When’s the last time you used Firefox? Several years? Can’t even remember? Yeah, neither can we.
With a nearly 50% market share, Google’s Chrome dominates the browsing world, and has done so for nearly a decade. Many former Firefox users (who were themselves former IE or Netscape users), yours truly included, jumped ship soon after Chrome demonstrated noticeably faster browsing speeds, enhanced browsing security (including the brilliant incognito mode), and a pleasing stream-lined appearance.
But it now seems that Mozilla’s Firefox may be poised to make a comeback with Firefox Quantum. But is there any real reason to make the switch — does it offer anything worth leaving Chrome for?
Well, we decided to download Firefox Quantum and give it a try. The conclusion: the browser’s new web rendering engine is fast — noticeably faster than old Firefox and perhaps even slightly faster than Chrome (though, honestly, I doubt most would notice). And it looks good too: nice and streamlined much like Chrome. In fact, a side-by-side comparison shows just how much the two look alike:
What about new features?
One thing we liked was the new Library button at the top right of the browser that contains your bookmarks, downloads, browsing history, screenshots and more. It’s really quite a nice way to organize these key functions for quick access. Plus, the screenshot tool (accessible via the ellipsis icon just to the right of the address window) is super useful. You can easily save a portion of the page or the whole page while you’re browsing. No need to get out a separate snipping tool. You can also save images, videos, and articles within your “pocket”, which, again, is located just to the right of the address bar.
Privacy has also been improved with tracking protection that makes it more difficult for websites to monitor your browsing activity. This data is routinely bought and sold to marketers who can use your browsing behavior to more effectively sell you stuff. Seriously not cool. This feature is in addition to the private browsing option, the equivalent of Chrome’s incognito mode.
So will we be giving up Chrome for the new Firefox? Possibly. It’s certainly a worthy Chrome competitor — the first we’ve seen in a long time. I think it may come down to whether the new features are worth the five minutes it takes to download, install, and configure a new browser. For many, the answer is probably “meh, not yet.”