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.”

Firefox adding ads to new tab

Someday soon when you click on new tab in Firefox you’ll see – ads – they are to be called directory tiles – and they are targeted at new users or new Firefox installs. They will gradually morph into items of more interest to you (guess how they know that!). Well – all that empty real estate – wonder that no one did this sooner.

Mozilla to sell New Tab page ads in Firefox, Seth Rosenblatt, CNet (Feb 11)

“Paid advertisements are on their way to Mozilla Firefox’s New Tab page in an attempt to show more sites to first-time browser users.”

Called Directory Tiles, the initiative will use a combination of sponsored sites, popular sites based on geographic location, and Mozilla ecosystem items to fill in blank New Tab pages. Currently, the nine empty boxes on a new New Tab page fill in over time with sites culled from the user’s browsing history, frequently visited sites, and bookmarks.

Firefox’s Australis Makeover

Brace yourself, Firefox users – Mozilla is rolling out an entirely new look and set of features for the Firefox browser it has code named Australis. The good news is that Firefox will go mobile.

Firefox’s new interface is almost here by Seth Rosenblatt,l CNet (Feb 7)

No orange ball in the corner:

In its place, Mozilla has created a more graphics-friendly interface that looks similar across all platforms. The main menu on Windows, Mac, and Linux is hidden behind an Android-style “three horizontal lines” icon, with Settings options given big, touch-friendly, and easily identifiable icons. The curve angles on desktop Firefox tabs look similar, if not identical, to the curve on Firefox for Android, further reinforcing the unified look.

Nice little video to introduce the new interface. Think I’ll have to give up the menu bar.

Firefox to block plugins too.

Another blow to plugins – this time from Firefox. All plugins except Flash will be deactivated – that includes Java. If you want to use it, you have to activate it.

Firefox to deactivate most plug-ins by default by Stephen Shankland, CNET (Sept 25)

“Plug-ins are now a legacy technology,” said Benjamin Smedberg, Mozilla’s engineering manager for stability and plug-ins, in a blog post Tuesday. “Plug-ins used to be an important tool for prototyping and implementing new features, such as video and animation. As browsers have advanced, this kind of feature development can occur directly within the browser using technologies such as WebGL, WebSockets, WebRTC, and asm.js.

Use Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar

Mozilla has a short and very useful tutorial on using the Bookmarks toolbar for keeping frequently used bookmarks. Using this toolbar will save you time. Just add to it the sites you use most – and never hunt through bookmarks again or use up time at a search engine trying to recover the url.

Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar

Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar

Bookmarks Toolbar – Display your favorite websites at the top of the Firefox window, Mozilla (Sept)  – includes a video on the how-to.

Firefox Security

Eric Geier at PC World shows how to make Firefox secure especially if you want to use the password management feature and syncing.

Five steps to ultimate Firefox security (May 28)

Follow these five steps to lock down Firefox. Start with the essentials in the browser’s own settings, then choose some useful add-ons. Finally, keep track of your plug-ins so you can patch the inevitable security holes.