New Firefox sync and panorama modes impress

Mozilla kicks out new Firefox 4 beta

The Mozilla foundation has released a fourth Firefox 4 beta adding major new features to the Internet Explorer competitor.

The new beta version includes features which, writing on the Firefox development blog, Mozilla said "lets you own and control your personal Web experience by syncing your data across devices, and by helping you organize your tabs in order to juggle and prioritize your busy online life."

The Firefox Sync functionality is now built into the browser so installing the new beta will prompt to create an account if the user doesn’t have one already. Firefox Sync​ shares bookmarks, history, Awesome Bar, passwords, form-fill data and open tabs across multiple computers and mobile devices.

The feature is similar to the sync included with Google’s Chrome web browser and Mozilla took pains to explain that Firefox Sync encrypts data being sent to the cloud and doesn’t track movements. "This means that you never have to compromise your privacy for the convenience of using Firefox Sync," they said.

Elsewhere the new Panorama feature is a system which allows better organisation of browser tabs, allowing them to be stacked in groups for different uses such as work, shopping, music and so on. 

"If you juggle many open tabs for work, shopping, music, social sites, vacation planning and more, you can easily group and prioritize those tabs any way you want. With one keystroke you can see an overview of all tabs to quickly locate and switch between tabs or groups of tabs."

The new Firefox 4 beta can be downloaded from here and the video below is a demonstration of the new Panorama feature:

An Introduction to Firefox’s Tab Candy from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

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