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Summary:

The browser war continues to rage unabated, with the end result being better products for us, the users. This past week has seen significant beta updates to my two favorite browsers: Chrome and Firefox. I’ve been playing with beta 1 of Mozilla’s Firefox 3.6. This new […]

ffchromlogosThe browser war continues to rage unabated, with the end result being better products for us, the users. This past week has seen significant beta updates to my two favorite browsers: Chrome and Firefox. I’ve been playing with beta 1 of Mozilla’s Firefox 3.6. This new version of Firefox boasts improved performance, personas (the ability to easily switch between different skins for your browser), and updated support for web standards, including support for the Web Open Font Format (WOFF).

Firefox 3.6b1 seems quite stable and certainly feels a wee bit faster than 3.5, so to test it out I ran it through the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark on my test machine. This new version got a score of 1996 ms, which is quite an improvement over 3.5’s score of 2500 ms.

Meanwhile, as reported by Kevin over at jkOnTheRun, the new beta of Google Chrome 4 on Windows sports a fancy mechanism that syncs bookmarks across devices almost instantly — very handy if you work on a few different machines. The bookmark syncing mechanism uses XMPP (the same technology used by Google Talk) to share the bookmarks. As Kevin notes, surely secure sharing of passwords and cookies must be in the cards as well.

Running the Chrome 4 beta through the same SunSpider benchmark test, I got a score of 1122 ms, which beats Firefox by a considerable margin and is even faster than the last version of Chrome that I tested.

While in real life usage it doesn’t feel like there’s much difference between the two betas, as we come to rely more on JavaScript-heavy web apps, performance becomes increasingly important — so the great improvement in the benchmark scores shown by both of these new betas is encouraging.

If you’re trying out either of these betas, let us know what you think of them below.

  1. I’m using the Chrome BETA – I’ve been a chrome convert for ages now, but it is getting quicker. I especially like the decluttered feel to it.

    By far the best feature of this BETA is the sync’ing of bookmarks- log in with your google account or linked apps account and then do so again on all your different computers, and hey presto its linked.

    A little bit of management is required to tidy up duplicates etc, but once you’ve done that its easy as pie.

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  2. [...] that there seems to be an endless stream of beta releases. Yesterday, Simon wrote about some of the latest browser betas; let’s look at a few products and services for interacting with social networks, Twitter and [...]

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  3. [...] 6th, 2009 (3:30pm) Simon Mackie No CommentsTweet This With the new beta of Firefox 3.6, new tab previewing functionality has been made available in Firefox — you can preview tabs [...]

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  4. Chrome is by far the superior browser, loads faster, browses faster and offers a nice uncluttered look giving a more visible screen space, the only issue, version 4 and still a Beta!

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  5. [...] Google and Mozilla this time — really start to heat up. Version 3.6 of the browser, which is currently available in beta (and works very well, I might add), should be released in [...]

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  6. [...] Office 2010 entered beta, while Mozilla celebrated Firefox’s fifth birthday and released the first beta of Firefox 3.6. TweetDeck updated to support the new Twitter lists and retweet functionality. Darrell wrote about [...]

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  7. [...] 2010 (9:56am) Simon Mackie No CommentsTweet This Mozilla today released Firefox 3.6, which, as I reported back in November when the popular open-source browser was released in beta, sports improved performance, personas (the ability to easily switch between different skins for [...]

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  8. [...] Some of us at WWD have ditched Firefox in favor of the faster Chrome, but until these add-ons are also available in Chrome for Mac. In the meantime, I’m sticking with Firefox, and hoping that 3.6, the newest version, lives up to its claims of increased speed. [...]

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