A little over a month ago, Mozilla launched its’ newest version of Firefox and internet users have had some time to examine all of the ins-and-outs of the updated browser. It’s no secret that the old version of Firefox had become extremely dated. It was a browser living in the modern age who refused to upgrade from their Stone Age tools. Luckily, Mozilla decided to launch Firefox 29 which is a little more advanced than its’ predecessors. What do we think of it? It is kind of Chrome-y.
Okay, so we didn’t coin that phrase but Sean Gallagher of Ars Technica (a resource for PC enthusiasts) isn’t far off when he makes his comparison between Google Chrome and Firefox 29. The new rounded interface and toolbar layout are eerily similar to Chrome’s interface. But, rounded edges aren’t exactly new when it comes to web browser design. Safari may not be the roundest of the browsers but it certainly has been rocking the rounded rectangle for quite some time. While it makes for a more aesthetic user-experience such a change in design would not prompt such a firestorm of discussion around the updated browser.
Enter what Mozilla calls the “Awesome Bar.” The name is pretty tacky but the bar itself actually isn’t bad. The Awesome Bar refers to the merging of Firefox’s nav and toolbars and introduces features that should be extremely familiar to Chrome users. You can use add-ons and apps straight from the bar itself instead of having to click through a bunch of menu’s in order to find the application you’re looking for. The refined interface will save you time and a lot of clicking. You can also create a Firefox account, which will allow you to access all of the features you get out of Firefox on your home computer on any Firefox browser through a new edition of Firefox Sync (again a lot like Chrome with a Gmail account).
Firefox 29 and Chrome seem pretty much like identical twins separated at birth; they look very similar but each has their own distinct cultural identity. The updated Firefox might be a safer of a browser than its’ Google counterpart but it still has some work to do to differentiate itself from Chrome.