July 12, 2006

firefox 2 beta 1 lands @ mozilla!

This beta release is intended for developers and testers. If you don't enjoy playing with pre-release software, then this isn't for you.

That being said, this first beta of Firefox 2 has some great new features that I think you all are really going to enjoy. As you're using the beta, here are some of the new and improved features we'd like you to try out and give us feedback on.

Inline spell checking: The new built-in spell checking for web text fields makes blogging, forum posting, and webmail usage a whole lot better.

Search suggestions: When you're searching any of Yahoo!, Google, and Answers.com, you'll now get a drop down list of suggested terms as you type.

Search plugin management: You can now quickly view, add, and edit installed search plugins in Firefox's integrated search bar.

Session restore: If there is a crash, Firefox will now restore your session where it left off. It restores your tabs, text typed in forms, and any active downloads. With this new feature, you can also reopen tabs or windows that you accidentally closed.

Phishing protection: Phishing protection warns you when you are about to land on a suspected phishing site. It checks sites against a local list that is kept up to date automatically. The list is far from complete and may be somewhat inaccurate still. At this stage, it's only intended for testing.

Improved feed support: Firefox does a much better job at detecting when web feeds are available, gives you nice preview of the feed and allows you to easily decide how you want to handle the feed: either by subscribing using My Yahoo!, Bloglines, Google Reader, or the web service of your choice, using a standalone feed reader, or creating a Live Bookmark in Firefox. The list of included web services is not yet final.

Improved add-ons management: The extension and themes management interfaces have been combined for improved usability and convenience.

Bookmarks microsummaries: Traditional bookmarks used the page title as their primary label. With bookmark microsummaries, you get a dynamic and more useful bookmark title. You can read more about microsummaries here.

Tabbed browsing improvements: Links that would open a new browser window now open in new tabs by default. The single close tab button has been replaced with close buttons on each tab. Also, a preliminary tab overflow solution is available for testing. This is likely not the final solution.

Under the hood improvements: A new NSIS-based installer. JavaScript 1.7. Enhanced security and localization support for extensions. OpenSearch support. SVG's svg:textPath support. Client-side session and persistent storage.

You can read about it at devnews and get the Firefox 2 Beta 1 download here.

Posted by asa at 7:45 AM