[Review] The New “Australis” UI of Mozilla Firefox Web Browser

I've been using Mozilla Firefox as my primary web browser since long time and being a Firefox user, I was waiting eagerly for the "Australis" UI. Long time ago Mozilla announced about Australis UI for Firefox.

But due to performance issues and some other problems, the Australis UI was not implemented in stable or Nightly channels of Firefox. It was only available in UX builds.

But now Mozilla has released the new Australis UI in latest Nightly build of Firefox and it'll be available in Firefox stable version 29 in beginning of 2014.

Since I use Nightly build of Firefox, I'm enjoying the new Australis UI. To be honest, I'm loving the new interface. Its minimal, simple and sleek.


There are many major changes in the new Australis UI. Some of them are as following:

  • The orange Firefox button from top-left corner of titlebar has gone
  • Now menus are available in a new "Customize and Control" button present at the end of toolbar
  • The look of Firefox menus have been changed completely
  • Options to enable/disable toolbar and add-on bar have been removed
  • New curved tabs
  • New toolbar customization mode


I think it'll take some time for getting used to these new changes and features but overall I like the new Australis UI of Firefox.

What's your opinion? Do you like the new interface? Feel free to share your comment...

Also Check:

[Tip] Get Classic Theme and Features Back in Mozilla Firefox

[Tip] Revealing Hidden Secret "Unicorn" Easter Egg in Mozilla Firefox


Please share this article: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Reddit | Tell a friend

Posted in: Mozilla Firefox

What's next: AskVG Apps | AskVG Gallery | Popular articles | Follow us | Tip us

Other similar articles that may interest you


  • But it looks just like Chrome?! :(
    I'm a long time Firefox user too but if you ask me I'd rather have Mozilla develop their own unique UI rather than coming up with modified versions of Opera and Chrome UIs..

  • Damn straight. If I wanted Chrome, I'd use Chrome. Mozilla doesn't seem to give a damn about listening to what their users want; like Microsoft, it's their way or the highway. (It's also why I never upgraded Thunderbird past 10.2: I can't stand the forced UI changes.) Could this finally be what causes someone to fork Firefox into a separate browser, one where the wants and needs of its users (rather than the whims of its developers) are listened to?

  • It's always funny to see people complaining about free software. Never gets old.

  • The death of a beautiful browser...
    If it continue like this, we will have only versions of Chrome from different companies. I believe that Google won the war because all browses will now look like Chrome.

    Time to go to Pale Moon, Waterfox or any other Firefox based browser.

  • like this new interface (Firefox still inside), but i miss the small icons option on customize. To survive, changes must to exist. (sorry i'm speak spanish, not english)

  • This page is worth a read:

    Intro to Australis

    1. Detail and beauty
    2. Streamlining and simplification
    3. Easy Customization

    "... there’s more to come (interactive mockup!)"

  • I don’t say that I don’t like the new UI, but it’s really strange that now Chrome, Firefox and Opera looks very similar to each other O.O.

    Not everyone likes to be forced to use something they don’t want to. For example, Google+...

  • Company had plans to implement it in version 19 or 20....

  • For Those Who Want Add-on Bar And small icons with movable back/forward buttons please download this add-on:


    Note:It's Experimental Addon but so far i have not encounter Any issues/Bugs

  • One word - Disappointed :( ...just my personal honest opinion.

    I am a long time Firefox user + fan, been using it since v2 or v3 i guess & never had a single bit of a problem ever! Using 25+ extensions in FF currently with Pale Moon as secondary & Chrome as third browser.

    This upcoming change really makes me sad. Why on earth is Firefox playing cat & mouse game with Chrome with each & every build? Firefox had its own essence & unique features & looks which the users really loved it for, but over the past FF has made irrelevant changes to its UI just to make it look "minimal" like Chrome (removing status/add-on bar, menu bar, domain highlighting, trimming urls, etc) Firefox was the king of browsers few years back, now the over-hyped Chrome has just overtook it :/

    Will surely give v28 a try or stick with v27 stable or rather use Pale Moon!
    Interestingly, Pale Moon developer is having second thoughts about following Firefox's path in its upcoming builds ..they are going separate ways, hope its true!

