Mozilla has issued the latest update to their Firefox browser, and unlike most recent releases this one packs some very significant changes.
For starters, Firefox 29 looks totally different.
The ‘Australis‘ interface that has been in development for what feels like a century finally rolls out across the desktop iterations of the browser, including on Linux.
While it bears more than a passing resemblance to Google Chrome (a comparison invited by its use of curved tabs and ‘hamburger’ menu) the redesign has not been introduced without reason. Mozilla say that the overhaul will “help you get things done, faster” while giving over more space to web content.
Shiny new look aside, there are several other notable changes saddling up in Firefox 29.
The arrival of Firefox Accounts offers up an improved way to set up and sync bookmarks, settings, etc. between devices with secure end-to-end encryption.
The usual bunch of under the hood maintenance tweaks add a bit more pep to the Fox’s step. Keeping pace with Chrome a new Gamepad API has been enabled for web developers to toy around with.
An interactive drag-and-drop customisation mode lets you adjust the layout of the toolbar and new hamburger menu to suit your needs.
Other changes and new APIs for web developers can be found in the friendly release notes.
Install Firefox 29 in Ubuntu
Ubuntu users will find a (marginally modified) build shuffling down the update pipes on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and up (excluding 13.04 which is no longer supported) from later today. This build maintains support for the Unity Global Menu.
In the meantime, the super impatient can grab a tarball of the latest release from the official Firefox website