Turn the AwesomeBar into an Omnibar — with Instant (almost)!We hinted at this in our last set of Firefox 4 tweak tips, but its worth mentioning again. For all the space Mozilla has saved in cleaning up their browser's user interface, it baffles us as to why a dedicated search bar is still included — especially when Firefox 4's AwesomeBar works just as nicely on its own. All it takes is a right-click on the toolbar — followed by a trip to the Customize menu option — to drag away the search bar into oblivion.
Instant Preview add-on. Now, any highlighted result in Firefox 4's AwesomeBar drop-down dialog will load instantly, similar to Google Chrome. However, as anyone familiar with Firefox knows, this drop-down dialog will only show recently accessed or historical sites — and not actual search results from Google. Instead, you'll need to set up a bookmark shortcut to invoke a search from the AwesomeBar, accomplished by right-clicking on any Google search box and selecting "Add a Keyword for this Search."
Feed Chrome some Tab CandyThere's no denying that Firefox 4's Tab Panorama feature is particularly awesome. Much like a virtual desktop, you can separate tabs into their own groups, allowing you to resize and organize those groups in a virtual space. It's sure to be a boon for obsessive organizational types — or those with an excess of tabs — but it's a feature sorely absent from Chrome.
Tab Sugar is aiming to bring Tab Panorama to Chrome users too. Of course, this is still alpha code, so not everything works quite as you'd expect. Website previews in particular are absent, and there were a few graphical hiccups when moving tab groups around. Still, it's better that nothing, and should placate Chrome faithful who aren't quite ready to switch.
Invite IE9 to the WebM PartyAfter Google made the bold decision to axe support for the h.264 video codec in Chrome last year — the format in which much of the web's video is encoded — there was some uncertainty as to how competing browsers would react. The goal, after all, was to replace the royalty-encumbered h.264 codec with the freely-licensed WebM standard. Luckily, both Firefox 4 and Safari now officially support the standard, leaving one notable exception — Internet Explorer 9.
an experimental WebM plug-in for IE9 users as well. You can even try YouTube's experimental HTML5 player to see the codec in action.
Teach Chrome to keep Tabs in syncBrowser sync is undeniably one of Chrome's best features, but there's one glaring omission — tabs. In this regard, Firefox 4's Sync feature clearly succeeds, but that doesn't mean all is lost for you Google faithful. All it takes is a small extension to get your pages synced between machines.
FreshStart relies upon Chrome's built-in browser sync to work its tab-based magic. The extension sits beside the Omnibar, and allows you to save or restore sessions when moving between machines. Sadly, the process isn't as automatic as the rest of Chrome's syncing features, but at least it works as advertised — assuming you remember to save your browser's state before moving to another machine. And of course, there's also our old favourite Xmarks, which not only syncs between multiple Chrome installs, but other browsers as well.
Have any more tweaks or tips we haven't covered? Let us know!