Firefox Search Bar

Startling news – Yahoo will be the default search engine in the Firefox browser for US users rather than Google (and one presumes the same will be true in Canada). This means getting search results from the Bing index. It is possible to adjust the search bar to default to whatever search engine you really want to use.

Yahoo to replace Google as Firefox’s default search engine in U.S., Michael Liedtke, AP via Globe and Mail (Nov 20)

The five-year alliance announced Wednesday will end a decade-old partnership in the U.S. between Google Inc. and the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees the Firefox browser. The tensions between Google and Mozilla had been rising since Google’s introduction of the Chrome browser in 2008 began to undercut Firefox.

Mozilla has this handy guide with screenshots and screencasts – Search bar – add, change and manage search engines on Firefox

Firefox at 10

Mozilla’s Firefox browser is nearly 10 years old. In 2004 the one to beat was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. That’s done. Now the challenge is to counter Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android

Ten years in, Firefox fights on — now against Google and Apple by Stephen Shankland, CNet (Nov 10)

Instead of just taking on a browser, Mozilla now is competing against two operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Mozilla’s alternative is Firefox OS, a browser-based operating system. The goal remains the same, though: give people choice about what technology they use on the Internet and give them control over their data.

It might be a rough road: mobile usage is increasing rapidly, and Firefox’s share of that market is very small. It’s become a matter of operating systems. Here’s hoping for a Firefox OS.

Browser Roundup

Which browser is best – Chrome, Firefox, or Opera; and if you choose Firefox, what are some add-ons that no other browser offers?

Browser Wars: Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera, The Definitive Benchmark, by Matt Smith (July 2)

– examines scalability of text, images, performance.

7 Extensions Firefox Users Love That No Other Browser Has, by Joel Lee (July 1)

– Tree Style Tab sounds interesting
– Firebug is an excellent tool for web page developers

Firefox vs Chrome

This review for the upcoming new version of Firefox will make Chrome users take another look. Myself – I have my feet firmly planted in both camps.

Now is the time to switch back to Firefox, Jack Shofield, ZDNet (Apr 22)

Mark the passage about “Chrome’s heavy consumption of memory and other resources”. It leaves those tabs open forever.

Also – absolutely true — “Firefox is also better at using multiple search engines. You can still search from the address bar (Awesome Bar), as with Chrome, but Firefox also has a separate search box. This makes it easier to use different search providers, by picking them from the dropdown list. You can also add website-specific search engines. Amazon, eBay, Twitter and Wikipedia are defaults, but you can add many more: there are thousands. However, the default Google makes the search box a handy calculator.”

Firefox adding ads to new tab

Someday soon when you click on new tab in Firefox you’ll see – ads – they are to be called directory tiles – and they are targeted at new users or new Firefox installs. They will gradually morph into items of more interest to you (guess how they know that!). Well – all that empty real estate – wonder that no one did this sooner.

Mozilla to sell New Tab page ads in Firefox, Seth Rosenblatt, CNet (Feb 11)

“Paid advertisements are on their way to Mozilla Firefox’s New Tab page in an attempt to show more sites to first-time browser users.”

Called Directory Tiles, the initiative will use a combination of sponsored sites, popular sites based on geographic location, and Mozilla ecosystem items to fill in blank New Tab pages. Currently, the nine empty boxes on a new New Tab page fill in over time with sites culled from the user’s browsing history, frequently visited sites, and bookmarks.

Firefox’s Australis Makeover

Brace yourself, Firefox users – Mozilla is rolling out an entirely new look and set of features for the Firefox browser it has code named Australis. The good news is that Firefox will go mobile.

Firefox’s new interface is almost here by Seth Rosenblatt,l CNet (Feb 7)

No orange ball in the corner:

In its place, Mozilla has created a more graphics-friendly interface that looks similar across all platforms. The main menu on Windows, Mac, and Linux is hidden behind an Android-style “three horizontal lines” icon, with Settings options given big, touch-friendly, and easily identifiable icons. The curve angles on desktop Firefox tabs look similar, if not identical, to the curve on Firefox for Android, further reinforcing the unified look.

Nice little video to introduce the new interface. Think I’ll have to give up the menu bar.