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Firefox 4 set the world aglow when it officially launched yesterday. And Mozilla says it is “faster, easier and more awesome than ever”. Considering it is the favorite browser of millions of users making up for more than 20% of the market, placed between Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, it better be.
As you may have seen in the 12 beta releases or one of the two RC versions, the latest Firefox adapted its looks to the minimalist UI trend ushered in by Chrome
. As such, it eliminates some elements from the default configuration such as the menu, bookmark and status bars while others have been included into multifunctional buttons: refresh also functions as a stop button.
There is now a Firefox button in the top left part of the screen that encompasses all options you need most. Although we could not miss the resemblance to Opera’s button, the pull-down menu in Firefox seems to offer a much more comfortable experience.
Tab management has been greatly improved in this release through app tabs and the Panorama feature. App tabs act just like shortcuts to your favorite or frequently used sites, pinning them right next to the Firefox button and reducing their size to the website’s favicon. In the earlier versions of the web browser this could be achieved by installing an add-on
Panorama is a great addition to Firefox’s feature list as it offers you the possibility to work with groups of tabs in a very convenient manner; it is designed especially for the users handling large numbers of tabs. To snap to Panorama view you can use the Ctrl+Shift+E shortcut or click on the “Group your tabs” button at the end of the tab bar. You’ll tap into a new interface that looks more adequate to touch interface rather than mouse-clicking.
Its functionality includes creating new groups by simply drawing a rectangle with the mouse holding either left or right buttons, moving tabs from one group to another, naming each group as well as reshaping them or arranging the elements in the page. Search is also available, so you can easily focus on a certain website. If you want to send a specific tab to a different group you can easily do it from the regular interface of Firefox, from the tab’s context menu.
As a step away from what has now become a standard, Firefox 4 continues to show an empty page when opening a new tab, making it the only browser not taking advantage from this functionality by default. Chrome
, all list in this location at least the most frequently used sites.
Looks are impressive and are keeping up with the slimmed down interface trend that offers the user more web content than UI, but Mozilla did not manage to deliver the thinnest headband ever, although they could have achieved this very easily. The address bar can be hidden completely but there is no way to bring it back when you need to type in a new URL in a fresh tab. Instead, it offers two shortcuts to show the menu bar (Alt and F10), which is on its way to extinction judging by the general browser UI tendency.
Customization of the web browser through extensions has always been a strong point in Firefox. And in this edition Mozilla makes handling and finding more add-ons really easy through the Add-ons Manager, which lets you access all plug-ins and extensions in a single page. Moreover, this is also the place to search for new items that offer the functionality you require.
Firefox is well known for its extensive configuration options and this edition makes no exception. Among the various tab-related options you’ll find the possibility to control how tabs open or enable a warning when multiple tabs are closed (although this did not work in our case). The way various content is handled (open in Firefox, open with a default program on the system, save data to disk, etc.) also falls on your shoulders if you are not content with the default configuration.
A top new feature in Firefox 4 is syncing bookmarks, passwords, preferences, history and tabs across various computers, thus benefiting from the same personal information regardless of the computer you’re using; the principle driving this service is device pairing. Furthermore, synchronization of the data can be done with Android Firefox edition, which means you get the same settings on the go as well.
The most important part of this deal is that all information is encrypted locally, before it is transferred, so your privacy is protected. If you are distrustful of Firefox server managing the synchronization you can add your own server to mitigate the information transfer from one Firefox edition to another.
We put it to the test in the aforementioned benchmark tools, but compared it to the latest versions of Internet Explorer
and Google Chrome. Running them through V8 put Chrome way in the lead with 7007 points; Firefox 4 came in second, with 2985 points while IE9 scored only 1880 points.
SunSpider showed a different ranking, IE9 leading the pack totaling 295.1ms. The runner up was Mozilla’s browser, with 342.2ms, while Chrome recorded the worst score, although not far from second place, 357ms.
Kraken showed a different order, though, putting Firefox 4 in the lead with 8967.9ms, Chrome
second with 10196.6ms and Internet Explorer 9
last, with 19056ms.
