Mozilla’s Firefox is back in the browser game, thanks to its recent updates which now allow it to once again challenge the likes of Google’s Chrome browser. One thing that always made Firefox stand out was its willingness to experiment. In recent years, the organization channeled many of these experiments through its Test Pilot program and today, it’s launching two new projects through this project: Firefox Color and Side View.
Firefox Color does pretty much what you probably expect it to do. It’s essentially a theme editor that allows you to pick the colors in your browser and even set textures for things like your background, for example.
It’s nothing all that fancy, but if Firefox has always been about customization and this takes it to the next level. Having played with plenty of Firefox themes in my day, I know that I always just go back to the default sooner or later, but if that’s not you, then Firefox Color is for you.
The second new experiment strikes me as really useful, though. With Side View, you can use your widescreen monitor and display two tabs side-by-side inside the browser without having to open a second Firefox window. You simply click on the new Side View button, select the tab you want to open in the second viewport and off you go. I would love it if you could simply drag a currently open tab to that icon, but it’s a good start.
Not every Test Pilot experiment makes it into Firefox, but some of the recent experiments that did include the browser’s screenshot tool, containers and activity stream. I don’t think I care if Color makes it, but Side View would be nice to have available by default.
Both of these new experiments are now available here.