Firefox 3 Beta 5 Test

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (252 Words)

Firefox 3 is about to hit Release Candidate 1 any day now, and beta 5 is supposed to be pretty stable now, and since it can co-exist with Firefox 2 on Windows (not on OS X or Linux, mind) I thought I’d give it a try. And hey, it’s pretty damn cool.

Outwardly when static you won’t notice a great deal of difference - the back / forward buttons are a little more compact, the icons are a little flashier in places and you have quite cool things like one-click bookmarking on the location bar (the little star icon - it’s gold when you’re on a bookmarked page already, outlined when you’re not), but otherwise just feels like Firefox 2, which is no bad thing. Where you will notice the difference is in the speed - I found the new version to be a bit faster with general web browsing, and much faster when dealing with AJAX-heavy sites like GMail or Analytics. Given that’s the way things are going for most sites these days, I’m not surprised they’ve concentrated on streamlining that element of it.

Seems pretty stable to me, the only thing that stops me using it right now is that there is no updated version of Google Browser Sync for it yet, one of my 3 ‘essential’ plugins, the other two being FlashGot and Web Developer, which do work with the new version. Once that’s updated, which I guess will be fairly soon now that FF3 is emerging from beta, I’ll definitely be upgrading.