    There are themes like 'Australis' & 'FXChrome' available to make your Firefox to look like Chrome ..use them instead :)

  • @zydrius32, Chrome and Opera are both based on Chromium, which is why they look alike. It also wouldn't be too bad if Firefox gave users an option over what UI to use.

  • The era of customizable interfaces is gone. First Opera and now Firefox. I applaud Google for completely revolutionising the way we browse the internet, but that doesn't mean each and every popular browser has to follow on its footsteps. Firefox has a good interface and they could have improved it in many ways without copying chrome.
    I'm only wondering how long Gecko's gonna last before they decide to move to chromium too

  • I hate Australis - if I wanted Chrome, I'd be using Chrome. Australis takes away much of the flexibility and customization that we power users need. Fortunately, at least one developer offers a partial solution to reverse many of the changes. addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/

  • Argh, those Chrome-shaped tabs are a real eyesore!

  • @Iron84
    "It's always funny to see people complaining about free software. Never gets old."

    So in accord with this retarded logic of yours, if you happen to go to a restaurant with your family and you're told that the day's special is a free dish of 'Tartare Aller-retour' made of rotten eggs and rancid meat. I'll bet you'd immediately order it for you entire family without even questioning the quality of the food because, people aren’t allowed to complain about anything that is free, right? This never gets old either. Listen son, just grow up, complete your schooling, graduate and then perhaps you’ll learn/realise that nothing, I repeat “NOTHING” ever is actually “FREE”. Do you really think that Firefox is free, and that a bunch of amateur devs just get together in a garage and does all the dev work in their spare time?
    Here read this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Corporation
    Highlight: “In 2006 the Mozilla Corporation generated 66.8 million dollars in revenue and 19.8 million in expenses, with 85% of that revenue coming from Google for "assigning [Google] as the browser's default search engine, and for click-throughs on ads placed on the ensuing search results pages.”

  • Now I know why I started using Chrome a long time ago.
    I knew Firefox would eventually catch up!

  • I like everything but the rounded tabs. Since I know there will be extensions and userstyles to fix that: can't wait for Australis!

  • This interface somewhat resembles of Chrome's interface.

  • Hopefully this won't happen to Ice Weasel (the Debian version of FF).

    I just don't understand why they want to imitate Chrome? There is nothing unique about copying the style of "the other guy".

    (How many of you thought, after seeing Vista for the first time, "hmm...that looks like a Mac.")

  • @ Sumit - good artist copy but great artist steal.. ha ha - firefox is a great browser ;-)

  • Currently using Nightly and love it. Sure it looks a little like Chrome, but I for one do not care. Personas look great, the speed is good, and the minimal design in general is refreshing. I especially like the new page zoom controls and the ability to add "addons" button to navigation bar.

  • Watched the video link given by @NZero(Thanks). And my thoughts.... I Love the 'The New “Australis” UI of Mozilla Firefox Web Browser'. I'm gonna sure try it. "Release date" of the final version?

  • The UI can be even more compact:
    Well, I always remove the google textbox since the url-textbox searches as well (like google chrome)
    And this is an example situation: let's say you've opened 3 tabs Wikipedia; askvg.com; mozilla.org;
    you'll see just 1 toolbar:
    [Wikipedia, the free...] [Review The New "australis"...] [Fast and easy webbrowser...] [+] [home] [etc.]
    And if you hover the first tab it will get a bit wider and turn into a textbox, so that you don't need a seperate navigation bar.
    [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.html] [Review The New "a...] [Fast and easy web...] [+] [home] [downloads] [etc.]
    ^^wondering if this idea would be implemented

  • I fiddled around for a some hours getting used to all of this forced upgrade.

    I did not... get used to this... i could not.

