Mozilla's head of user experience for its Labs unit, Aza Raskin, on Friday unveiled a new project called "Tab Candy" that promises to dramatically change the way users manage open browser tabs.
Tab Candy is not an extension, but a new feature that Raskin and team plan to build into a future version of the Firefox browser. In essence, it creates a desktop-like workspace for users to separate and organize open tabs into groups. When opened, these groups act like their own instance of the browser. So, say you had grouped together 5 of 50 open tabs, then opened that group through Tab Candy; you'd only see those 5 in your browser, and not the other 45. You could then jump back and forth between the main grouping and other subgroups--all without having to keep open (or track of) various Firefox windows.
Raskin is keen to note that this level of organization makes it much easier to manage open tabs on devices with smaller screen like Netbooks. The same concept could also be applied to Mozilla's mobile browser efforts, where screen real estate is hard to find.
The concept is still in development, and only available in an experimental version of Firefox, which Raskin has made available for brave alpha testers. Right now it's only feature is this tab organization, though many more features are coming, including search, clusters that can be set as a private browsing session, and public and private sharing of tab groups. Beyond that, Raskin envisions blending in Firefox's extensions functionality to add extra utility to Tab Candy's tab clusters, as well as implementing a memory saving feature that will put long unused tabs into hibernation so they don't suck up memory. Raskin details some of these concepts in the below demo video: