Firefox 3.6 was released late last week with which came some notable improvements and features like Personas and support for HTML5. I also noticed some improvement in speed and the overall feel of the browser. However, comparing Firefox to Google Chrome, I still think there are some things Firefox would do well implementing in their next release.
Having separate processes for every tab is a really great way to enjoy stability with Firefox. Should I have a tab crash or hang up, I can easily kill it via the task manager in Windows or the system monitor in Ubuntu without having to exit the entire browser. I believe it also has a positive bearing on the overall memory usage of the browser.
I don't know why it takes Firefox almost eternity to start while it takes Google Chrome a fraction of that time to do same. I would love to have instant gratification with Firefox where it starts instantly without unnecessary delay whatsoever.
The latest release of Firefox is fast, but Google Chrome is still way faster at rendering pages than Firefox. I cannot tell whether it has to do with the rendering engines used respectively by the two browsers but Firefox needs to copy the speed at which Google Chrome renders web pages.
Screen space usage
I recently got a new Dell Optiplex 360 with a 19" monitor at the office. One thing that I noticed upon running both Google Chrome and Firefox is the amount of screen space that Chrome makes use of. Almost every part of the screen space is used. Firefox on the other hand, wastes lots of screen space with the status bar, the positioning of the tabs and separate address bar and menu bar. A similar layout to that of Google Chrome to make good use of screen space I think is long overdue.
Integration of bookmarks synchronization
With the current beta release of Google Chrome, all I need to do is to sign in with my Google account and bam, I have all my books available from my other computers. With Firefox however, the norm had been to use the Xmarks addon prior to the release of 3.6, which now features Weave Synch, also an add on. I would love to see the Weave Sync feature integrated with Firefox without me having to run it as an add on.
Though a great browser, Firefox would need to implement these and other nifty features that are gradually making Google Chrome a real force to reckon with. I love Firefox no doubt, but Google Chrome is gradually stealing my heart away with great charm packaged as features.
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