Mozilla experiments with a combined Firefox address and search field

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Mozilla runs an experiment currently in which some of the participating Firefox users see a unified address bar and search bar in the browser.

Of all the major browsers available for the Windows operating system, Mozilla Firefox is the only one that is offering an address bar and a search bar to its users by default.

Firefox users can customize the browser directly and through the use of add-ons to remove the search bar and use the address bar exclusively for searches and direct access to Internet resources.

Mozilla started to work on a unified address bar back in mid-2015. Back then, only prototypes and ideas were provided, and mockups showed how a unified address bar could deliver search and other suggestions at the same time.

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Firefox unified search experiment

So-called Telemetry Experiments are used by Mozilla to test new features or changes in the Firefox web browser.

They are time-limited trials basically that are enabled for a select group of Firefox users.

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This particular experiment is enabled for 10% of all Firefox Beta users and runs until February 24.

The experiment is limited to a maximum of 14 days for individual users though, and not all of the users who have been selected to take part in the experiment see the change as some are in the control group instead.

Firefox Beta users who have been selected for the experiment will notice a new combined address and search bar in the browser if they are not in the control group.

This does not mean that the individual search bar is gone though, as it is still there and can be dragged back to its original location if that is desired.

This is done with a click on the main menu button and the selection of customize from the context menu. All that is left to do then is to drag the search bar to its original location again to get it back. Another option is to wait for the experiment to run its course, as things will be reverted to normal afterwards.

The unified search bar experiment is being tested right now, but that does not necessarily mean that Mozilla will implement it in the future. It is likely that the telemetry data will play a role in determining whether to go ahead with the implementation for all Firefox users or not. (via Sören Hentzschel)


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Mozilla experiments with a combined Firefox address and search field


Mozilla runs a Firefox Beta experiment currently in which participating users see a unified address bar in the browser instead of a separate search and address bar.


Martin Brinkmann


Ghacks Technology News


About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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