Browser Update: Firefox

Firefox has become such a mainstay in the browser arena, it’s hard to remember when it was the upstart that took on Internet Explorer. Thanks to Firefox, we now have a number of good browsers to choose from and lots of innovation because of the competition.  At version 10.0, Firefox is available for Windows, Mac and Linux desktops and on Android devices.

Some of Firefox’s many features include:

    • Like other browsers, Firefox has combined multiple functions into what used to be the address bar – now called the awesome bar. Notice the icons at the right side of the bar. Using them, I can bookmark the page (star icon), send the page to Twitter or display my browsing history.
    • Firefox introduced tabbed browsing and continues to innovate with App Tabs. If you have sites that are always open when you’re online, right-click on that site’s tab and “pin” it as an app tab. The tab is reduced to just the page’s icon and moved to the far left of the tab bar – ready whenever you need it.
    • Firefox Sync lets you synchronize your bookmarks, history, passwords and open tabs across multiple devices. You can keep your home, work and mobile versions of Firefox up-to-date automatically.
    • Every researcher will enjoy the many search functions available in the search bar. You can choose which function you want as your default search engine – Yahoo in this example – or click the down icon in the search box to display the other engines you use. Notice the Manage Search Engines option at the bottom of the list? Follow it to the Firefox search engine page and choose addition search options. Another way to add search engines is to check the on-site search engine when you visit a site. For example, go to YouTube, then click the down icon in the Firefox search bar. Because YouTube offers a search engine, you will see an option to add it to your search bar – just above the Manage Search Engines option.
    • Firefox introduced browser add-ons so of course they offer plenty of options. The Evernote plugin is always handy as are the Diigo and Awesome Screenshot plugins.

Firefox provides significant HTML5 support so it can display things like Amazon’s Cloud Reader with all its functionality. It continues to innovate with features and functionality – many of which are especially useful to the online researcher.