With things being prepared for the release of Bon Echo a2 in a day or two, I figured I’d post a little preview of the new features added since a1 that’ll be sure to turn some heads.
1. In-line spell check
Just start typing in any <textarea> and Firefox will automatically underline any words you spell incorrectly. Right click on any mispelled word and you’ll be given a few options from the currently loaded dictionary. You can spellcheck <input> fields by right clicking on them as well.
2. Better search engine management
Tired of having to dig though your searchplugins to delete search plugins? With the new search engine manager, this is a thing of the past. With the ability to delete and reorder plugins and the new backend support for formats such as OpenSearch, that handy search bar just got handier!
3. Search suggestions
The search backend now provides search plugins the abilty to specifiy an autocomplete URL. This allows plugins to provide a feature similar to Google Suggest directly in the browser UI. A2 will ship with this feature enabled for the Google and Yahoo! plugins.
4. Improved feed discovery and presentation
Firefox has now gained the ability to sniff out and display feed previews within the browser. Features such as selecting a default external reader or web reader service (In the options menu under Feed Reader) aren’t fully implemented yet, but with a little work you may be able to get it up and running.
5. Session restore
Currently session restore is currently only enabled for crashes, but soon restarts for extension installs/app updates will be able to use the session restore service.
6. Improved extension/themes manager UI
The extension manager and themes manager have been merged into a new ‘Add-ons’ manager which features improved update notifications, server-side blacklisting of malicious extensions and a streamlined installation process.
Bringing it all together
So far there haven’t been many major UI changes since a1 (and 1.5 for that matter) but as we draw nearer to a finshed product, things should really start to fall into place. The next few weeks should prove to be pretty amazing in terms of finishing up the final feature set and refreshing the look of the browser.
edit: A2 has now been officially released, you can download it via the link on this announcement.