1. yes, the address bar is what they call the "awesome" bar because now it's also a search bar that can start searches on the text of the already-visited pages and you can also start searches on your favorite search provider (google, bing, duckduckgo, imdb...)
2. the rationale (started with Chrome IIRC) is that the address stated in the address bar belongs to the page being displayed (imagine if you had windows instead of tabs, each window has its address bar and toolbar... so does each "tab page" when you are using tabs. The address is not "between the tabs and the content", it is a part of the content.
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