactive elements present on either side.
Well, there’s no denying the fact that the new overhaul would surely be welcomed by one and all.
New Tabs UI
Placed just above the Toolbar, tabs have undergone the most significant change in the latest Firefox v89.
In previous versions, each tab was segregated from others with a solid vertical line. This was similar to other browser’s tabs UI. But the browser has now done away with this differentiating factor.
All the opened tabs now seem like a continuous streamlined set. Only the active one would be highlighted with subtle blue color to stand out from the rest.
Moreover, the tab’s sharp edges have now been replaced with rounded corners, giving it a floating feel.
However, these tabs-related changes didn’t go well with some of the users. Receiving neutral to mixed reception, many believe that it now gets quite challenging to identify all the opened tabs.
Changes to Menu Content
The often-overlooked section of the browser, Firefox, has given due to weightage to the menus. Upon clicking on the three vertical lines at the top left, you could invoke the required action menu.
Earlier, the browser had packed in quite a few options inside this menu, which gave it a cluttered UI. Moreover, it proved to be quite a tough job in finding the right choice.
But things have now changed, and for good. The latest revamp has shortened this menu and removed some of the unnecessary options. Along the same lines, the remaining ones have been sorted out based on their importance.
That’s not it. Even the context menu has been blessed with a new feature in the form of the Screenshot Tool. This is a handy option, even more so because it comes with the ability to save the entire web page in a single click.
All in all, the browser seems to have hit the right note with the new action and the context menu.
Better Handling of Notifications
Getting bombarded with site notifications is perhaps the most infuriating thing while browsing the web. Keeping this in mind, Firefox has now done away with all the non-essential alerts and messages.
Even the critical notification prompts would only occupy a small portion of the screen along the same lines, minimizing interruptions.
Talking about interruptions and notifications, another major issue was when the media started auto-playing and the volume.
Well, this is now a thing of the past as the default setting has now been tweaked to keep the autoplay audio turned off. Furthermore, you could now mute/unmute a tab just with a single click on the concerned tab itself.
There’s every reason to believe that all these changes would be welcomed with open hands by the users.
Expanded Privacy Measures
Firefox is releasing a significant update and doesn’t end up making any changes to the Privacy segment; well, that wouldn’t have been possible! With the latest version 89, its popular Total Cookie Protection (TCP) measure has slightly changed.
For the unaware, the TCP stores cookies from every site and keeps them under separate containers. This is done so that the cookies from one site don’t interact with cookies from other ones.
Earlier, the TCP feature could only be enabled by opting for the Strict Mode under Enhanced Tracking Protection. But now, this mode has permanently been deployed inside the Private Browsing window as well.
Moreover, you would also notice that the privacy shield would start to glow when you interact with this mode.
Users mostly opt for Private Browsing when they are looking for a completely safe and anonymous browsing experience. Therefore, it only makes sense for Total Cookie Protection to be embedded in this mode.
Changes in Firefox’s iOS and Android App
There have been quite a few optimizations under the hood changes in Firefox’s version 89 update for Android and iPhone devices.
These include the popping up of the keyboard as soon as you open a new tab, the ability to use search engines simply by tapping on its logo, and an overall improved navigation and tab management system.
Issues Fixed from Version 88
There were quite a few underlying issues in the browser’s previous build, aka version 88. Most of them were in the macOS’s build, which has now been effectively dealt with.
- First off, a few concerns regarding the colors getting saturated and the mismatch between the RGB and CSS Colors on wide gamut screen displays. All this has been fixed with the version 89 update.
- Next up, as soon as users hover the mouse cursor to the top of their screen on their Mac, all the tabs would get hidden behind the system’s menu bar. This was quite an infuriating user experience. Fortunately, this issue has now been rectified as well.
- Furthermore, as opposed to Windows and Linux, Mac users weren’t able to get hold of the full-screen browsing experience. However, the version 89 update has now fixed the inability to hide the browser’s toolbar. So a fully immersive experience is now on the cards.
Bottom Line: Firefox Redesign
With this, we round off this article on all the new and noteworthy changes in the latest Firefox v89. Mozilla has done quite a decent job in incorporating these functionalities into its latest build.
Moreover, most of the tweaks and UI changes give it a simplified, spacious, and clutter-free look, which many users tend to appreciate.
However, the only complaint that some of you might have could be with the new tabs UI, making it quite difficult to segregate one tab. Well, over time, users might get used to it.
But if complaints start pouring in from various sectors, then Firefox might add a feature to bring back the old UI in its subsequent updates.
We will keep a tab on that, so make sure to check out our comprehensive Firefox coverage regularly.