A few weeks ago, Google said that they would be discontinuing Google Toolbar for Firefox 5 and will only continue supporting Firefox 4. However, in spite of that, the Google Toolbar continues to work in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6.
I have been using the Google Toolbar in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6 for a few months now without issues, however, it does come with a caveat. Since Google has officially said that support for Google Toolbar is only available through Firefox 4, Firefox automatically disables the add-on on Firefox 5 and Firefox 5.
In order to enable the Google Toolbar in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6 you will first have to install the Add-on compatibility reporter extension in Firefox and restart the browser.
Once you have done that head over to the “Add-ons” and you will be able to run Google Toolbar in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6. Firefox will still report that the add-on is incompatible with the newer versions, however, you can continue using it without issues. If you need more help with this read our earlier guide on How To Run Older Add-ons in Firefox.
Firefox 6 is not officially scheduled to ship until tomorrow, however the final build for all the platforms are now available for download from the official FTP channels. Much like the previous release, the changelog for Fx 6 is quite flimsy, and the new build doesn’t feature any major new user facing feature. This is of course the side-effect of following a rapid release cycle. While it makes it easier for Mozilla to stick to the schedule, it also makes version numbers insignificant and immaterial. GHacks reported yesterday that Mozilla is planning on hiding the version number from normal users by removing it from the About’ box. Of course, that would be an incredibly lame and stupid way to tackle the issue. The sensible thing for Mozilla would be to label these releases as minor version updates, and have one or two scheduled major updates per year that will actually deliver new features. Anyway, there is no point in blaming Mozilla alone. Google is the one who started this madness with their Chrome release cycle.
Coming back to Firefox 6, the most significant change is that the address bar now highlights the domain of the website you are currently browsing. The site identity blocker has also received a minor facelift to make it sleeker than before. There are also a few behind the scenes improvements such as support for WebSockets, improved Scratchpad, a new Web Developer menu item, an improved Web Console, and reduced browser startup time when using Panaroma.
There are as many as 1,300 changes in Firefox 6. However, almost all of them are bug fixes. When it comes to delivering new features, Firefox disappoints once again. If you have used Firefox 5, or even Firefox 4, you already know what to expect. If you liked either of those two releases, you will like Firefox 6. If you didn’t, then Firefox 6 will not change your opinion.
[ Download Firefox 6 for Windows | Mac | Linux ]
Mozilla has pushed out the Firefox 6 beta to the beta channel. The new version contains new security related changes along with several other enhancements to Firefox 5 (Read: Firefox 5 Review).
One of the visual changes included in this version is that, Firefox now highlights the domain name of the website you are visiting while graying out the rest of the URL. This can come in handy to users to quickly find a domain name and avoid phishing attacks.
When you visit a site, it will highlight just the domain name and now the subdomain. So if someone is claiming to be Citibank, it will be easy to spot it out by just looking at the highlighted domain name (see screenshots above). In addition to that, they have also streamlined the site identity block.
There are several other new features which have been included in Firefox 6.0 Beta which include:
- The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you’re visiting
- Streamlined the look of the site identity block
- Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
- Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
- Added support for window.matchMedia
- Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
- Improved usability of the Web Console
- Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
- Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama
I will be doing a full review of this new beta in the next few days. In the meantime, you can download the latest Firefox 6 Beta from here.
If you are a regular reader here at Techie Buzz, chances are you have already read how we covered Firefox 5 being availability from the FTP channels. This release was available almost a week ahead of the official release. Once a Firefox release is made official, it is pushed from the same FTP channel that we pointed out in that post. Therefore, you can be assured that it was indeed the final release. The good news today is that Mozilla has officially announced the release of Firefox 5. This means, you can download it at the official Firefox download page. This also marks the graduation of Firefox into a Firefox version 5.
I am sure you have already heard a lot about Firefox 5 so I will sum it up for you in as short as I can. There is no better place to download Firefox 5 than from the official Firefox homepage at Mozilla. Once you complete that download, here are some Firefox tricks and tweaks to apply.
What’s Next now that Firefox 5 is here?
Firefox 5 has come a long way from an idea to a release and next up is Firefox 6 with more awesomeness. I have serious doubts about any performance improvements (Firefox 5 disappointed me) in Firefox 6 but I am really happy about the way Firefox is allowing its users more control over the browser and the browsing experience. Firefox 6 will be out in August and will bring native progress bars (native to each OS), browser orientation based display of websites and push events from the server to a website.
Firefox 4 was downloaded over a 100 million times after the official release and we expect the same enthusiastic response from Firefox 5 downloads.