Firefox 5 boasts to have Social Sharing, Taskbar Apps and more
Fresh off the release of Firefox 4, open source developer Mozilla has revealed some of the features to be included in Firefox 5. Firefox 5 will sport integrated social sharing, taskbar web apps, identity management, and a slew of features already found in Google’s Chrome browser, according to Mozilla’s Firefox User Experience priorities page.
Foremost among these updates are built-in sharing to social networks Facebook, a desktop apps feature that customizes the browser for a site, a site account manager, a PDF viewer, and a (finally) helpful new-tab page. A major advance, too, is the appearance of native 64-bit versions of Firefox. Mozilla looks set to integrate its Prism add-on with Firefox 5 and include new enhancements such as IE9-style dynamic jumplists.
Prism, currently available for Firefox 3 through 3.6, lets you place a shortcut to sites or Web apps right in your taskbar (Windows) or dock (OSX). When you launch the site shortcut it opens as a separate process from your main Firefox browser, and can include a variety of app-like functions such as notifications when you receive a new mail message.
The browser will come with a “Desktop App” feature (similar to the Pinned Sites feature already featured in IE9) which allows users to attach specific websites to their desktop. For example, you can update your Facebook status or send a Tweet without actually accessing the website in question. This makes accessing social media content easier than ever before.
None of the Firefox 5 features name so far sounds revolutionary, but it’s good to see Mozilla innovating. The version 5 browser will let you share any web page directly from the location bar, so you won’t have to hunt for Twitter buttons or extensions to share a site with friends. There will also be an integrated identity manager to keep you signed into websites and allow you to login to websites with multiple accounts.
Firefox 5 will also allow web apps to take advantage of its task bar. For example, Facebook will be able to implement a drop down menu with links to your news feed, messages, events and friends right next to the Firefox menu in the task bar.
The future Firefox search bar will display a color-coded search button representing each provider installed—Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and so on. The new Add-on interface separates extras installed specifically by the user, and makes updating and compatibility checking simpler. Another mockup, also at Bugzilla shows the traditional Home button morphed into a permanent site tab at the left of the tab bar. Mozilla has also replaced the Home button with a permanent Home Tab on the new web browser. It also comes with an integrated PDF viewer, video and MP3 player.
The new preview version of Firefox 5 is called ‘Firefox 4.2apre’. The final build should be released in the week of June 29th, with Firefox 6 and 7 being launched this year.