HTML5 compliance test showed that team Mozilla worked on this aspect for the latest release of the browser, as the points scored during testing were up to 255, compared to the 155 recorded by version 3.6.16.
Firefox 4 is not the fastest on the web but not the most sluggish, either. It is definitely a big improvement from the earlier editions and brings an interesting set of features to the table. It comes with incredible customization options, both through extensions as well as its own configuration panel. The Good
Panorama and synchronization of personal data (locally encrypted) across multiple computers and Android devices are some of the most important features. Visually, it looks more appealing than ever. The new interface makes available more of the web and less of the browser, with no dent in functionality.
App tabs are great for those making specific websites permanent residents of the tab bar. Tab grouping in Panorama allows you to work only with websites related to each other.
Though coming with a reduced UI customization is still strong in Firefox through the various add-ons and built-in options. Also, the Add-on Manager makes handling them an extremely easy job. The Bad
Having a list of recently closed tabs would come in handy. The new tab page continues to be blank despite the general tendency of filling it with content that can increase the functionality of the browser.
Toggling the visibility of the navigation bar, via a keyboard shortcut, the same way as in the case of the menu bar would make Firefox the web browser with the thinnest UI of the moment. The Truth
Firefox fans will definitely feel the speed improvement compared to the previous version, as the latest installment is snappier than ever and wraps up new functionality and features yet preserves the vast customization possibilities that allow you to make it unique.
|User Interface:|| (4/5)|
|Ease of use:|| (5/5)|
|Overall:|| ( /5)||
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|Comment #1 by: Jor on 23 Mar 2011, 18:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
There is a list of recently closed tabs under Firefox->History.
|Comment #1.1 by: Ionut Ilascu on 28 Mar 2011, 06:45 GMT|
It is obvious that you'll find all closed sites under History, but I was referring to accessing a list of recently closed tabs from the tab's context menu directly, just like in IE9; or at least having this information when opening a new tab, like in Chrome.
|Comment #2 by: jim on 23 Mar 2011, 18:51 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Hope they'll fix the "hardware acceleration" fonts problem.
|Comment #3 by: Scott on 23 Mar 2011, 18:51 UTC|| reply to this comment|
You can find recently closed tabs under the History menu. What is really missing is a toolbar item for this functionality. A few add-ons do provide this, however.
I don't think it's a bad thing that you can't toggle the navigation bar via a hot key. That is something that few people would want and would be best left for an add-on.
|Comment #4 by: Meitricsu' on 23 Mar 2011, 18:56 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Are you sure that the rating for Pricing/Value is 4 out of 5? O Rly? :D
|Comment #5 by: Matt on 23 Mar 2011, 19:04 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think Firefox took a step backwards. Yes it has a new look and is faster but it offers nothing innovative and some of it's new features there are better third-party add-ons for like Firefox Sync. Xmarks is better. Also Firefox has gotten a lot of bugs back from the days of Firefox 2.0 such as freezing up and memory spikes. To me Firefox 4.0 is a step back not a step forward.
|Comment #6 by: rahul on 23 Mar 2011, 20:12 UTC|| reply to this comment|
My mozilla 4.0 on mint 9 64 bit gives 274.9ms /- 1.3% for sunspider
|Comment #7 by: Skynet on 23 Mar 2011, 21:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Firefox 4 Review:
The new release of FireFox is a piece of crap. Nothing more. The functionality of the browser is decreased and all the new features are useless. I will never update my version of 220.127.116.11 unless Mozilla returns to the GUI of this.
