Firefox’s New Tab Page lands on Nightly and Aurora channels

It has taken a long while, but finally, Mozilla is bringing a more helpful and lively new tab page to replace the current blank page you normally get.

It has been available in Nightly releases for a few weeks now, but it has been turned on for a week onthe Aurora channel so more users can provide feedback.

Initially you get a set of Firefox recommendations based on your most frequently and recently visited pages. You won’t get a thumbnail until you actually click on one of them. Somehow I couldn’t get a thumbnail for my local bank or twitter no matter how many times I clicked on the thumbnails, but this is part of the bug hunting at this stage.

You can reorder, pin or remove (and undo) a thumbnail. You can also drag a bookmark to a thumbnail position to add it to the new tab page, though it is not discoverable at all. I just tried for good and it worked.

There is no option to rename the thumbnail or add more items to the page, but the whole idea is to make this a simple unbotrusive feature. New tab backgrounds are also under consideration but there is no ETA, so don’t hold your breath.

For a do-it-all new tab page, I recommend New Tab King.

The new new tab page is coming with Firefox 13, that is June later this year. To try it now, grab an Aurora build, or, if feeling particularly bold, a Nightly.


4 Comments

  1. Aldo "xoen" Giambelluca February 10, 2012 12:51 pm 

    “You can reorder, pin or remove (and undo) a thumbnail. You can also drag a bookmark to a thumbnail position to add it to the new tab page, though it is not discoverable at all.”

    Yes you can, then click on the tiny, cute refresh button on the top-right and all your preferences will be gone :P

    I’m using it in Nightly in these days, if done good it could sometimes help but not yet.

  2. New Tab Is Here (for a limited time)* | Firefox Extension Guru's Blog February 11, 2012 7:31 am 

    [...] Firefox has finally caught up to Chrome when it comes to opening a new tab. In Chrome you are presented with thumbnails of sites you have visited prior. While there have been some extensions that have duplicated this feature, it is now part of the native Firefox UI in both the latest Nightly (13.0a1) and Aurora (12.0a2) builds. Note: it will be available for a limited time on the Aurora builds, see * at the end of this post for more details. Below is a sample from Percy’s (mozilla links) review: [...]

  3. David Naylor February 12, 2012 5:11 am 

    I don’t understand why they ditched the pretty design they had sketched up before, based on favicons and favicon colours. Website thumbnails take much longer to interpret, IMO.

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