Mozilla Firefox 'Australis' to bring UI enhancements to the browser

Mozilla has announced that nightly versions of Firefox "Australis", which contains a new theme and many other UI enhancements, will be available to testers starting on Monday.

Australis is a project aimed at developing a streamlined interface for the Firefox browser with an updated design, improved customizability and a new Firefox menu.

According to the company's mailing list, Firefox nightlies will start getting Australis UX builds starting Monday, which will be followed up by nightlies of version 29 in December. The project is expected to merge with "mozilla-central" in the near future, depending on the feedback received. After evaluation of the nightlies, Mozilla would decide whether the new UI would make it into the final release of Firefox 29 in mid-April.

A separate branch of the Australis project builds will be maintained while "mozilla-central" will continue to be updated with non-Australis code in order to reduce the overhead in case it is decided not to include the updated UI in the next release.

Mozilla has been rapidly developing the Firefox browser with new features and implementing new UI elements on a variety of operating systems such as Android, Windows and Windows 8's Modern UI in recent times and Australis is expected to further boost the consistency of the browser's interface across all platforms.

Testers and enthusiasts can grab the nightly builds for Windows, Mac, Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) from the UX branch; bug tracker for the test builds can be found at

Source: msujaws' blog via Mozilla | Image via Mozilla

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Dot Matrix said,

It wouldn't be too hard to create a flat, square design that fits into Windows 8's look. Firefox integrated nicely with Windows 7, why can't that be the case here?

If it's generally clean, simple and flat, it will fit in even with the round tabs, which I think is their goal, and let's be fair, Firefox follows the system theme much, much better than say, Chrome does, but even then people will complain (for instance people complained about the blue color used in Firefox without realizing it's simply the Windows default).

And again, asking third parties to follow (non-existing) guidelines on the desktop is a bit much considering Windows itself isn't doing it, just look at desktop icons.

Could this be any more of a blatant ripoff of Chrome? The rounded tabs, the three bars for the menu, can't they come up with their own design instead of just completely copying someone else's? That's so lazy.

Just make sure to fix fullscreen while you're at it. It's been broken for ages. When I minimise out of fullscreen, the Windows taskbar stays on the bottom of the screen when I go back to fullscreen. Have to toggle fullscreen off and back on again to fix it.

I think it looks awful. It doesn't suit my style of working at all. I like menus, and I like to customise my toolbars exactly how I want. I like my tabs under my toolbar, under my menus.

Really getting fed up with companies trying to dictate how I do things on my computer!

WIth firefox on win8 it crashes too often for me, otherwise I'd use it. I am curious whether the Metro version is any good, but taking them a long time to develop it.
I don't particularly care about the UI as I rarely use it. Set it and forget it mostly.

Jaybonaut said,
Look out Firefox theme creators, you are all out of business soon.... er wait.
they wont worry bout that till it least gets to BETA if not into the stable channel

I'll be happy as long as I can revert back to the Firefox 25.0.1 theme. So much wasted space in Australis, and those curved tabs look horrible.

Improved customisation really? Bull***! The new and unimproved UI prevents the proper navigation
buttons from being added to the main toolbar. Only the Back button appears to be in the proper
standard position. Where's the forward button? Why can't I move the Reload/Stop button out of
the Location Bar and put them back where they're meant to be? Why can't I move the Tabs back
to beneath the Bookmarks bar where they ought to be in the first place? Why is the Menu Bar
in the place where the Title bar should be?

Firefox GUI designers, put down the crack pipes and stop what you are doing ... now!

Thankfully SeaMonkey won't be switching to a fugly UI that can't be properly customised!

Will it (a) fix the frequent crash problem in Windows-7 64-bit settings, and (b) be mouse/keyboard oriented? Or...will it mimic the mess of Windows-8 and its touch-centric UI?

Ugh, too Chrome-like. I keep turning the menubar back on since the Firefox button doesn't contain a lot of commands.

It looks like they let touch devices dictate the UI on the desktop, there's nothing wrong with different UIs for different platforms.

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