Firefox / Ubiquity / Minefield

ff-logo

Up until the release of Firefox 3.5 I switched between browsers without thinking too much.  That all changed with version 3.5 due to its great speed increase.

Then I found a few more things that have tied me irrevocably to Firefox.  The first is Ubquity – an add-on from Mozilla that gives you access to commands that allow you to do a Google search (other search engines too…), look things up on Wikipedia and a lot more.  All just a keystroke away.  It shows so much promise, and it soon becomes central to the way you work in a browser – so much so that you miss it when you go into other applications.

ubiquity-youtube

I had been installing the betas of v3.5, so once it was out I started thinking about v3.6 (codenamed Namoroka or Firefox.next)…  and came across something that made this really easy: Minefield.  This is Firefox nightly builds made available as a standard Mac application that you treat like any other.  Very smart – I’m updating about once a week.

Next is a small but really handy feature – an add-on for Twitter search.  Brings it into easy reach…

twitter_search_in_FF

…  and I can send a Tweet from Ubiquity too – so less having to jump to other applications.

More recently, news has been coming in about the next versions.  There are now screenshots for version 3.7 (spring 2010) and version 4 (below):

Mockup-4-0-Vista-(TabsBottom)

The next 12 – 18 months are going to be great for internet users as the browser makes some huge advances (and, of course, not just Firefox, but Safari, Opera and their impact on browsing on mobile devices).  Those little windows on the web are going to really improve the experience.  Tie that in with all the things coming our way, this is really is going to change the way we interact with the web.

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