Firefox 4 will feature a significantly updated theme on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. In the last few days significant pieces of the new user interface have started dropping in:
- The Firefox button (called Minefield in the development builds) gathers the most frequently used menu options in a single point. The button is now on by default for Windows Vista and 7 users, but off for Windows XP users. For Windows Vista Basic users get the button is displayed in the tab bar. If you prefer the menu bar, just right click on the navigation toolbar and enable it to dismiss the Firefox button.
- Aero Glass interface.
- Customizable tab bar. Introduced some time ago, you can drag buttons to the tab bar at will.
- New bookmarks button, that opens the bookmarks menu and options to show the bookmarks menu and bookmarks sidebar.
- Tabs on top are now enabled by default as explained in yesterday’s video. To restore the classic layout with the navigation toolbar above the tab bar, right click on the navigation toolbar and uncheck Tabs on top.
This is not the end of changes: the status bar is about to be dismissed replaced by a temporary status bar, while extension icons would go to a dedicated movable toolbar.
App tabs, will be an option to make a tab sticky and with no navigation interface as the content in it is expected to be self contained like an email application, an online document editor, or some intranet application. First pieces have already landed but there is no UI to see yet.
Finally, Mac OS X and Linux will also get an important theme update.
Firefox 4 Beta 1 is targeted for sometime in the next couple of weeks with final released expected by years end.