    My setup involves two OS, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 x64 both at home and at the office. I've been using Firefox 32 and Nightly x64 for years now. Both installed parallel, with several addons. Upgrades for the Nightly x64 versions came in like every day and worked without any problems... i could either start the x32 or the x64 browser. There never was any noticeable wrong function except for some time with the tabmix addon. But this has been resolved rather quickly.

    I do have some customisations with the back- forward, reload, printing, bookmarks, history, search icons on the toolbar. But they are lost after restarting the browser. I also use the addonbar to switch proxies and clear the cache and get some other information while surfing. This has now gone as well... i had to change my proxy in the menu instead of a mouse click in the addon bar.

    In Firefox x32 with this updated setup and parallel installation of the x64 Nightly version, the back.- forward- reload, download and activity icons have disappeared altogether though the URL bar takes up the whole wide of the window.
    The Tabbar is now unmovable on top of almost everything while i like it to be just above the page i read

    As i've said, i tried my best to get used to all of this but i had to give up... my usual surfing experience was being a mess...

    I deinstalled all mozilla browsers on all four computers, installed some earlier versions from a couple days earlier and disabled all update functions.

    Glad i did a backup with mozbackup some days ago just by accident, otherwise i would have kinda lost everything in there...

    I now use the same setup as always, just not the new GUI... i do not like it at all.

    i'm glad that i'm out of it again... i will wait for better things to come and there is still Seamonkey as a good solution.

    Kind regards

  • This is out of topic but recently Chromium 33 started to force Instant Extended API, also known as revamped New Tab Page, Google removed the option to disable this feature.

    I think this lands to stable version of Chrome also sooner or later.

  • I love the orange Firefox button from top-left corner of titlebar and since it has gone BOO!!! :( Such a cool idea in my opinion!!!!

  • The tab looks bad with dark window color, the text are hard to read. Is there any option to change tab text color?

  • Looks lik chrome. But having the tab go clear when you switch to another one is from Mozilla Thunderbird. Otherwise, COMPLETE GOOGLE CHROME/CHROMIUM RIP OFF!

  • Australis, the design, the concept behind it, is one of the reasons I switched to 'Pale Moon' browser.
    Australis is fine for newcomers, but for those who have appreciated the flexibility of Firefox for years, the time has come to surrender or to move on. I've moved on to 'Pale Moon' and have as such switched to restored and enhanced browsing pleasure.

  • Why FireFox? Why go with the exact same interface? What happend to all the nice complete themes? I love using FireFox but I want some difference in browsers, otherwise I'll stick with Internet Explorer because that at least has a different interface.

  • I love it! Elegant, minimalistic without being uncomfortable. 64 bits Nightly is humming along nicely. Being a ex-chrome convert makes it very comfortable, BTW people whining about Firefox copying Chrome should have done their homework a little better. Google contracted Firefox developers in 2008 to work on Chrome. Finally they started to use it on their own browser.

  • @ WiseGuy

    I agree, I also prefer minimalism over cluttered GUI, cluttered GUI makes me crazy when minimalism feels very confortable, that's why I like Chrome, but seeing Firefox using some GUI elements taken from Chrome is only a nice move by Mozilla Team.

    Firefox is stressing a plugin free browser which is very good thing and now they started to stress minimalism, what's wrong with that? I think that's one step to right direction yet again.

    Chromium Team also changed its GUI to Aura, so it fits to ChromeOS GUI, and I don't mind at all.

    I do hope that someday Microsoft wakes up and changes their dangerous Silverlight plugin to something else plugin free, I think that will never happen though because Microsoft doesn't like development.

  • i wish they would just make it straight up customizable so no one complains about the appearance or whatever. i agree that minimal is good but everything gets old after a while. but i'll use it anyway regardless. i have been a firefox/cyberfox user since forever

  • WHY in the world would Firefox imitate Chrome. This has been going on for a while now. I assume it's because most of their income comes from Google. What's next, them using the Chrome engine to base it on, and losing all customization completely? Or being swallowed like Opera was? Opera had a perfectly good engine, and they replaced it with Chromes.
    I'm NOT a fan of NO MENUS. Chrome is nearly useless to me because of this. I've complained to no avail to the Chrome developers to put a typical menu on the damn thing, AND to put tabs on the bottom, like Firefox. Now, Firefox is going to BE Chrome? No thank you. I guess I'll have to go back to using an old version that worked properly, (such as 3.6, before the rapid release versions.)

