Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Testing the New App Tabs Feature of Firefox 4 Beta 2

This afternoon I noticed that Mozilla had a new version of Firefox available, FF 4 Beta 2.  I like to test new features and retest sites that I use on a regular basis for compatibility with the various browsers that I use.  Since I primarily use FF for my online web purposes and Safari for my mobile devices, I spend a good deal of time testing new updates as they come along.

The feature that caught my attention with the latest Firefox release was the 'new app tabs'.   This is Mozilla's way of giving us some tabs similar to the icons we would normally use within our dock on our Mac.  These small app tabs appear across the top of the browser window and can be dragged and dropped in any order.

To make a website into an app tab:

First Click on the + sign on the upper tab bar or use the 'New Tab' option under the File Menu bar, then use Google search to find the site, type in the site URL or use a previously made bookmark to retrieve the site URL.

The site name will appear in the new tab area, with cursor on this new tab name using right click (PC) or control click (Mac) select 'Make Into App Tab'.  The icon for the website will then be placed next in line along the upper bar to represent that web site. 

This arrangement of icons will allow for easy access and switching for those sites that one visits on a daily basis.  It is also nice to have the text for the icon appear as I mouse over each of these tiny icons, so that I know which tab is representative of which site without having to memorize the correlation of certain tiny icons with my favorite or most frequently used sites.  

I did notice, however,  that when I selected New Window, that none of these app tabs were duplicated in the new window.  This is definitely an option that I believe I indeed want if I choose to open a new window. 

Solution:  If one saves the apps tabbed view as one's preferred Startup Homepage, then the tabs will then be available when opening a New Window each time.

If you wish to remove an app tab, that you created, select  the particular app tab and then select 'Close Tab' under the File menu bar.  You can also look at the app tabs in list form, on the very far right-hand side of the tab bar you will see a small black icon.  If you click on that icon, you will see the list of app tabs available.

Well, back to testing to see if this beta version will still work with my favorite sites.  I had some squirrely stuff occur on my Mac while testing this beta version, would suggest others may wish to wait for the final version to come out before using.   I am not sure what happened but it may be that I did not release the control click while selecting the 'Make Into App Tab'.  In any event, my browser continued to zoom as well as my desktop and I was not able to see my dock or menu bar or some of the icons on my desktop.  I had to unplug my computer in order to reboot.

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