As a long time user of Firefox (as are most of the tech chaps in the Zoocha office) I’ve seen it graduate through its various incarnations. I started out back in the day with version 0.9(b?) with the excellent web developer plug-in and progressed to version 3.6 – all as my default browser of choice; regardless of OS.
The Lovers Tiff
However recently I started to get this nagging feeling, should a web browser really take that long to boot up? I had a shiny new Macbook Pro i5 and Firefox was still taking an eternity to load. Maybe I should just blame Apple? In the evening I found myself doing the dirty and taking a bit of time to dabble in others, the obvious 2 choices were Safari and Chrome.
3 days later it was made official, my relationship with Firefox for daily browsing was over; I had a shiny new partner for browsing…Google Chrome.
But come March this year all 4 major vendors (I know I’ve missed various others out but I’m a sheltered ‘trust what you (don’t) know user’) had new browsers out. As a Mac fanboi IE9 was instantly ditched due to the minor issue of its unavailability. This left me with Firefox 4, Safari and Chrome 9 to choose from.
So after using Chrome 9 and not noticing any life changing enhancements; Safari seemed to occasionally freeze, I downloaded Firefox 4 and went on a few dates. These were the most noticeable changes:
At last a Mac looking skin and the tabs had moved to the same place as Chrome and Safari. I personally believe the address bar is a child of a tab, thus the tab appearing on top makes perfect sense to me.
I now have all my bookmarks on my iPhone. I know in itself this is not revolutionary, as there are probably plenty of apps out there which achieve this, but due to the ease of configuration it is a welcome bonus.
Firebug, YSlow, Screengrab, Colorpicker all present and correct! I dabbled with using Chrome’s built in web developer add-on but I couldn’t get my head round it. This I put down to, it not being quite like Firebug.
Start Up Time
Now the big/fast one! It looks like the Firefox Wizards have done some serious tuning. Now when I fire up Firefox 4 it loads in a comparable time as Chrome.
So to sum up, things have been tweaked, updated and refreshed with the new Firefox 4. To my mind it seems a rather excellent improvement on the last version. However whether this will guarantee its survival in what now is becoming a very important battle ground only time will tell. For what its worth though, today Firefox 4 was welcomed back as my default browser of choice.