I’ve been using Firefox 3 since Beta 1. After 5 betas, it is now at RC 2 3, which is going to be the version that “ships” sometime this month on Tuesday, June 17th. (Mozilla hopes to set a world record for the most downloads ever in a 24 hour period.)
There’s no point in waiting to update to version 3, except perhaps for add-on support. About half of my add-ons aren’t working yet. But the improved functionality of Firefox 3 makes the temporary loss of a few add-ons worth it.
Here are some of the things I like:
- The smart location bar makes navigating the web very efficient. As you type it pulls up matches in your web history and your bookmarks. Like Outlook does with email addresses, Firefox 3 learns from your habits and prioritizes results so the most likely are on the top.
- Bookmarking is as simple as clicking the star on the right of the smart location bar. By default the page goes into an unsorted bookmarks folder. Thanks to the smart location bar, I think I’ll be doing a lot less organizing and categorizing of my bookmarks and just leave them there. Finding them by typing is much easier than by navigating through a hierarchy of folders.1 You can add tags as well, which make finding what you’re looking for even easier. Just type a tag or two in the smart location bar to pull up that bookmark.
- The speed of loading webpages is noticeably faster than previous versions.
- Other noteworthy improvements include a true zoom, which enlarges the whole page proportionately, not just the text, and better download management.
Here’s Mozilla’s own list of what’s new.
Watch this great screencast to see some of these features in action.
If you’re a Firefox user, head on over and download it.
- I’m finding this to be the case with Vista as well. I don’t need to have as carefully organized folder structuring since I can quickly find what I’m looking for with Vista’s built-in search capabilities. ↩