Firefox 5 Final available for download

FirefoxThe latest version of Firefox is available to download from the Mozilla servers, before the official release date. Readers might remember that the same thing happened with version 4 just a few months ago.

The official launch day is Tuesday 21st June and as usual, Mozilla are planning some fun stuff for the day. This is all part of the move to a rapid release schedule, getting the latest features and enhancements out to users as soon as possible.

So what’s new?
It’s certainly a much less dramatic improvement over version 4.0, which was released on March 22 after a development time of more than 13 months. In
fact, at first look, you will not be able to tell a difference between 4 and 5. The layout is identical and the overall look and feel will not reveal any differences at all. There is a list of improvements, many of which most users may not care about. It’s not an impressive list for a completely new browser version, but a closer look shows that Mozilla has fixed almost 1000 bugs in total and there are actually more new features than Mozilla says there are.

The major points include improved support for HTML5 and related technologies, a slight speed gain in JavaScript as well as idle connection tuning integration, which should speed up the page load performance of Firefox considerably. There are 38 new “features“, my favorite being CSS3 animations, keeping Firefox inline with the Webkit browsers when it comes to web standards.

Firefox 5 Direct Download Links:

If you’d rather wait for the official release, it will be available here.

Let us know what you think in the comments here or on Facebook.

View Firefox downloads in a tab

FirefoxNow that the addon manager opens into a tab instead of a separate window, it makes sense to move other areas of Firefox to this style too. Those of you who have used Chrome will know this is a better way to manage your downloads than a floating window.

It’s as easy as installing the Download in Tab extension and voila, no more downloads window to get hidden. It’s a very simple addon with very little in the way of options.

An alternative to Download in Tab is the very tidy Download Statusbar which puts the current downloads as individual items at the bottom of the screen:

If you are a regular downloader, you might also find DownThemAll a valuable addition to your addon collection.

Let us know what you think in the comments here or on Facebook.

Bypass compulsory registration with BugMeNot

bugmenotDon’t you just hate it when you have to sign up to some website you’re probably never going to visit again, just to access the free download you’re after? BugMeNot can save you the trouble of form filling and reduce your spam level in the process.

If you want to give it a try, just head over to BugMeNot and type in the address of a site that requires a login. There’s a pretty good chance someone will have already created an account if it’s a popular site. Now just copy and paste the account details into the site you’re trying to access and you’re in!

Some sites don’t like BMN (as it prevents them from harvesting information about you) and so they disable the accounts. There is a rating system which shows the success rate of the particular login you’re trying to use and it’s nice to add a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if it worked out for you. Some of the more niche sites aren’t featured yet but BMN has a feature to submit a login if you have to create one yourself.

Once you see how useful this is, you can install the BMN Firefox extension which makes the process even quicker. When you have it installed, it’s just a case of right clicking on any login form and choosing “Login with BugMeNot”.

Let us know what you think in the comments here or on Facebook and remember to share with your networks.

Get notifications on Firefox 4’s App Tabs

Firefox logoThe new App Tabs feature in Firefox 4 is great at saving you some screen space but notifications from sites like Facebook or Gmail no longer appear. Here’s how to get them back (sort of).

Now your App Tabs will highlight when you have a new notification. They still don’t show the number of notifications but it’s better than nothing. We’ll update this post if we hear of a better solution.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Firefox 4 final available for download

Firefox logoFirefox 4.0 is slated for official release today at some point but readers of an impatient nature can grab it from Mozilla’s FTP server. We’ll update this post with official links as they become available.

We’re not linking to the FTP server directly as it’s not really a public distribution channel so here are the downloads hosted on Fileforum:

A word about incompatible extensions. If you come across one, do this:

  1. Type about:config into the address bar
  2. Create or modify this boolean value: extensions.checkCompatibility.4.0
  3. Set it to False

Or install the Addon Compatibility Reporter.

Unlike Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4 does support Windows XP.

[UPDATE]: Firefox 4 now officially released! Get Firefox 4

Let us know what you think in the comments.