Announced earlier this week by Mozilla on the company’s official blog, Firefox 11 rolled out to consumers and brought an upgrade to the add-on syncing tool. While Firefox has offered syncing of open tabs, page history, preferences, bookmarks and passwords between computers when tied to an account, Firefox users still had to re-download add-ons on different computers. When users install Firefox 11 on a new computer, the software will now automatically download all add-ons tied to the account and automatically install the software. If users don’t want to sync add-ons between a personal computer and a work computer, this option can be controlled within Firefox’s preference panel.
While add-on syncing is the main feature addition for typical consumers, Mozilla also added new development tools such as Page Inspector 3D View. Using WebGL-based visualization, this allows developers to better understand how a site is structured. Mozilla also added a new Style Editor tool that “allows developers to edit CSS stylesheets like a text editor and see changes instantly.” Developers and designers can quickly test changes to how a site looks with the Style Editor and make revisions for clients immediately. In regards to future updates, Mozilla announced that Firefox 13 will include silent updates, a feature that will install new updates without bothering the user.
Mozilla also rolled out Thunderbird 11 this week, a popular email alternative to Microsoft Outlook. While the update mostly focuses on providing a variety of bug fixes for the email software, the user interface has been altered to move all tabs to the top of the page. Mozilla made this alteration to support developers of 3rd-party applications for Thunderbird such as the Lighting calendar add-on. In an upcoming update to Thunderbird, Mozilla plans on launching instant messenger support within the email client. The instant messaging inclusion is designed to integrate email and instant messages similar to Gmail.
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