Firefox have been teasing 57 for a while now. They say it will be “The best Firefox ever.” But is it worth it? Will it fix every single one of Firefox’s issues? I grab a copy of Firefox Nightly and find out.
If you want to follow along with me, you’ll need to download a copy of Firefox Nightly from the Firefox Nightly download page. Windows and Mac users will get an EXE or DMG file respectably, but Linux users will need to download a tarball archive (.tar.bz2). If you run Linux, extract the tarball, open the contained folder and double-click the file named “firefox.” Firefox Nightly should then open. What’s new? Let’s find out…
First, I open up the browser and… Ta-Da!
Wow. I mean Wow. GUYS ARE YOU SEEING THIS? OH %#$@ THIS LOOKS AWESOME!! (I’m not saying that IRL, BTW) WOAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
Drama aside, it looks amazing. This is what Mozilla call their “Photon” UI. And it looks so cool! I also want to draw your attention to the new Firefox icon we have here:
Although the colours of the logo are a nightly thing, the shape was not given to Nightly until it’s bump to 57. So this hopefully means that Firefox 57 will give us a new logo in the package. And that’s a good thing. I mean, I considered the old logo to be hideously ancient, but for a second just close your eys and imagine this in Firefox’s standard colour scheme… Ahhhhhh.
Getting back to the whole Photon thing, I must say it looks gorgeous. The only thing I don’t like is the square tabs. They remind me of Microsoft Edge, which I hate. Maybe we will have rounded tabs too? There are also some new icons, which I love. They look super-nice, like they were drawn is Roboto or Ubuntu instead of Impact. I know there aren’t really icon fonts like that, but still. Nice metaphor.
Other than the toolbar (or the Awesome Bar as Mozilla like to call it), the homepage is pretty much the same as usual. You’ve still got the buttons for Downloads, Bookmarks, History, etc and those annoying banners beneath the search bar. I’ve never liked them that much, and now I hate them more because they keep pestering me to take a Mozilla survey I ALREADY TOOK LAST WEEK!!! I hate to be saying this to Mozilla, of all people, but maybe you could collect just a little more data from users? I mean, how hard could it be to put a cookie into the browser when you take the survey so Firefox doesn’t keep pestering us?
For the next part, I will be pretending I am a normal person using Firefox for their normal lives, and not a geek trying to write a Firefox 57 reveiw using Firefox Nightly. The italics will be the thoughts of me trying to act normally.
Okay, so, now I’m online, I’d better go check some email!
I already have a tab open (I haven’t really used this much), so I’lll just go over to Gmail, aaaaaaaaaand: Woah! There’s a new animation for page loading! It’s kinda hard to describe. It sorta looks like a snake moving from one side of the tab to the other, using the concave method of propulsion (ask Google, or Wolfram|Alpha). It looks really cool.
I’ve always had a bit of a reserve fear that Google and Co. might discriminate against me because my browser was an experimental version, but no! Inbox by Gmail has loaded perfectly, and I feel ready to tackle my email! Now that I’ve loaded an actual page, I can see there are some new icons on the Awesome Bar:
As you can see, the Bookmark this Page icon has been moved into the address section, and away from the bookmark manager icon, which is now independent. The Save to Pocket icon is also on the URL bar. Mozilla owns Pocket, so it’s been integrated into Firefox quite a bit recently, but this! I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing or not…
*Timer goes off.* Oh man! It’s time for my freinds’ and my Minecraft Server meetup. Dang it! Oh well, better get to Discord…
The only reason I did that was to see how Nightly handles ordinary tab opening. As I expected, it handles tabs very normally. Just checking. There is a nice animation, with the tab sort of rising up from the top bar.
Now, I will break out of my ordinary-ness and dive into some system menus. Just to see what’s changed…
Wow. Impressive. My two favourite parts about this is a) the UI is a lot cleaner than the old one and b) the previously excessive 8 menus have now been shrunk down by half into four. Very nice. If I just put up a side-by-side comparison:
Well, there we are. Before ending the test, I just wanna take a quick peek at the Addons menu:
Nice! Again, it’s a lot cleaner. Although Firefox 57 doesn’t support legacy extensions, I’ve been cleaning up on those, so almost all my addons are here. Make sure you clean up on the things to. Horrible beasties.
So there you have it. In my opinion, Firefox 57 deserves all the hype, etc and is definately worth looking forward to. In fact, I would use Nightly as my primary browser right now, were it not for the fact that LastPass, my password manager still uses Legacy tech. I’m not worried, though, because LastPass say they’re working on a non legacy option.
Are you excited for Firefox 57? Or are you giving it the cold shoulder? Please let us know in the comments!