Just a quick post to let you all know that Firefox 3.5 was launched today. In case you somehow missed the discussions about it all over the web, it’s supposed to be a lot faster than Firefox 3. I’m running Fedora 11 at the moment, so I’ve been using a beta of Firefox 3.5 for a few days now. It seems fast enough to me, but then I didn’t have a speed problem with the older versions. I hear a lot of people complaining that Firefox is bloated and slow, but it’s always been fine for me. Maybe I’m just more patient, or perhaps I have a faster computer, who knows.
There are a few new features in 3.5, private browsing is now built in. I’ve been experimenting with this and I must say it works really well. Dubiously dubbed the “porn mode” by some – not Mozilla of course – because it doesn’t leave any footprints of the sites you visit, it’s actually a really handy security feature. I used to use a plug-in called Distrust for this kind of thing, Internet banking and so on, but I found it could be a little slow and it bogged the browser down sometimes, especially when trying to clean up your session. The inbuilt private browsing is lightning quick and it will even remember when you have multiple windows open, not just tabs. Selecting private browsing closes all open tabs and instances of Firefox, it then presents you with a blank browser ready to go. Once you’re finished you simply switch off private browsing, and all the previous windows and tabs are restored seamlessly. Very quickly too, as I said.
So there we go, my browser of choice Firefox has a new version. There aren’t a lot of ground breaking changes from the last release, but it’s definitely been tweaked and improved. No matter what you think of Firefox, it did change the browser game a few years ago in taking on MS Internet Explorer and eating into their market share. We now have many choices in the browser world, no matter what platform you run on. It’s a positive step and hopefully competition will improve them all over time… well maybe not IE, but that’s just waiting to be put out of it’s misery, in my opinion.