As Firefox turns 10, Mozilla introduces new ‘Forget Button’ and launches Developer Edition browser
Today, Mozilla’s Firefox turns 10 years old, and tocelebrate the occasion, the company announced a handful of new features for its main consumer-focused browser – and shared more information about the Dev Edition browser,first revealed last week.
Of course, in 10 years the Web has changed significantly. In 2004, Firefox made its name by introducing smart pop-up blocking – and cemented it by popularizing tabbed browsing, even if it wasn’t the first to offer the option.
Now, according to Firefox VP Johnathan Nightingale, the killer feature for a Web browser is ubiquity and feature-parity across different platforms. With the number of devices-per-person rising globally, it’s not hard to see why this would be so important. But this isn’t without it’s challenges.
“Behind the scenes, one of our major engineering investments was to ensure that we maintained a position of encrypting all your information before it moved into the cloud,” explains Nightingale. “It was important to us that we safeguard that. But the experience for users has been transformative. When you talk to people who have ‘sync’ working between multiple devices, you talk about the physical way they interact with it. It’s so different to experience a connected and integrated Firefox… If we project forward, we should anticipate there will be so much more of that. That most people will have a Web expereince that isn’t mediated by a single device.”
For its most recent release, the company simplified the Mozilla sign-in process, and made it easier to find.
It has also included a new walkthrough to highlight some of the new privacy features for the exact same reason – there’s not much point introducing new tools for people if no one uses them. Android, too, is getting a privacy coach.
The consumer-facing browser is also getting an oft-requested ‘Forget Button’, which is essentially a retrospective ‘porn mode’ option. Using it allows you to clear between 5 minutes and 24 hours of browser data – history, cookies, log-ins, saved passwords etc. – but it leaves the rest of your stored data and auto-complete history in place. It also closes any browser windows you have open and presents you with a fresh, blank one.
Among other changes to the browser, Nightingale said, is the addition ofDuckDuckGo as a standard search option, alongside Google, Yahoo and the rest of the list of providers.