Firefox finally enriches New Tab page

Long after its competitors replaced blank New Tab pages with personalized content drawn from your browsing habits, Mozilla reveals the beginning of its own New Tab revamp.

Better late than never, Firefox finally gets a personalized New Tab page.

(Credit: Mozilla)

Chrome's got it. Internet Explorer's got it. Safari's got it. And Opera was the first to debut it. Finally, and currently available in the developer's Aurora build, Firefox users will be able to get a personalized New Tab experience.

Much like the competition, Firefox's version bases the sites shown to you in the New Tab page by the most commonly visited sites in your location bar. Previously, Firefox could only show a visual representation of favorite or recently visited sites in a New Tab through third-party add-ons.

You must be running Firefox 12 Aurora (download for Windows | Mac | Linux) to test out the new New Tab page. Mozilla plans to turn it off on February 16 for testing purposes, but it won't be hard to use beyond that. You can simply type "about:config" into the location bar, and set the browser.newtab.url to "about:newtab" and browser.newtabpage.enabled to "true".

Realizing that the feature is still in development, it's nevertheless a fair bit buggy. It displays sites well but not always with icons, and the Pin feature, which ought to keep a site from being removed, doesn't seem to work. Still, it's good to see that Mozilla is moving to offer what, I suspect, many consider to be a basic browser feature.

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