Firefox update refreshes new tab and start pages, adds SPDY support

As part of Firefox’s rapid release cycle, which delivers a major update every six weeks, Mozilla is updating the new tab page with a helpful selection of thumbnails of the most frequently and recently visited web pages, ready for you to click and go.

New tab page screenshot

While the collection is dynamic, and meant to adapt to your browsing behavior, you can also pin a thumbnail clicking on a thumbnail’s pin button.

To add a specific page, you can drag a bookmark from the bookmarks toolbar o menu, you can then drag thumbnails around to set it to your needs.

Firefox’s Start page now features icons to access the most frequently used preferences: Add-ons, downloads, bookmarks, history, Sync, and options.

Firefox new start page screenshot

In the background, Firefox now features SPDY support, on by default. SPDY is a new internet protocol that aims for faster delivery of web pages through compression, prioritization, and multiplexing. Originally proposed by Google, and now under standardization efforts and implementation by Apache, node.js, nginx, other web server makers, as well as content providers including Google, Twitter and a few others.

Reliability also gets an important improvement, thanks to a new Reset Firefox button. If you find yourself stuck with a non responding Firefox, you may want to try resetting it. Firefox will make a new profile for you keeping your bookmarks, history, forms, passwords, and cookies, giving you a quick way to get back to work.

Firefox resent button screenshot

Finally, in the performance department, if you choose to restore you previous session every time Firefox starts, only the currently visible tab is loaded during startup. The other tabs are restored as you click on them, making it faster to get to the content you want.

To get the previous behavior (to load all tabs when restoring a session), go to Options and uncheck Don’t load tabs until selected in the General tab.

Firefox don't load tabs until selected option screenshot

And that’s for this period. Firefox 14 is due in 6 weeks, and I will comment on the upcoming features in the next post.