  • Is it possible to bring back window transparency somehow?

  • this new look offends me. is there any way I can disable it?

  • VG

    ^^ Try following:


  • "Firefox is stressing a plugin free browser which is very good thing and now they started to stress minimalism, what's wrong with that?"
    It's wrong because *I* do not like "minimalism" in my browser! There's *no* way this will a less "plugin free" browser because it takes many plugins to make Firefox *look* like it is supposed to look and *work* like it's supposed to work! FF used to be all about "choice" and now the choice is Chrome or a lame clone of Chrome going by the name of FF. If I wanted Chrome I'd use Chrome. I do *not* want *my* copy of FF to look like Chrome. The developers need to return choice or I, like many others, will be forced to one of the forked versions.

  • @Iron84

    Sunlight is free. Are you telling me youve never complained about it being too bright or hot outside? And the cancer it gives you, hey, thats free too!

    And wow, you know what else is free? These comments! So why are you complaining about them? Youre getting them for free!

  • I dislike this change. Why is it looking more and more like Chrome? Firefox had the orange menu icon on the left and that was fine. Why is there a need to copy Chrome's menu button on the right?

    OK, that is superficial and not a big deal but some changes have made Firefox less intuitive, such as moving the bookmark star that was present in the address bar into the bookmarks bar. It was better in the address bar.

    Now that tabs are only separated by a fading gray line and also don't resemble tabs any longer, it makes it harder to distinguish between tabs. In fact you can barely see the line in the default theme.

  • does Australis UI similar to maxthon's UI? it looks the same

  • I HATE it. Its minimal, simple and sleek. = Those are all reasons to hate it.

    I am a power user - I want every possible option on my screen with text menus - nothing hidden - nothing simple.

    HATE HATE HATE it- will not use it - EVER - under any circumstances -

    If I am trapped without transportation and this browser is my only means of getting home - I will WALK.

  • For all the haters :
    - This destroys customization capabilities :

    - Complete themes are gone
    No they are not, just visit the themes page and look for the banner that says "Looking for more personalization ?"

    - Looks like Chrome
    What looks like Chrome ? Just the menu icon. The menu itself isn't even the same as chrome.
    The tab shape in australis is curved not like Chrome.

  • People missing the Customize button. People missing the Customize button everywhere.

    Really guys it's right there at the end of the new menu, and you can enable again older text menus and place all stuff where you like it.

    Stop crying about loss of choice because there is none. It's a reskin, of course your custom options are gone.

    I'd have to say that having a minimalist UI by default is a better choice. Because most users don't need half their screen covered with buttons and stuff.
    For everyone else... Customize button.

  • Why can't the geeks who make major changes like this do it the other way around? I'm sure some will welcome the new look, but for me it's just caused me over an hour of frustration as I can't even use the damned browser, it looks so different! I have to fire up another PC running the older version just to do a web search to find out how to restore Firefox so that it looks as feels the way it should.

    I have absolutely no problem with change, I may well undo some of the changes when I have time and see if there are any improvements. However, this morning I just wanted to check something out quickly before heading out to work, only to find that Firefox was updating and then had such a different interface that I simply couldn't use it.

    This is crazy, and very frustrating. I understand the need for security updates and the rest, but why the heck can't they keep the look and function the same when it first fires up after an update and give us the choice as to whether we want to try out some of the new changes?

    Microsoft did this with Office 2007, I bought it to replace Office 2003 and found I couldn't find out how to do even simple stuff, like set up page formats. After an hour of frustration I uninstalled it and reinstalled Office 2003 (no point in trying to argue with Microsoft). All told that fiasco wasted me three or four hours of working time.

