Firefox 75 overhauls the browser’s address bar

Redesign —

The 2020 release schedule won’t change, the team says.

  • The new address and search bar in Firefox 75.

    Samuel Axon

  • Clicking in a blank field offers some new options.

  • Here’s what search suggestions look like.

Today, Mozilla rolled out Firefox 75, its latest update for the open source Web browser. The big change is a redesign of the address bar, which comes with some tweaks to how searches work when you’re using it.

When you begin using the new search field, you’ll notice that it looks a little different; it’s larger, and it has a larger font to match.

The drop-down that appears when you click in the search bar will show you multiple options for where to search, like Google or Amazon. That same view will show additional keyword suggestions as you type, with the goal being exposing “additional popular keywords that you might not have thought of to narrow your search even further,” according to the blog post announcing the redesign.

Finally, clicking once on the address bar will show you your top sites just like opening a new tab already does.

In addition to the search bar changes, Firefox 75’s release notes also include security fixes and the following bullet points:

  • Firefox will locally cache all trusted Web PKI Certificate Authority certificates known to Mozilla. This will improve HTTPS compatibility with misconfigured web servers and improve security.
  • Firefox is now available in Flatpak, an easier way to install and use Firefox on Linux.
  • Direct Composition is being integrated for our users on Windows to help improve performance and enable our ongoing work to ship WebRender on Windows 10 laptops with Intel graphics cards.

Mozilla also clarified today that it is not expecting to make any big changes to its release schedule in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; this announcement comes after Google announced it was pausing major releases of rival browser Chrome, though Google will continue to release critical security updates.

That said, the Firefox team indicated that the pandemic and the world’s response to it could affect feature priorities, writing:

We know that this is a time when our users depend on Firefox to provide uninterrupted access to vital government and health services, so we have taken steps to avoid shipping changes that might negatively impact user experience or possibly break these websites.

For example, we have prioritized fixing video conferencing issues specifically in this time of greater usage. Going forward, we will continue to examine all new features and planned changes with closer attention paid to backwards compatibility, and their potential for any user-facing issues.

In any case, Firefox 75 and its address bar overhaul should be available to all users today.

Listing image by Getty Images | Anadolu Agency

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