Erica Jostedt, PR at Mozilla, yesterday blogged about the company's plans for Firefox 4 and said the main priorities for the next version of Firefox are speed, power and empowerment.
Though Erica was quick to label the plans as fluid and subject to change, she said Mozilla wanted to make Firefox "super-duper fast," enable new open, standard Web technologies, and put users in full control of their data and browsing.
You can check out the 45-minute presentation here but if you're looking for the quick and dirty break down of what was announced, we've summarized what we think will be the biggest improvements and listed them below.
For Firefox 4, Mozilla has moved a lot of buttons around and in some cases, removed buttons altogether (the 'home' and 'stop' buttons have been done away with). While you can do without a 'stop' button but the 'home' button is slightly more important, so it's important to note that Firefox hasn't done away with the 'home' feature altogether; the company has opted instead for a home tab that cannot be closed. Switching tabs will also be easier. Firefox 4 will allow users to just start typing the URL of the tab you want in the address bar. The browser will then offer you the option (via a drop down menu) of switching to your already open tab or navigating to a new page. From the slides below it also looks like the company has plans for dedicated tabs for certain applications like Google's Gmail. No word on whether or not these are determined by which sites you visit most often or if you'll be allowed to select them yourself.
Though it's not solid, Mozilla hopes that the Firefox will soon be able to run updates in the background. No more restarting your browser or waiting while various different plug-ins update, so that should make switching on your computer and firing up Firefox little less awkward. The permissions dialogues may be changing slightly, too, from pop-ups to drop downs that appear from the URL. The company is also aiming for a faster start up speed.
None of these changes are set in stone yet, and Mozilla was really adamant that they not be over reported but it's exciting to know what's we can (tentatively) expect from Firefox 4. However, Mozilla is aiming for a November release so we still have a while to wait.