    I can understand the geeks here saying us users should just accept what's dictated, but all I want to do is use my PC for the stuff I do. I don't want to have to mess around reconfiguring stuiff, using another PC to find out how to fix stuff that's been changed behind my back, or delve into the depths of various bits of technical stuff to try and get things back to the way I work efficiently. I just don't have time to mess around putting this stuff right after it's been changed.

    From now on I'm going to try and turn all updates off. Yes, I know this is a risk, but if I can't trust Mozilla to give me a free choice on whether to try a completely new interface, then it's a risk I'm just going to have to take. I do not want a repeat of today's frustrating experience, having to load other bits of bodge software to get Firefox to work more or less as I'm used to.

  • Well, it's finally been forced upon me due to a Firefox update, and I think it's utterly hideous. To go back to what many have said: If I wanted my browser to look and work like Chrome, I'd use Chrome. I don't for a good reason - I preferred how Firefox worked. I never have liked the Chrome interface, and I'm not about to start now.

    The new menu of random square icons looks awful and devoid of organisation. The rounded tabs are positively hideous, not to mention taking up a lot more of the screen. I often use Firefox with a *lot* of tabs open and the "Custom Tab Width" extension to do away with the nasty horizontal scrolling. With Australis, the tab bar now looks like an abomination when you combine small tabs with rounded edges.

    Lastly, where the hell has my add-on bar from the bottom gone?

    Must admit that the "Classic Theme Restorer" add-on has restored a fair degree of usability to Firefox, but it's a bit clunky in places and doesn't play 100% nicely with my Custom Tab Width add-on.

    Biggest gripe I've got with Australis is the amount of forced change that you CANNOT get out of. Why isn't there an option to restore the add-on bar if I want to? Why can't I turn off the rounded tabs and go back to square ones if I prefer that? Why do I have to resort to 3rd party add-ons to get around this? Firefox 29 and Australis is NOT about customisability. It's about forcing a Marmite interface onto people and giving a giant middle-finger to those who don't like it. Deeply, deeply disappointing Mozilla. For the first time since Firefox 1, I am SERIOUSLY considering ditching Firefox and trying out something else like Pale Moon.

  • If i wanted to use chrome like ui, i would use chrome but i liked previous ui of firefox and this new one is just silly. Now i have no reason to use firefox because ui is kinda same but chrome has better multicore support and most my laptops are C2D;s. Ofc only bad thing atm at chrome is that adblock does not for some reason block Facebook apps at some sites even if i add them to block list like in Firefox.

  • It's like Firefox once gave me a damn good (free) car, and they took it back overnight while I was sleeping. So they serviced it, they putted a new, more powerful engine in it, and gave it back to me.
    Now the problem: I loved driving my previous version 28 Firefox "car", and I painstakingly customized it to my needs and to my optical pleasure over the years. So how dare FF take away my car, changing the doorknobs, replacing the stick shift with some fancy switches, and repaint the whole car in a different color? -and then still expect that I would be overwhelmed with thankfulness? If they would have been content to put a new engine under the hood, and leave everything else "as is", I'd been happy about it. Or at least, give me the chance to keep my customized look!!!!
    A lot of addons don't work anymore in version 29. Worse, some buttons are gone altogether, or relocated, etc.. I also tried to get back the version 28 look, with some recommended addons, didn't work, OK, I could "learn" to find all that stuff again, but I just won't. I'm royally pissed about it, and since many people spoke about the "Pale Moon" browser, I gave it a try. Bingo! not only it's a twin of FF28 (look-wise), but they also offer a x64 version, which FF still hasn't. All previous FF addons work in Pale Moon. In fact, FF became now my secondary browser (after I reversed the upgrade to version 29, a link to do that is on Mozilla page).
    Mozilla, not everyone's so happy about the changes you imposed, and tried to force upon us!

  • I've seen this before...

