The new Firefox

The new Mozilla Firefox received 4 1/2 stars from PC Magazine.

Mozilla Firefox, Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine (Nov 4)

BOTTOM LINE: With plenty of new features, including tracking protection in Private Browsing mode, integrated video calling, and even an app store, Firefox reigns as our favorite Web browser.

Some of the features to look for:

  • Offers tracking protection in private browsing – maybe we should be using that
  • Has built-in video chatting
  • Has reading mode – that means it makes those hideously cultered pages readable! “When you land on an article page, a book icon appears at the right of the address box; turning on reading mode is a simple matter of clicking on this.”
  • Supports tab groups
  • And so much more

And it was found to be as efficient as Chrome.

Firefox Search Bar

Startling news – Yahoo will be the default search engine in the Firefox browser for US users rather than Google (and one presumes the same will be true in Canada). This means getting search results from the Bing index. It is possible to adjust the search bar to default to whatever search engine you really want to use.

Yahoo to replace Google as Firefox’s default search engine in U.S., Michael Liedtke, AP via Globe and Mail (Nov 20)

The five-year alliance announced Wednesday will end a decade-old partnership in the U.S. between Google Inc. and the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees the Firefox browser. The tensions between Google and Mozilla had been rising since Google’s introduction of the Chrome browser in 2008 began to undercut Firefox.

Mozilla has this handy guide with screenshots and screencasts – Search bar – add, change and manage search engines on Firefox

Firefox at 10

Mozilla’s Firefox browser is nearly 10 years old. In 2004 the one to beat was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. That’s done. Now the challenge is to counter Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android

Ten years in, Firefox fights on — now against Google and Apple by Stephen Shankland, CNet (Nov 10)

Instead of just taking on a browser, Mozilla now is competing against two operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Mozilla’s alternative is Firefox OS, a browser-based operating system. The goal remains the same, though: give people choice about what technology they use on the Internet and give them control over their data.

It might be a rough road: mobile usage is increasing rapidly, and Firefox’s share of that market is very small. It’s become a matter of operating systems. Here’s hoping for a Firefox OS.

Browser Roundup

Which browser is best – Chrome, Firefox, or Opera; and if you choose Firefox, what are some add-ons that no other browser offers?

Browser Wars: Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera, The Definitive Benchmark, by Matt Smith (July 2)

– examines scalability of text, images, performance.

7 Extensions Firefox Users Love That No Other Browser Has, by Joel Lee (July 1)

– Tree Style Tab sounds interesting
– Firebug is an excellent tool for web page developers

Firefox vs Chrome

This review for the upcoming new version of Firefox will make Chrome users take another look. Myself – I have my feet firmly planted in both camps.

Now is the time to switch back to Firefox, Jack Shofield, ZDNet (Apr 22)

Mark the passage about “Chrome’s heavy consumption of memory and other resources”. It leaves those tabs open forever.

Also – absolutely true — “Firefox is also better at using multiple search engines. You can still search from the address bar (Awesome Bar), as with Chrome, but Firefox also has a separate search box. This makes it easier to use different search providers, by picking them from the dropdown list. You can also add website-specific search engines. Amazon, eBay, Twitter and Wikipedia are defaults, but you can add many more: there are thousands. However, the default Google makes the search box a handy calculator.”