I’ve installed the new Firefox 3 Beta 1 on my Windows XP system back home. At first sight, nothing is so much noticeable about the new version. Only the bookmark button on the location bar is visibly different. But I’d share to you some features I’ve tried and liked, hoping you’d like them, too.
Firefox have been late to implement the following features that other browsers have already. Late as it may seem, Firefox integrated the best from three different competing browsers.
- Resizer toolbar item
- This nifty toolbar item lets you resize relative-width toolbar items (i.e., location bar, search bar, and flexible space) just like how Apple Safari lets you.
- Full-page zoom
- Images and objects now joins text when you resize just like in Opera and Windows Internet Explorer 7.
- WaSP Acid2 Browser Test compliance
- Now only Internet Explorer is the major browser left that doesn’t pass the test.
I’ve considered Mozilla Firefox the most innovative browser in the market since I’ve discovered it way back pre-1.0 versions. Here are some features as proof they are still leading the race:
- Improved password saving
- Instead of the usual dialog prompt that asks the user whether one wants to save the password before submitting the login information, Firefox 3 uses the notification bar so that the user could first confirm whether the password is correct (meaning successful login) before saving it.
- Multiple text selections
- Text could be now be selectively highlighted at the same time. Just hit Ctrl while doing selections using the left mouse button. Multiple copy-pasting and switching between windows isn’t necessary anymore. BTW, you still can’t deselect a portion even when using Ctrl, though.
- Improved location bar autocompletion
- Usually, autocompletion lets you type the first letters of the address and will try to fill in the rest (with or without the protocol and/or the www subdomain). Now, Firefox 3 tries to find all history entries using the rest of the address along with the title of the page. So, if you could remember just the specific page address, which is usually my case, or title, but not the domain, you could still find what you are looking for.
- Resumable downloads
- In Firefox 3, you could now resume paused downloads even when you quit Firefox, and it automatically continues downloads if the browser or system crashes.
- Improved multiple opening of bookmarks in tabs
- Bookmark folders feature an Open in Tabs option that now appends tabs instead of replacing all tabs on the current window, the behavior in previous versions. Take note the the current tab will be replaced by the first bookmark on the folder when using left-click, use middle-click to open everything on new tabs.
So, there you go—my preliminary review of the next-generation Firefox browser. Please note that this does not include the tons of other new features and improvements from the preceding versions, but only those I find most interesting.