Mozilla is testing out a revamped look, syncing, and more with the Firefox 29 beta

firefox sync now available testing release 29 beta

Mozilla, the outfit behind Firefox, one of the world’s most popular web browsers, just released a beta of Firefox 29. Though Firefox updates usually don’t contain much beyond bug fixes and perhaps the addition/revamp of a feature or two, Firefox 29 beta is the exception, bringing forth not just new features, but a new look and layout as well.

Arguably the biggest change in Firefox 29 beta is the addition of Firefox Sync, which, with an account login, allows you to sync things like your browsing history, bookmarks, add-ons, favorites and more across all your devices, assuming you have the beta installed on all of them. All you need to do is create a Firefox Sync account within the browser, log in, and use it like you normally would. Assuming you install Firefox 29 beta on other computers/devices, your preferences would automatically be ported to that instance of Firefox 29 beta as well. However, Firefox Sync isn’t exactly new to the browser, but the previous version of the feature was buried, and didn’t work very easily, requiring users to input codes to sync the browser with other devices. With the new version of Sync, you’ll just have to log in with an email address and password.

Firefox Sync

As we mentioned up top, Firefox 29 beta also brings changes to the browser’s layout. Instead of an orange menu button in the upper left corner, you’ll need to access options and settings via a Google Chrome-esque button in the upper right-hand corner with an icon consisting of three short horizontal lines. However, instead of a menu comprised of a simple list, clicking on the options button pulls up a menu consisting of graphical icons, from which you can customize browser settings, print a webpage, search for/install add-ons, and more. You can also swap the icons in and out, so if there are features/options you don’t see yourself using much, you can just drag and drop them outside of the menu, and off they’ll go.

From a visual point of view, the most striking change we’ve noticed is the way the browser approaches multiple browser tabs. Instead of clearly separating them with easy to see lines for each tab, tabs now seemingly appear as a single, continuous stream. Each tab still has a single line separating them from one another, but they’re much more difficult to see, which resulted in a mis-click or two on our part when attempting to switch between different tabs. We also found Firefox 29 beta a bit laggy in the performance department. Closing tabs took a few clicks in one instance, and moving tabs about from one place to another resulted in some stuttering.

We also gave Sync a shot, logging in on our primary PC and then logging into Firefox Beta 29 on another rig to see if all our preferences switched over. Browsing history did almost immediately, but a couple of hours later, our bookmarks have still yet to carry over. Then again, this is the beta, and we trust that these issues would be ironed out in a full release.

We can’t help but wonder what changes will be made between now and the point when Firefox 29 goes live to the public.

What do you think of the changes? Sound off in the comments below.

Computing

Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.
Gaming

Kick off your streaming career with our complete guide to Twitch broadcasting

Streaming games on Twitch for the first time can be daunting to say the least, but with a few simple steps, it's remarkably easy to do. Here's how to do so using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 console.
Gaming

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.
Movies & TV

Did I really watch that? Here's how to delete your Netflix viewing history

Everybody has some skeletons in their streaming closet, but you don't have to live with them if you don't want to. Learning how to delete your Netflix viewing history is easy, and we're here to help.
Gaming

Here’s how to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your Xbox One

Online privacy is more important now than it's ever been, and gaming is happening online more than ever before. Here's a quick guide on how to set up a VPN for your Xbox One so you game in safe anonymity.
Computing

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…
Computing

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Computing

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.