In a year after the record braking Firefox 3.0, Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5 to make web surfing even faster and handier.
Here are the new features of FF 3.5 and tips how to use them:
Private Browsing: surf the Web without leaving a single trace. Start to browse privately by clicking Tools > Start Private Browsing or Ctrl+Shift+P.
Forget About This Site: the option to forget about a particular web site you have visited that means all entries related to that site will be removed from your browser history. To forget a site, go to History > Show all history (or press Ctrl+Shift+H) and in the Library window right-click the site you want Firefox to forget about and select Forget About This Site.
Smooth Scrolling through Tabs: if you have a lot of tabs open, put your mouse on the row of tabs and scroll with the mouse wheel through tabs to easily find the one you need. Note that scrolling works only when you have so many tabs opened that the scrolling arrows appear on the right and on the left of tabs row.
If you have not so many tabs opened, you can try this shortcut for fast moving to the tab you need: press Ctrl + the number of tab you want to view, for example, Ctrl+2 for the second tab.
Location-Aware Browsing: Firefox 3.5 comes with a new location-aware browsing (geolocation) feature that is enabled by default. It identifies your location using your computer’s IP, Google’s random client identifier, etc. and share it with the websites that ask for location data. Don’t be scared, data isn’t shared without your permission. Any time a website asks for your location data, Firefox will show you a message so that you can choose whether you want to share or not to share geolocation data with this website. Settings you chose can be remembered for this site so that you shouldn’t click buttons every time you visit the website.
If you don’t like the idea to share your geolocation data at all, try more advanced way to solve the problem. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar, enter geo.enabled into the filter form. Double-click geo.enabled entry so that its value become “false”. Geolocation feature is now disabled for you.
Cooperation of Mozilla and Google is long and beneficial for both sides. So, why did Mozilla decide to prefer Yandex, the leading Russian search engine, as the default search engine and start page for Russian locale builds, starting with Firefox 3.1? For now, there is no official statement of Mozilla-Yandex business agreement at Mozilla official site, but we can learn details at bugzilla.mozilla.org.
What’s the reason of dropping Google, one of the major revenue sources of Mozilla?
The most obvious reason is that Yandex has the largest market share in Russia (≈45%), while Google is #2 with ≈35% (according to reports of liveinternet.ru). Nevertheless, market share is not the one and only parameter to measure the quality of search provided by search engine. Market share is a result of skilful marketing more than of quality search. There is a great resource to analyze search quality of different search engines for both Russian and English language queries – http://analyzethis.ru. Selecting Russian query language, we’ll see that Yandex leads in most parameters of quality search. For English language, Google has better results. Even without analytics, in practice we can see that while being great in Russian, Yandex gives rather poor results in English. Thus, we can assume that most of Yandex users still switch to Google to find something outside the ru domain. So, the difference in Yandex’s and Google’s popularity in Russian market is not so big to terminate a beneficial agreement with Google.
That’s why I incline toward other reason. As it’s known, Google recently changed its software pack – Google Pack and Firefox isn’t a Google Pack default browser any more. The place of Google Pack default browser was given to… let me guess… maybe, Google Chrome?! Of course. Could there be other applicants? 😉 It’s hard to estimate Mozilla’s losses resulted from this change, but it’s easy to understand the prospect and Google’s plans for future. Chrome is and will be Google’s favorite, and this is natural – Google wants to promote its own product first.
So, maybe that’s why Mozilla’s looking for new partners…