Firefox 3 Beta 2 for OS X
I installed Firefox 3 Beta 1 on Tiger and after upgrading to Leopard it’s mostly been sitting idle on my dock because of how slowly it responds when compared to how it used to work on Tiger. I’m currently sitting in Chennai, with nothing much to do so I decided to play around with what’s installed on my computer. I opened Firefox to be informed that an update was ready to be installed. Updated to Beta 2 of Firefox 3 to be greeted by a snappier, more stable web browser.
The first thing I noticed with this update was how fast Firefox starts. A single dock bounce. Almost an instantaneous launch.
Since I have not talked about Firefox 3 before, I’ll list what I really like about the browser:
- As I said earlier, Firefox 3 takes almost no time to start. If you’re using Firefox 2, you can easily feel the increased speed while rendering the same web pages and using AJAX driven websites like Gmail after upgrading. The Firefox team promises that speed will only increase with subsequent releases, which is a good thing.
- Excellent new Download Manager> Pause your download, close Firefox, start it again, resume your download from the same place. This eliminates the need to have a separate download manager when you are downloading large files over an unstable internet connection.
- Firefox 3 now uses the OS X spell checker instead of using it’s own dictionary.
- The best location bar a browser can have. Type the title of the page, Firefox searches through bookmarks and browser history to open what you are looking for. The list of websites is displayed in large blocks, with a lot of page information in a font size that doesn’t look very appealing. But it’s decent enough and I wont complain much about it.
- An OS X feel that I’ve missed all along. It looks slick, and makes me feel like using it a whole lot more. All thanks to Proto. If you don’t get a clear picture of what I’m saying, let’s say Firefox 3 looks good enough for you to ditch Camino and drag it to the Trash.
- APNG and
- Still more than Safari, but CPU usage has clearly reduced.
The visual refresh is the most notable change as Firefox tries it’s best to match the look of the operating system you are using. The browser is very stable, even though Mozilla states it isn’t quite ready for public consumption.