Firefox 3.5 Review - Awesome, But Not Ready For Primetime

Firefox 3.5 Review - Awesome, But Not Ready for Primetime

I recently upgraded to FireFox 3.5 because I accidentally clicked on the upgrade button. I didn't mind initially because FireFox upgrades hadn't done me wrong in the past. My initial reaction was: "Hey, they copied Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 with the new tab button." Chrome and IE, of course, both copied FireFox's tabbed browsing feature to start with. So everyone's copying everyone. I'm surprised at how convenient that new tab button is. I initially thought that button would be useless. I didn't think I would ever use it because I'm so used to pressing Control-T. Well, I did. Control-T takes two fingers, hand eye coordination, and looking at the keyboard. The new tab button only takes a click. Good addition.

What I love about FireFox 3.5, however, is the Awesome Bar. It's an improvement over Chrome's address bar - again, everyone's copying everyone. Chrome's address bar allows you to not only enter in url's, but also search the web. It's very convenient. It evenly lets you search other sites by entering in the site's url and pressing tab. Great feature. Firefox 3.5's Awesome Bar is even better. It's smarter and more intuitive. If you enter in the name of a website and some keywords, it automatically knows to search that site with those keywords. For instance, if you type in "Rotten Tomatoes Transformers", it'll get you to the Transformers page on Rotten Tomatoes. No need to enter in ".com"; no need to press the tab button. Awesome. To go to the Rotten Tomatoes website, just type in "Rotten Tomatoes", no need to enter in ".com" - simple, convenient and intuitive.

But, again it's a big but, it has a freezing problem. You can't click on links, drag the scrool bar, or do anything else until a page fully renders. It's especially painful on sites with a lot of flash. It gets annoying and unusable pretty quickly. As much as I like the Awesome Bar, I had to uninstall Firefox 3.5 and downgrade back to 3.0.

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