The latest release of the Firefox 4 beta has arrived and among the handful of new features introduced this round is the addition of “App Tabs.” These favicon-sized tabs let you pin your most frequently used programs to the top-left side of your tab bar. In an introductory video, Mozilla suggests tabs for email, calendar, IM and streaming music – you know, Web applications.
But this new feature isn’t a copycat of competing browser Google Chrome’s forthcoming Web App support and accompanying Web App Store, sadly. It’s a copycat of Chrome’s simple “pin tab” option instead.
App Tabs are Just “Pinned Tabs” – No “Web Apps” Here
In Firefox, the ability to “pin tabs” – that is, make them into smaller tabs represented only by a favicon – has long been possible through the addition of a Firefox add-on. In Firefox 4 Beta 2, it’s now a native feature. And while, yes, this is progress, it’s also a somewhat disappointing reminder of how far Firefox has fallen behind Google Chrome, which has always had the “pin tab” feature in place, but shrank it down to favicon size back in October of 2009.
Google has long since moved on from basic pinned tabs and plans now for a built-in Web Application Store which will feature apps like those from Google itself (Gmail, Calendar, Docs) as well as choice selections from across the Web (Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, etc.). The store is open to all developers and will feature both free and paid applications. Leer más “Firefox 4 Beta 2 Introduces Web Apps…Err… App Tabs”