We all love to see new features. We love to see features which solve our problems and make our life simpler. What we don't like is new features which add complexity without clear value behind it. When Alex Faaborg the Principal Designer of Firefox spoke here at ZURB we got a sneak peek at what Firefox 4 will look like. A month ago when Firefox 4 was finally released, a couple of us got excited and immediately downloaded it just to browse through the preferences and check out the newly promised hot features.
While looking through the preference menus and customizing toolbars, I noticed a Panorama button that wasn't familiar. Upon clicking it my mind was blown. "Whoa! what was that? It was like spaces for Firefox!?"' Mozilla even created a quick shortcut to help users get to this view as fast as possible, just press Shift+Cmd+E on a Mac and Shift+Ctrl+E on Windows.
Panorama vs. Swapping Browser Tabs
After using Firefox 4 for a couple days, it seemed to be an awesome browsing experience. It was much faster then previous versions and in fact, it's very similar to Google Chrome. I tried my hardest to make use of the panorama view, but struggled to see the overall value. I tried grouping tabs by category or by task, but they always seemed to waste time while switching groups. It's just faster to swap between tabs with a mouse click or a normal shortcut key. Could it be that the folks over at Mozilla added this feature just to make some customers happy?
I'm an avid user of spaces for Mac, but within a browser it just seems like overkill. There are surely a lot of people out there that will benefit from and enjoy the new features in Firefox 4, but panorama just seemed impractical for me.
What new features have you tried in Firefox 4 and how are they benefiting your daily browsing habits?