A new Firefox update is now available for download featuring a few UI improvements, web development features, and important security fixes.
First thing you may notice is something missing: the site button no longer features a favicon for security concerns: it helps malicious sites spoof some other site’s identity. By removing it, Firefox developers expect users to focus on the meaning of the new icons. Also, as it was redundant with the tab icon,
For regular sites, you get a generic gray world icon.
Sites offering encrypted communication are presented with a gray lock icon.
Finally, the most secure EV SSL sites are presented with a green lock icon followed by the name and country of the company running the site.
Another welcomed enhancement is location bar autocomplete. While I had my doubts about its benefits when I started using it in Aurora, I have come to appreciate the one or two seconds it saves me. Definitely an improvement.
You also now have the chance to stop annoying autoactivated plugins thanks to click-to-play. Plugins are not loaded until you click on the dark image that replaces them on web pages.
click-to-play is not enabled by default, and, sadly, there is no preference to activate it. You will need a trip to about:config land, look for plugins.click_to_play, and set it to true to make it work.
You may also want to activate this feature for performance reasons, as it will prevent unwanted plugins to take memory or processor time.
The Google search plugin now uses HTTPS, so your keywords and results travel encrypted all the way, for enhanced privacy and security.
Web developers can now use the PointerLock API (necessary for shooter games for example), and an API to prevent the screen going into sleep mode.
Finally, there is the usual dose of stability and security fixes, which include patches for 5 critical bugs, 4 labeled as high, and 5 moderate.
For those counting, this is Firefox 14, 6 weeks right after the previous release.