Speed kills. Speed is also addictive. Speed is the highlight of Mozilla’s latest update of Firefox, the free, cross-platform browser.
Now at version 1.5, Firefox has matured, looks good, works well, and is loaded with bells and whistles.
Instead of Mozilla.org, it’s now Mozilla.com. Firefox is now at version 1.5 and is hitting a stride that should make Microsoft quiver. But it won’t.
For WIndows users concerned with security issues, the new Firefox is a welcome relief over the Swiss-cheese variety of security from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
For Mac users, security is less an issue and more of a given. Firefox for Mac is just another better way to user a computer.
Hello, Microsoft. Tabs have been out for what, about a decade (in internet years). Maybe it’s just as well. Competition breeds better products and Firefox is the better product.
In fact, the only thing Firefox for Mac lacks is some of the Windows-only extensions and the ‘warm and fuzzy’ look and feel that comes with Safari, or Camino, or even OmniWeb.
There’s plenty to like about the new Firefox. Mozilla is right up front about the intuitive new interface. Though the comment on the Firefox web page is aimed at all users, the Mac version looks more like a Mac application.
For Windows users there’s more security to help block viruses, spyware, and something called popup ads.
For Mac users the real deal is speed and Firefox for Mac delivers speed. Pages render faster than any Mac browser I’ve tested, Safari and Opera included, though the beta version of Camino is nearly on par.
Faster than Safari at web page rendering, Firefox is also faster at rendering pages when you go back and forth to cached pages on a web site.
On my PowerMac (gobs of RAM), the back arrow brought up the previous page in a blink.
Mozilla claims improvements in Firefox page rendering, too, upping the support for web standards. In limited testing I agree there’s been improvement, though Mac browsers beat Windows Internet Explorer across the board.
Rendering complex web pages according to standards is on objective and all recently updated Mac browsers, Safari, Opera, Camino, OmniWeb, and Firefox do a great job.
The acid test for page displays is really an Acid Test. Click Here to see how your browser performs on the acid test.
The latest version of Safari is the only browser so far that passes the test, though this version of Firefox is close.
Windows users who insist on browsing with Internet Explorer don’t know what they’re missing, and that’s a shame. Shame on Microsoft.
While Safari’s implementation of RSS links is intuitive and elegant, Firefox for Mac works OK. Tabbed browsing, which seems to have been around about a decade in internet years (hello—Microsoft!!) is improved in Firefox with an intutive drag and drop capability for keeping related tabs together. Sweet.
Safari has a nice feature called Private Browsing which keeps the browsing from leaving a trail on web sites, eliminates caching and history.
Firefox has a take on the same thing, though with a bit more control, but one extra step. It’s called Clear Private Data. One click deletes all personal data, including page history, cookies, web form entries and passwords.
That’s better than anything from Microsoft, but not as elegant as Safari’s implementation which can be turned on or off at will.
Customization of Firefox is the best of any Mac or Windows browser. While Safari takes a minimalist approach to customization, Firefox adds a hoarde of extensions that add all sorts of new functionality.
It would be interesting to know what percentage of Firefox users actually use extensions. I’ll bet it is less than 5-percent.
Safari’s RSS is simple and elegant and Apple at least uses the term ‘RSS’ to describe the feature. Firefox seems not to know how to spell ‘RSS’ and instead relies on the slightly more complex use of Live Bookmarks, which really does the same thing; brings RSS links to the browser.
Firefox is mature and raises the bar again for web page browsing. Microsoft may have something planned for Windows Vista, now due in late 2006, but for now, there’s a better browsing experience with Firefox, Mac or Windows.
In fact, the Mac experience for excellence in web browsing is now the best on any platform. Firefox and Opera are loaded with features and speed. Safari is fast and elegant (typical for Apple). OmniWeb gives the best ‘Mac experience’ in browsing with wonderful intutive features.
Test for yourself. The fastest browser on the Mac is Firefox.
Jack D. Miller
Well, Firefox is faster than Safari on my Mac. It still has that Fisher-Price ‘XP’ look, though.
Carol Mary Miller
Firefox ‘extensions’ must be a ‘guy thing.’ Is it just me, or have you noticed that only guys dink around with their browsers?
The release version of Firefox 1.5 seems about the same speed as the beta and pre-release candidate versions, so Mozilla is taking a mature, step-by-step approach to product development. I like the speed.
Tera Jean Patricks
Firefox still looks ‘childlike’ to me, though I noticed the speed increase right away. Windows users should be happy, though they’d be much happier if they tried Firefox on a Mac.