Is Upcoming Firefox 4 inspired by Google Chrome?

Today, I installed Firefox 4 beta. My very first impression when the new browser opened was “How much like Chrome!” On exploring firefox_iconFirefox 4 beta I found the design and functionality has incredible likeness with Google’s browser Chrome. In this post we will deem at the new features of Firefox and comment on how they look alike Google Chrome.


Interface: I had always been an admirer of the sleek interface of Chrome that Google claimed to have so designed to maximize the internet experience of user as if they were viewing webpages without any web-browser at all. Firefox 4 beta has modified its design to make it cleaner and much simpler, no extra buttons or several text boxes.

All in one bar: The address bar is the search-bar. The idea firstly found in chrome.


Private browsing mode: Firefox 4 beta has introduced Private Mode Browsing in its upcoming version, another inspiration from chrome (incognito mode).


Firefox button & Application’s Tab: The Firefox 4 beta has a Firefox button where all the menu items are constituted. The Firefox website also introduces an app tab that will house your most viewed pages (on installing and running Firefox 4 beta I could not find it). The concept though reminds me of the browser that Google promised in its OS. The browser (in chrome OS) combined the webpages, Chrome Menu and User Application in a single thin strip on the top of the browser.  The image below compares the two:


Full Screen Browsing: Full screen browsing is enabled in Firefox 4 beta version, the feature that already existed in chrome (Press F11 to enter the full-screen mode). Returning back to normal mode (from full-screen) was difficult for me. Minimizing and then maximizing the window solved the problem in my case. The ESC key, as expected to bring back to normal-mode dint work.

What is missing till yet?

Flexibility with Tabs: Chrome is all about tabs that one can grab and drop anywhere, between any tabs or as a separate window. Firefox 4 though does not offer flexibility to manipulate tabs. Nevertheless, any tab in Firefox beta 4 can be pulled down to make a new window.

Task Manager: I was really looking forward for this feature in the new Firefox 4, as it was of great utility in chrome. The Task Manager in chrome allows one to see which of the web pages opened in your tabs are consuming most resources. However this feature is yet absent in Firefox 4.

New Window: When you open chrome, you find thumbnails from your recently visited webpages. These thumbnails tremendously help one to access their desired webpages quickly. This feature is missing in Firefox 4 beta aswell that opens a blank page when you open a new window/tab. However to facilitate easy access of pages an App button is introduced in upcoming Firefox 4.

Even if the Firefox 4 beta 10 has its inspiration from chrome UI, I had a great experience when working with it. In my opinion, good features must be widely adopted, even if they are invented by your rivals. These are my first impressions about User interface and prominent features of Firefox 4 beta 10. You can download and run the application and also send your feedback to Mozilla for improvements. Firefox 4, still in its beta version has a long way to go and I feel that Firefox 4 will be more stable and built around a better technology to improve performance drastically.

  • me4oslav

    Firefox 4 UI = Chrome UI + Opera UI.

  • le hollandais volant

    Yes, it’s really more an Opera-like UI than a Chrome-like UI…

  • http://enteryoursiteURL... ricky

    "All in one bar: The address bar is the search-bar. The idea firstly found in chrome."

    I’ve been typing my search terms in my firefox adress bar before chrome even existed… -.-

    And yeh that horrible orange button is a resemblance to opera imo. Maybe i’ll start using konqueror again :-P

  • Jibs

    What is Opera?

  • Mohan

    Actually I was able to search from the URL bar way back in the Mozilla suite. So it’s not first found in Chrome.

  • Mohan
  • nitroflow

    Firefox has had searching on the address bar before chrome even existed, has had private browsing since version 3.1 and it has fullscreen mode since 3.0(before chrome launched it’s first beta).

    As for the beta of firefox 4, the interface is inspired on Opera(general appearance and layout) with some elements of chrome(pin as app) and some elements of its own(tab groups, also pin as app works in conjunction with tab groups. Also one can say that chrome’s interface is heavily inspired on opera

  • nitroflow

    @ricky I see no orange button in firefox 4 on my linux desktop :)

  • Joe

    um, i’m running firefox 3.5, and it has "start private browsing"….. go to tools menu, and it’s been there for awhile.

    um, you can move tabs anywhere in firefox 3.5. grab a tab, see the little blue arrow, move the tab where you want it. been there for awhile

    um, full screen browsing has been in firefox for ever also. just press F11 in any version of firefox.

    where have you been?

  • nic

    All in one bar: like others have mentioned it has
    been in firefox for some time now.
    The privet browsing mode was started by safari first.
    Firefox had both privet browsing and fullscreen mode before ff4 and you can drag and drop tabs in firefox too.
    A task manager and a speed dial(like opera) would be nice if they came in as default but I’m sure there’s and addon for that ;)

  • turtaf

    chrome was strongly inspired by firefox and opera, O dpn’t see why this can be the other way around…
    you can right now customize firefox to be almost identical to chrome, thanks to the plugins.
    I don’t see this big issue
    Firefox is and will be my browser of choice, btw chrome is somehow awesome and it’s a good thing that there is more choice, as it brings a faster growth and development in the browsers and internet world

  • jmite

    Private browsing mode has been around in firefox since version 3. That’s way old news.

  • Ayesha .A

    well thats very true, but it was rather hyped when chrome came in. For me i started private browsing in chrome. And it was not so popular with firefox.. So for most of readers too, today, private browsing is a credit of chrome!