    Ah, yes. Firefox has Windows 8'd itself

  • I hate this new firefox. I use Firefox since the beginning (mozilla), and before at the netscape days... and even before with the mosaic!
    And I will tell you: free or paid, this was the MOST DISRESPECTFUL change in a open source software since the ENIAC!
    Ten years from now people will use this new version of firefox to designate BAD software, the the reason why firefox disappeared: they disrespected the consumer.
    By the way, if one day I cross with any firefox developer, I will surely punch him/her in the face!

  • Hate it...
    It waste a huge huge ammount of space for REALLY NO REASON.
    It might have been a good theme five years ago, but now it's too late and too few.

    I'm expecially pissed because the goddam navbar now occupies 30% of my netbook screen and there is no more "use small buttons" option.
    "use small buttons" option.
    "use small buttons" option.
    "use small buttons" option.
    "use small buttons" option.

    UI is wasted space but it seems that mozilla don't quite get it.

    Plus mozilla decided to adopt DRM restrictions in the newer version of Firefox.

    Super PISSED.
    Immediately switching to Chromium. Sorry mozilla, i hate to use the byproduct of google instead of your browser, but you leave me no choice.

  • Since Firefox is now a Chrome Clone: I quit using it.

    If I wanted Chrome I'd download it ... but Firefox has just admitted they desperately want to be a Chrome wannabe: so people will just download Chrome instead of Firefox. Firefox LOST it's niche of customization: and its market share is plunging fast since it no longer allows customization!

    I Totally HATE the way the Firefox Australis UI takes away ALL the features that made me start using Firefox 2 preferentially over other browsers so many many years ago. Since I have no REAL Choice in UI layout anymore: I have no use for Firefox either.

    I'm going to quit using SeaMonkey 2.26.1 - the last good browser Mozilla makes - just as SOON as they force the ridiculous ugly useless Australis UI onto IT ... the day after!!!!!

    As an IT guy I helped Install Firefox on HUNDREDS of my friends and clients computers over the period of a decade: NOW I'm going to REPLACE All of them one-by-one with Safari, in the next few months, since Firefox is quickly becoming unusable. I shall never recommend Firefox to ANY client, or friend, ever again. And, when you DO realize how badly you've messed up your market share - by insisting on having it YOUR way - don't expect ANY of us to return: you've destroyed our trust (It took a long LONG time to build that: and you wiped it out in 3 months!).

    I can say with confidence that this is Mozilla's "New Coke" - OH So beloved by focus groups and surveys and 'taste tests' against Google's "Pepsi" browser! Ha-ha-ha!!!!! A marketing FLOP!!! You know better than we do what we want, huh?

    But I have no use for Firefox anymore ... or the horse it rode in on!

  • Its clear now.... Firefox has been ringing up that version number so that it "competes" with Chrome's insane version number and now they've plum copied the UI. Soon we'll hear that Chrome and Firefox will merge........ Maybe ChromeFox?

    I would rate it a negative 10.

  • its great seeing all these comments and gripes. i stopped updating ff at 16 and have been very pleased with it for a long time. its customized perfectly for my wishes and works fast and never a freeze or problem. i am on it 8+ hours a day, surfing downloading and learning....plenty fast enough, faster than i can think..hahah..so good luck to all and remember, you are the one that chooses the version, not them.

  • I was happy with os-bundled firefox 3.6, I moved to firefox 28 recently to overcome some site complying on old browsers and was still happy ... accidentally I hit OK on the auto-update and got this awful australis. I couldn't stay one hour on it, so I reverted back to 28 then studied alternatives.

    After trying FF29 with classic theme restorer and palemoon ... I moved to palemoon.
    Adieu firefox !

  • Yup.... agree with all the previous sentiment. FF have lost the plot. I have used FF since it began, but no more. I just can't. No amount of addons or hacking can undo the damage they've done.

    I have moved to Pale Moon on all my machines and devices, and will be helping friends, family and clients to do the same.

  • hi.......I like it today Firefox 34 good faster

Leave a Comment