I'm don't understand why the element properties pane would be removed.
console.dir($0) is not a practical alternative to having the object properties displayed on their own panel. Having the properties visible separately from the console input/output is essential during debugging of complex pages, and removing the panel will significantly degrade the usability of the developer tools.
What was the rationale behind this decision? This has been a standard feature of browser developer tools for almost 20 years.