On the heels of the February release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla has unleashed a near-final version of Firefox 4, the latest iteration of the free, open source web browser.
What's new in Firefox 4? The team at Mozilla has delivered a cleaner look, more customizations, syncing between devices, and improved security.
Mozilla claims that Firefox 4 is six times faster than previous offerings and cites noticeable differences in start-up and page-load times, as well as improved graphics rendering.
Most noticeably, Mozilla has tweaked Firefox's user interface to make tabs a priority. A "Switch to Tab" web-browsing feature prevents users from opening duplicate tabs by navigating to the one that's already open. Users can also create "App Tabs" for their most-used web applications, like mail, music and social networking sites, and can pin these apps to their tab row for quick access.
For users who work with many tabs, the "Panorama" feature helps keep track of what's open and offers drag-and-drop grouping options.
Firefox 4 also offers syncing between home, work and mobile devices, giving users constant access their browser history, passwords, bookmarks and open tabs. This data is encrypted locally to ensure the user's safety.
Mozilla's focus on security is apparent in this new release. Users can turn on a "Do Not Track" feature that allows them to "opt-out" out of behavioral tracking by advertisers. Firefox 4 also protects users' sensitive login data by ensuring secure connections with websites.
Other features found in Firefox 4 include a redesigned Add-Ons manager, lots of goodies for web developers, multi-touch support for Window 7, and more. You can learn more and download by visiting the Firefox 4 Release Candidate site.