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Mozilla plans four new Firefox Test Pilot Experiments

Mozilla plans to run four new Test Pilot experiments for the Firefox web browser in the coming two quarters.

Test Pilot is a relatively new system that Mozilla uses to test ideas and features, and to gather telemetry data about those features to determine whether to add these features natively to the Firefox web browser.

Not all experiments land in the Firefox browser, but we have seen Mozilla add experiments such as Containers, or Page Shot to the Firefox browser already.

The Test Pilot system is a successful addition to the Firefox development process. It gives Mozilla options to test new features, and users options to give feedback about those features to Mozilla.

Mozilla will launch four new experiments in the coming two quarters. The Test Pilot experiment Lockbox will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2017, the experiments Tabsplit, ThemesRfun and Fox in the first quarter of 2018. Note that this is subject to change and not carved in stone.

Here is a quick overview of what we know so far about the experiments:

Lockbox for Firefox

lockbox firefox

Lockbox for Firefox is a work-in-progress extension for Firefox to improve upon Firefox’s built-in password management.

Lockbox is a password manager with master password support for Firefox. Firefox’s built-in password manager is pretty basic (as are the password managers built-in to other browsers such as Google Chrome). You can store passwords, and have them auto-filled on websites, and protect the database with a master password.

While we do know a bit about Lockbox, we don’t know anything about the three Test Pilot experiments that Mozilla plans to launch in the first quarter of 2018 except for their names.

Here is what I think these could be about:

  • Tabsplit — Could either be a new feature to split tabs in the browser, e.g. move tabs to a new browser window, or display multiple websites in a single tab similar to how Vivaldi offers this functionality already and Firefox’s own Tab Split extensions.
  • ThemesRfun — Something with themes. Not clear what it is. Could be something that extends Firefox’s theme capabilities (which are pretty basic after complete themes are dropped in Firefox 57).
  • Foxy — This appears to be a voice related add-on, maybe something that lets you control some of Firefox’s functionality by voice?

Now You: Which experiments would you like to see?

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