Mozilla's Ubiquity gets faster, prettier

Mozilla's Ubiquity project gets an update that makes it both faster and able to be skinned with themes. It's also sporting a new dark look by default.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

On Monday Mozilla released a new version of Ubiquity, the in-browser command line-like utility. While mostly a "stability" update, the add-on has undergone considerable cosmetic change as well, sporting a new dark plastic look. This look can be changed by anyone as part of a new styling system that uses simple CSS. Presumably, user-designed themes will go into an add-ons site as the product matures.

In addition to its new look, Ubiquity now borrows a few features from Firefox 3's "awesome bar." It remembers some of the commands you've used in the past and will let you hop to them right away when starting a new command. For instance, if you frequently use the integrated Wikipedia look-up, simply typing "w" into Ubiquity will pull it up as one of the top search options.

If you haven't yet tried Ubiquity I'd recommend giving it a spin with this update. It's come a long way since earlier releases and can be genuinely useful if you take the time to learn some of the commands. Future releases will no doubt smooth out that learning curve and make it a little easier for the less tech-savvy to approach. Along those lines, Mozilla is at work on a version that lets you pull it up and pick out menu commands with your mouse, just like a contextual menu.

The new version of Ubiquity has a dark plastic-like look and is much faster than previous versions. Click image for larger version. CNET Networks