Mozilla today unveiled some of the new search features coming to Firefox. The company says the new additions are “coming soon to a Firefox near you” but didn’t give a more specific timeline.
The news comes less than a week after Mozilla struck a deal with Yahoo to replace Google as the default search engine in its browser for U.S. users. At the time, the company said a new search experience was coming in December, so we’re betting the search revamp will come with the release of Firefox 34, which is currently in beta.
In the future release, when you type a search term into the Firefox search box, you will get a list of reorganized search suggestions from the default search provider. Better yet, a new array of buttons below these suggestions will let you pick which search engine you want to send the query to.
Here’s the new search box in action:
Mozilla’s pitch is quite simple:
How often have you done a web search, already knowing that you would click the first result that looked like a Wikipedia page?
Quite often? Then Firefox is about to make your life easier. With the new one-click searches, you can instantly find what you are looking for across the web.
Firefox is the only major browser that still offers a search bar separate from the address bar. This plays in nicely into Mozilla’s recent decision to push search as a big part of the browser that users can customize.
In fact, Mozilla says Firefox now has more search choice than any other browser, with 61 search providers pre-installed across 88 different language versions. Yahoo will be the new default in the U.S., Yandex will be the new default in Russia, and Baidu will remain the default in China.
As you can see above in the new “one-click search engines” section in Firefox’s search settings, users will be able to easily show and hide these new buttons. Also notice the “Add more search providers…” link: You will be able to expand the default set Mozilla provides for your country. The company mentions the Mozilla Developer Network, Stack Overflow, Yelp, and dictionary sites as possible additions.
It’s a neat idea that will differentiate Firefox further from the competition. Yet the big question remains: Will these changes push users to spend time customizing their search engine options in Firefox, or will they push users to just download Chrome with Google as the default and be done with it?
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.