The tablet version of Firefox will be, according to Ian Barlow, Mozilla’s mobile user experience designer, “an evolution of its phone based predecessor, with some added enhancements that take advantage of a tablet’s larger screen size.”
“On Firefox for phones, we meticulously tucked away all of our UI elements,” writes Barlow, “on a tablet, the bigger screen let us to bring some of those helpful elements back onto the screen, like tabs, for example.”
To that end the mockups on Barlow’s site show a persistent tab bar to the left of the screen when using a tablet in landscape mode. The tabs stay out of the way, but still make it easy to switch between tabs. Rotate the tablet around to portrait mode and the tab bar disappears up into a menu item at the top of the screen, leaving more room for actual content.
Of course it’s all up in the air right now and there’s no telling when we’ll see an actual release of Firefox for tablets. In the mean time if you’d like to see more of his mockups of a tablet UI for Firefox, head over to Barlow’s Flickr stream.