June 5, 2012 saw the release of Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird version 13.0. This continues Mozilla’s tradition of evolving both Firefox and Thunderbird quicker to keep up with the way Google updates Chrome. Version 13.0 for both Firefox and Thunderbird updates several features as well as cleaner up coding in the background to make both programs quicker for users. We will give you a brief guide to the changes and what to expect from the next versions of Firefox and Thunderbird from Mozilla.
What’s new in Thunderbird 13.0?
Two of the major additions to Thunderbird include the ability to use Filelink and to create an e-mail address through the Gandi or Hover e-mail services.
When you first install Thunderbird, you will now be created by a screen to create a new e-mail address.
While you can always add your own, you can also take advantage of the services Gandi and Hover have to offer. While Gandi is offered to mainly non-American Internet users, Hover is available for all users. Mozilla is hoping to add additional e-mail providers in the future to make it that much easier for Thunderbird users to get started from scratch with the program.
Thunderbird also allows you to link a variety of storage upload and download services to your e-mail profiles.
This will allow you to upload attachments to the file storage service of your choice, then allow others to access those files so you do not run into bounce back issues with extremely large attachments.
Thunderbird 13.0 now requires all users to be using Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher to install and use the e-mail client.
There were also a variety of security fixes updated and resolved in the upgrade to version 13.0.
Read more about Mozilla Thunderbird 13.0 here.
What’s new in Firefox 13.0?
Firefox has added a common element from other browsers, such as Chrome, Opera and Safari, mostly known as the “speed dial.” When you open a new tab in Firefox now, you will see links to your most visited web sites in the previous days.
This can come in handy when you want to head back somewhere but may not have it bookmarked or just want to get there quicker than normal.
If you are using a clean version of Firefox with no themes or tweaks to it, you will have much quicker access to your bookmarks, history and more.
Mozilla has changed some behind the scenes features of Firefox, too, such as enabling the SPDY protocol to make browsing quicker. Background tabs restored upon Firefox crashing or closing down wrong will no longer be loaded automatically. You will be given the option to load them to enable getting started with Firefox much sooner. Smooth scrolling is also available by default now.
On the developer side, which is something Mozilla has always been focused on improving in Firefox, several improvements have been made. These include about 72 improvements to page inspector, the HTML panel, scratchpad and style editor. Experimental support has been added for ECMAScript 6 MAP as well as CSS3 background-position properties. CSS turnunit is also now supported by Firefox 13.0′s developer tools.
Firefox has some unresolved issues users may run into during use. These include trying to load Firefox with a locked profile, Firefox will crash. If you have to use the Windows system restore feature after updating Firefox, this may interfere with the update process for Firefox and disable future updates.
Read more about Mozilla Firefox 13.0 here.
What can we look forward to from Mozilla’s next batch of updates?
Mozilla has stated that the next batch of updates to Firefox and Thunderbird will be released around the middle of July 2012. Both Firefox and Thunderbird 14.0 are in beta release channels and you can take part in testing the beta of Firefox called Nightly. Versions 14.0 will also be the first version specifically tailored towards working in Windows 8.
One of the big updates in version 14.0 and higher will come in the form of silent updates, similar to how Google Chrome updates. Instead of being prompted or manually making an update, Mozilla will do it on your behalf so you do not miss out on any major, minor or patch update to Firefox or Thunderbird. This can be invaluable to those of us who simply forget to update software, definitions and other extensions we use in our programs.