Just last week the release of Firefox 2.0 RC3 (Release Candidate 3) gave us a number of new features to play with including new tab functionality and anti-phishing measures just to name a few.
Now, this coming week (Tuesday 24th October) the final build of Firefox 2.0 will be released to the public and available for download off of Mozilla servers for the Windows, MacOSX and Linux platforms.
Some of the new features to grace this latest incarnation of Firefox include:
- Visual Refresh: Firefox 2’s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them. We will continue to improve the look and feel throughout the release candidate process.
- Built-in phishing protection: Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled.
- Enhanced search capabilities: Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or Answers.com search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.
- Improved tabbed browsing: By default, Firefox will open links in new tabs instead of new windows, and each tab will now have a close tab button. Power users who open more tabs than can fit in a single window will see arrows on the left and right side of the tab strip that let them scroll back and forth between their tabs. The History menu will keep a list of recently closed tabs, and a shortcut lets users quickly re-open an accidentally closed tab.
- Resuming your browsing session: The Session Restore feature restores windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and in-progress downloads from the last user session. It will be activated automatically when installing an application update or extension, and users will be asked if they want to resume their previous session after a system crash.
I’ve been running Firefox 2.0 RC3 since it came out and am quite impressed with the build. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the final stable build of the web browser I’ve grown to love – Firefox 2.0.