Mozilla launched two weeks ago the beta of version 89 of its Firefox browser, whose main novelty lies in incorporating a new user interface (named Proton). Today, Mozilla Firefox 89 has finally reached the users of the stable edition of this browser.

“While we make small design improvements on a regular basis, major revisions are big undertakings that don’t happen that often, as change can be … difficult.”

According to the Mozilla Foundation, ‘Proton’ is the result of having undertaken a thorough (“pixel-by-pixel”) review of its user interface:

“We measured the value users were getting from our massive library of features and ultimately optimized the Firefox experience to be clean, engaging, and easier to use across devices.”

What changes in Proton?

Once installed, at first glance you can already notice the difference, without it being by any means a revolutionary change: the ‘floating tabs’, now separated from the toolbar, stand out:

A closer look also reveals several changes in the layout of the icons in the latter (as well as in its appearance):

  • The ‘Firefox Home Page’ icon disappears.
  • The Pocket icon leaves the Omnibox and is placed next to the menu icon.
  • The ‘Catalog’ icons (which allowed us to access the History / Bookmarks / Downloads menu) disappear, as well as the one that allowed us to display sidebars and access the Firefox user account.

All these functions are still available in the new main menu of the application … with the exception of the activation of the sidebars, which seems to have disappeared from the map.

A comparison between the two menus also reveals several differences between the two:

The most obvious, the disappearance of the icons: this menu is much more spartan than the previous one; it is also easier to read, as its elements are less cluttered.

In addition, the listing and arrangement of the available functions varies greatly. Thus, we can see that certain basic options that we could already access in other ways (such as ‘Cut / Copy / Paste’, ‘Print’ or ‘Open file’) have disappeared as have also ‘Search this page’, ‘Customize taskbar’ or the ‘Protection panel’ (the latter, still available under ‘Settings’, the former ‘Options’) disappeared.

Finally, the options of the ‘More’ and ‘Web Developer’ submenus are now unified under the title ‘More tools’, and ‘Catalog’ is now subdivided into ‘Bookmarks’, ‘History’ and ‘Downloads’.


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