  • Ayesha .A

    the only problem i had in chrome earlier was it crashed alot for me. i switched to firefox but i really missed the search bar+addressbar as in chrome. it dint work for me. :S
    and it still doesnt on firefox 3.6

  • Ayesha .A

    dear nitro, actually i made this comparison on behalf of chrome and firefox because they are thought of as real rivals! :)

    and about private browsing:
    well thats very true, but it was rather hyped when chrome came in. For me i started private browsing in chrome. And it was not so popular with firefox.. So for most of readers too, today, private browsing is a credit of chrome!

  • Ayesha .A

    No pleaseee!!! u cant say that grabbing and dropping thing!! its too flexible in chrome! really! try that ul feel the difference! its not just dragging and dropping, its actually playing! :)

    fullscreen doesnot work for me on firefox 3.6…

  • Ayesha .A

    yes indeed, i like the many options now! it wasnt long that we just had IE..

  • Ayesha .A

    i actually am biased to google, probably thats so apparent! :)

  • dyna

    I don’t care about playing with tabs, i just care about working with them, and firefox ones work fine…

    Misinformed article all the way…nice try on spinning the comments, but it won’t work…

  • Joe

    so because google spins private browsing better they invented it???

    and because you were not using private browsing until chrome enlightened you, doesn’t mean the rest of the world wasn’t

    and there must be something wrong with your computer if all these well known long time firefox functions won’t work on it

  • Joe

    the nice thing about being late to the show like chrome, is that you can cherry pick all the great functions from all the other browsers, include them in yours, and spin them like you invented it. then all the gullible misinformed people think your awesome

  • Joe

    you can’t say that firefox does not already have functionality with tabs because you can’t "play" with them. if you can move tabs around drag them off into a new window, move tabs around into new order, ect, ect… the function is there. great that chrome can take a function "play" it up and people think they invented it.

  • http://enteryoursiteURL... spotke

    No, it’s inspired by Opera

  • Bronco

    man what?

    It appears like the author has never used another browser before Chrome. Well, maybe IE6.

    Poor article.

  • Spiron

    Thats because Firefox is the only major internet browser that DOESN’T standardize its interface across all the different platforms it supports. Opera and Chrome do, and have for a while, but Firefox still looks ugly, comparative to other browsers, in Linux. Even 4.0

  • CMD

    Full screen browsing has been available in Firefox for years and the Awesome Bar has been able to search for a long time.

  • Nicolas

    3 features that you think are inspired by Chrome or not available in Firefox were in fact in Firefox even before Chrome birth :
    – Full Screen browsing (this one I think exist even in IE6)
    – Private browsing.
    – Flexibility with Tabs: You can do move tab with Drag & Drop. Try again.

  • bumpy

    What does "deem at" mean?

  • Jazz

    Well i think the writer is correct about the flexibility factor. its more intuitive…we cant see such graphics in firefox.

  • Ayesha .A
  • Ayesha .A

    nooo please!!! wasnt that!

    chrome has overcome much of firefox problems!

  • Ayesha .A

    it can be other way. you ca release ur produc later and deal with all the problems in the earlier released softwares!

  • muki

    the only browser that supports fullsreen seems to be opera (chrome or firefox) are leaving some things turned on, like scrollers, which is ugly.

  • SEO services

    Not fully, but to some extent it should resemble chrome!!..

  • Bob

    Are you kidding me? Mozilla has had the idea for Tabs on Top way before Chrome was launched.

  • Harrier

    I have been a user of FF since it first came out, but not satisfied with the speed of recent releases or the quality. I have no idea what is going on, but the delays of its current release and inability to complete has been a very painful as I see the other browsers blow it away in terms of performance. This is so bad that many of its most loyal users left for Chrome that is without question a better browser.

    I am seriously doubting if FF has the ability make formal releases anymore that are of any consequence. I understand the 12 beta is released, but lets face it, this is something that keeps finding new reasons after new reasons for getting delayed as other browser don’t seem to have the same problems. God knows what is going on with FF.

    There comes a time when you have to either prove yourself of get out of the way to let others pass. If FF4 is not released B4 3/14/2011 (when IE9 is supposed to be released), I will blow away FF3 and move it to Chrome and keep it there for a year at least.

    I know the FF4 guys have been working hard, but I’m tired using an inferior browser and hearing excuses when I don’t have to.

  • imd

    Have you even used Firefox 3.6? It had a lot of these features, and of the ones it didn’t, not all of them were first in Chrome. Of course Chrome influenced it; Google has some really good ideas, but don’t give it *all* the credit.

    All in one bar: You could always search from the address bar, all the way back to the first version if I recall (I started using it when it was Phoenix 0.3). What Chrome has that Firefox still doesn’t is the ability to search using any of your search plugins in the address bar.

    Private browsing: 3.6 had it. Safari was the first browser to do this, not Chrome.

    App tab: yeah, they have this because Chrome does, but it’s been available as a Firefox plugin for years.

    Fullscreen: Are you kidding me? Even IE 6 has fullscreen browsing.

    Flexibility with tabs: 3.6 let you drag and drop tabs between windows. What do you mean 4 doesn’t have it?

    Task manager: legit. Firefox doesn’t have this and Chrome does.

    New window: Opera did it first, it’s called "Speed Dial" over there.

    I guess I can’t expect more from such an obviously shallow review, but I would have liked your to list Firefox’s new unique features, like Panorama (tab groups).

    And good job trying to justify giving Chrome all the credit in the comments, instead of manning up to your mistakes.

  • ValentineJosefa24

    That is cool that people can get the credit loans moreover, it opens completely new possibilities.

  • Hubert Park

    I don’t understand this article. I am using Firefox 9. Why is this article about Firefox 4 beta which was so many versions, years ago?