What’s new in Firefox 3.1?

Mozilla’s Firefox team is busy readying the Firefox 3.1 for final release by releasing public beta versions. We have seen Firefox 3.1 beta 1 hit the streets and 3.1 beta 2 are already available in the nightly builds.

If you are wondering about the new features to be available, here they are:

  • New tab-switching that shows tab previews
  • Drag a tab to a new window
  • Web standards improvement in Gecko layout engine
  • Added support for CSS 2.1 & CSS 3 properties such as @font-face
  • Improved control over Awesome Bar – you can use special characters to restrict search
  • Support for new web formats such as <video> and <audio> elements and the W3C Geolocation API – did you read my Geode review?
  • Super-fast TraceMonkey – the new javascript engine (not enabled by default)

If you are a web developer, you can see the details of these new features at Mozilla’s Web Tech blog.

How to enable TraceMonkey

TraceMonkey is not enabled by default in Firefox 3.1 beta 1 but you can easily enable it in about:config.

  1. Open about:config by typing that in the location bar
  2. Set javascript.options.jit.content to true

Some of the features set to be included in the final release of Firefox 3.1 like Smart Session Restore, Private browsing (yea, that’s the one with the overused term – porn mode), etc aren’t here yet in the beta versions.

Which of these features get you excited?

Download Firefox 3.1 beta1

Update: 03/13/09 – Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 is available for download now!

Explore Tags: ,

13 Responses to “What’s new in Firefox 3.1?”

  1. Marco White October 17, 2008 at 7:22 am #


    Oh God….Please tell me its not another upgade.

    Everytime Firefox changes something my computer throws a wobbly. The last upgrade caused two off my software programs to stop working.

    Is it just me or have other people had the same problems?

    All the best,


    Marco Whites last blog post..Marco’s Great British Feast – Learn To Cook|Culinary School

  2. Aaron@HR Software Online October 17, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    I’ve had no problems with firefox upgrades at all. I’ll have to try our this tracemonkey and see whats the big fuss is about.

    Aarons last blog post..Political Discussions in the Workplace – Danger Zone

  3. Loren October 18, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    I also do not have any problems at all. Maybe you need to update the software. It’s a long shot, but that might be the issue.

    Lorens last blog post..Where To Grab Discount Women’s Shoes

  4. Jon October 19, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    I’ve had no problems with minor FF upgrades, but I haven’t gone for version 3 yet because a lot of the extensions/plugins I use daily are not ready for FF3

    Jons last blog post..Salon Marketing – How to get free publicity

  5. Madhur Kapoor October 19, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    Features look nice. I will wait for the final version before upgrading

    Madhur Kapoors last blog post..Top 5 Virtual Desktop Managers To Help Increase Productivity

  6. Hector October 27, 2008 at 1:46 am #

    Good news about 3.1 final version, I always prefer for stable version release before I try some beta version, have some bad experiences on the past…. Firefox 3.1? I’m ready !

    Hectors last blog post..The Popularity Of Online Dating

  7. Kevin@Great Wall of China Facts October 30, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    I am glad they are making updates. It seems they are on top of things!

  8. game-girl November 4, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    Will you’re add back the new tab button ar add an option that let’s you choice where you want the new tab button (address bar or as old-default navigation bar). I don’t like it in the address bar. Please, if new tab button will be in the address bar forever I will like Firefox less, but I will still use it. 🙂

    game-girls last blog post..Прохождение игры Brothers in Arms Hells Highway

  9. idl3mind March 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    I like everything I’ve seen so far. I’m running beta3, not beta1.

  10. Follow Us Follow You November 9, 2011 at 3:40 am #

    I’m not a big fan of firefox but with these new look. I may have to switch to fire fox from google chrome


  11. Honeymoons Packages November 11, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    i like new firefox version


  1. Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 is Available for Download | ShanKri-la - December 11, 2008

    […] looked at what Firefox 3.1 new features in an earlier post.. Again, the Firefox 3.1 beta 2 is not for mainstream use and mostly for […]

  2. How to Install and Configure the Latest Firefox 3.1 Beta? | ShanKri-la - March 13, 2009

    […] wrote about the Firefox 3.1 new features some time back and this beta adds more features to that […]