Mozilla Firefox 'Australis' now available on Aurora testing channel

The next major update to Firefox, code named "Australis", has now graduated out of the Nightly testing channel and into the latest Aurora build. The new version, Firefox 29.0a2, is now available to download.

As we have reported before, the changes that will be made to Firefox via Australis will include a new user interface. In a post on the Mozilla blog, the company said:

Tabs have a new fluid and streamlined shape and non-active tabs blend into the background to make it faster for you to find and focus on the tab you want. A new menu contains the most popular features including copy, paste, zoom, as well as add-ons all in one spot with easy to identify visual icons.

As you can see from the image above, the UI looks very similar to the one employed by Google's Chrome browser. The Australis version of Firefox also allows for faster menu, tab bar and tool bar customization by just dragging the buttons and icons around.

In addition to the UI and customization changes, the new build on Aurora adds Firefox Accounts to the browser. It allows users to sign into a single account to bring their bookmarks, history, and any open tabs to any Firefox supported devices, including the mobile version of the browser and smartphones running FirefoxOS.

Mozilla has had a very busy week for news. It also launched the touch-based version of Firefox for Windows 8 to its beta channel this week and introduced plans for an Android Launcher that will be released in the near future.

Source: Mozilla

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All I want to know is why with every new browser, the toolbars & interface take up MORE screen space? What about "less is better"?

Co-ords said,
All I want to know is why with every new browser, the toolbars & interface take up MORE screen space? What about "less is better"?

The image show the new aurora interface with the bookmark bar (optional) an an Alexa bar (removable)

Co-ords said,
All I want to know is why with every new browser, the toolbars & interface take up MORE screen space? What about "less is better"?

I'm guessing to make them easier for touch.

Co-ords said,

All I want to know is why with every new browser, the toolbars & interface
take up MORE screen space?


Errr no ... it's actually completely the opposite. Ever since Google Chrome came along, browsers
have been gradually dumbing down their GUIs. There's NO need for this on desktop systems
at all, unless you're using an ancient graphics card and a 15inch CRT stuck at 800x600.

DJGM said,

Errr no ... it's actually completely the opposite. Ever since Google Chrome came along, browsers
have been gradually dumbing down their GUIs. There's NO need for this on desktop systems
at all, unless you're using an ancient graphics card and a 15inch CRT stuck at 800x600.

oh stop, browser GUI's have not gotten "dumbed down", they've been streamlined.

It's not like you needs six toolbars worth of buttons to browse the web....

I mean CHRIST! what are you even talking about?!?

You know what.. let's see your browser, right now. I am imagining this bloated thing with all kinds of seedy add-on tool bars that you think are vital.

Lamp0 said,

oh stop, browser GUI's have not gotten "dumbed down", they've been streamlined.
It's not like you needs six toolbars worth of buttons to browse the web....
I mean CHRIST! what are you even talking about?!?

You know what.. let's see your browser, right now. I am imagining this bloated
thing with all kinds of seedy add-on tool bars that you think are vital.


Actually, my browser doesn't really support add-on toolbars as such, if you're referring to
the sort of toolbar that used to plague old installs of Internet Explorer several years ago.
The level of so-called "streamlining" these days is exactly as I described. Dumbing down.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term "dumbed down" means this . . .
"simplified so as to be intellectually undemanding and accessible to a wide audience"
http://www.oxforddictionaries....inition/english/dumbed-down

Sounds a bit like marketing speak, but describes it perfectly.


The basic layout of my browser is much like Firefox used to be before it reached v4.

Window Title Bar ... precisely the place where browser tabs should NOT be.
Standard Menu bar ... combined with a variation of the Firefox Add-on bar.
Back-Forward-Reload-Stop-Home --- URL Bar --- Activity indicator (throbber)
Bookmarks Bar ... my most commonly used web bookmarks in folders
Tabs Bar

Screengrab: http://snipurl.com/28kek5x

As for your other question. I don't know what Christ is talking about right now.

Edited by DJGM, Feb 11 2014, 1:53am :

Okay.... tried it. How do I get the add-on bar tools visible? This seriously breaks a lot of add-ons that by default dump their stuff there instead of in the customize area.

Acer1 said,
Okay.... tried it. How do I get the add-on bar tools visible? This seriously breaks a lot of add-ons that by default dump their stuff there instead of in the customize area.

Addon bar is no more. You can place addon buttons in the navigation bar or in the new menu. The button of addons i use (stylish, greasemonkey, ABP) are still broken though.

Heartripper said,

Addon bar is no more. You can place addon buttons in the navigation bar or in the new menu. The button of addons i use (stylish, greasemonkey, ABP) are still broken though.

So then, they removed the status bar and now the add ons bar. It is great /s.

For Christ sake, why do browsers have the urge to reinvent UIs with their weird "grid menus" and so on? Why do they have to be inconsistent with the operating system?

The only real issue I have with Austrails is I do not like how all the non selected Tabs are blended into the blue backround. They need to have more of a 3D look if you know what I mean. The old way was fine or how tabs look in Chrome and IE. I hope this is going to be fixed in future builds because right now I do not like how Tabs are displayed in Austrails build at all!!

horrible, if i wanted to use chrome or opera i would get them...

the idea of using firefox its to have the best customizable experience but they are forcing many things, so many of them wrong, the position of stop and reload button its just bad even google realize it and change it to its proper place in chrome.

i dont like tabs above i prefer status bar, i dislike filling of addons in my toolbars....

let me have the option to switch back to what it have before....

Are they maintaining the separate search box to differentiate themselves from Chrome? I don't understand why it's still there!

Scar said,

Something tells me Australis will be postponed to Firefox 33.


Unless there are radical improvements by the time it's finalised for production release, then as far
as I'm concerned it can stay postponed permanently. In it's default state, Australis is a fugly mess.

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