Firefox released model 89 lately with a brand new look named Proton. It brings a significant change to the person interface in its colours and appears, giving the web browser a extra trendy really feel.
Net browsers look extremely related lately, with the tabs on high, a menu accessible to the correct, and a bookmarks bar if you happen to so select. Nevertheless, Mozilla has been distinctive in these browser wars, engaged on bettering its personal Gekko engine as a substitute of transferring to WebKit or Google’s Chromium variant, as Microsoft Edge has.
With the brand new look now out on all platforms, we spoke to Mozilla concerning the new launch, and if it has any explicit hopes for WWDC subsequent week.
A New Look
Utilizing the brand new UI it prompted us to ask, why the drive to revamp it now?
“Late 2020, we had a imaginative and prescient of what we wished Firefox to be. Presently, we’re residing in a frenetic time the place individuals are coping with actually robust challenges each day. It is exhausting to unravel issues which can be popping up all over the place on the Net,” a Mozilla spokesperson tells us over electronic mail.
“We consider that the browser must be a bit of software program which you could depend on to have your again, whether or not that is privateness, efficiency or safety, and that it seems superb and works seamlessly with the Net.”
Whereas the UI is clearly an enchancment on what got here earlier than, it additionally prompted the workforce to work on optimizing the browser total.
“On June 1, our Firefox launch had ground-breaking design work, difficult engineering work and a extremely nice finish product,” they inform us. “With this launch, we took on a mission to avoid wasting everybody time. On Firefox, it means making pages load sooner, utilizing much less reminiscence or just streamlining the on a regular basis use of the browser.
We consider we’ve a contemporary tackle the Web and the instruments we use to harness the Net.”
In each undertaking one makes, there’s all the time a side that you simply’re happy with, nonetheless minor it’s. Mozilla agreed.
“The workforce is most happy with the Streamlined Muddle-Free Menus. We prioritized the content material based mostly on what folks clicked on after they visited the menu,” we had been instructed.
“We made the labels much less cryptic and extra cohesive. Additionally, we eliminated some parts and refreshed the icons in order that it was simpler for folks to see at a look the place they wished to go. We labored to ship an inviting, prime quality expertise so that individuals felt calm, regardless of the place they use Firefox — on a pc, telephone or pill. That meant paring down and streamlining over including and increasing.”
Accessibility in Proton
A brand new person interface additionally has to cater for these with accessibility wants, so we requested whether or not the brand new Proton look made certain to issue this in.
“For this launch, we checked out the usage of darkish themes and colours and total minimizing visible noise,” Mozilla defined. “This yr, we’ll proceed to work with the accessibility neighborhood to deal with their particular wants and incorporate them in future releases.”
It appears as if the corporate is not completed but in bettering accessibility for Firefox and Proton as an entire.
Nevertheless, one side of the person interface that’s already protruding to many customers are the tabs. They give the impression of being as if they’re extra suited to the touch shows, so we requested Mozilla whether or not this was deliberate.
“For the tabs, our major goal was to revamp these tabs in order that they floated neatly, and we added the visible indicators, like blocking autoplay movies till you’re prepared to go to that tab,” Mozilla says. “Greater than 50% of individuals have 4 tabs or extra open. We indifferent the tab from the browser to make it extra inviting for folks to maneuver, rearrange and pull out tabs into a brand new window to fit your movement, and set up them so that they’re simpler for them to seek out.”
Gecko Engine on iOS 15?
In fact, we’re on the eve of Apple’s WWDC the place iOS 15, macOS 12 and plenty of extra updates are anticipated to be introduced. I requested Mozilla whether or not they had any needs themselves, or even when it’s simply being allowed to make use of the Gecko engine as a substitute of WebKit, which is a requirement for browsers in Apple’s App Retailer.
“Sure, the obvious is to have the ability to leverage GeckoView in our Firefox iOS app. General, Apple is a accomplice and we had been very excited to see the brand new privateness options put in place with iOS 14 and the default browser possibility. We’re hoping for extra nice information for this upcoming WWDC.”