GUI: -10 of 10, Features: 5 of 10 Ease of use: -5 of 10, Price/Value: 5 of 10, Overall rating: 0 of 10
|Comment #7.1 by: lolz on 26 Mar 2011, 07:44 GMT|
Seriously? what OS and What System are you using?
|Comment #8 by: PCcat on 24 Mar 2011, 02:19 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Try this, open up say Fox News in ie9, firefox4, Opera, and Chrome. Take particular note of spacing, and if say a bulleted links meant to be right of a photo somehow appear below it. I think you may find Chrome is spot on. No matter how resized, once again spot on, as in best in rendering a page. Chrome is simply leaner and sleeker than Firefox. I have used Firefox for years, but will move on now to Chrome 10, which seems just right in every way.
|Comment #9 by: SRChiP on 24 Mar 2011, 05:16 UTC|| reply to this comment|
In the default Firefox Page, a button appears to open recenetly closed tabs from previous session.
|Comment #10 by: firefox user on 24 Mar 2011, 08:04 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The firefox 4 RC version were having memory leaks. I prefer 3.6 versions till they fix it
|Comment #11.1 by: PCcat on 24 Mar 2011, 15:41 GMT|
Try Chrome10 get extensions: Ad Block and Switch to New Tab ... and the theme Matte Chrome and you are good to enjoy the hottest browser out today -- Awesome!
|Comment #12 by: cdmihai on 24 Mar 2011, 12:51 UTC|| reply to this comment|
But you DO have a recently closed tabs menu. FF orange button --> history --> recently closed tabs.
Shortcut: ALT S
Tab Mix Plus plugin also adds the menu on the tab right click menu
|Comment #12.1 by: Ionut Ilascu on 28 Mar 2011, 07:16 GMT|
Having this exact functionality available in the tab's right click (for easier access) menu is what I meant.
Assistance from extensions is not taken into consideration during our reviews, only the default functionality of the software.
|Comment #13 by: nf3 on 24 Mar 2011, 13:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
hahaha Pricing/Value 4/5 ????????it's free.
|Comment #13.1 by: Ionut Ilascu on 28 Mar 2011, 06:49 GMT|
It is pricing/value, so the application's value to the user also has to be taken into consideration as well. That is, a software being free but poorly fulfilling its purpose will not be awarded with a 5 out of 5 rating in this category.
|Comment #13.2 by: nf3 on 02 Apr 2011, 11:01 GMT|
Are y serious about "poorly fulfilling its purpose" :-(
|Comment #14 by: Super Surfer on 24 Mar 2011, 15:02 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Why did they remove the X (stop loading the page) button? It use to be next to the (reload the page) button. I'm sticking with 3.6.15 until they do.
|Comment #14.1 by: Shinycatcher on 30 Mar 2011, 06:11 GMT|
Just customize firefox and add the missing buttons
|Comment #15 by: Best on 24 Mar 2011, 16:03 UTC|| reply to this comment|
It is one of the best browser up to date....
|Comment #16 by: Randy on 24 Mar 2011, 20:43 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Runs slower the previous version. Do not see performance as a reason to upgrade. I am leaving the rest of my machines at the old version.
|Comment #17 by: chrisyme79 on 25 Mar 2011, 00:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I downloaded the 4.0 yesterday and for me it was a mistake. It has alot of features I can use, but now my browser is not compatible with the system requirements for my on-line college classes. I am looking for a link-I have checked everywhere for the 3.5. Now I have to use IE for school and do not really get use all the goodies in 4.0. Any suggestions?
|Comment #18 by: Kitt on 25 Mar 2011, 02:47 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Fire Fox totally Sucks, Can't find anything. lost my password manager, again!!! not messing with it anymore,Have to unload and reload Fire Fox every time it farts. going back to Internet Explorer.
|Comment #19 by: Kng on 25 Mar 2011, 15:12 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Why would some people don't appreciate innovation...Firefox is good and it gives a good browsing experience to its new GUI...
|Comment #20 by: Hammad on 25 Mar 2011, 20:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Firefox 4 is buggy, it went crashed on my laptop after more than 4 or 5 tabs.
|Comment #21 by: Sprite on 25 Mar 2011, 22:44 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Mozilla Firefox is definitely my favorite!! Good job!
|Comment #22 by: Salsa on 26 Mar 2011, 00:19 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Mozilla 4.0 have new good features,speed,user interface,but many extensions i used long it
doesn't work in mozilla.It should awaiting for.
But it's not too good yet :(
|Comment #23 by: lolz on 26 Mar 2011, 07:52 UTC|| reply to this comment|
My PC System Specs:
AMD Athlon 64 1.80 GHz (265 cache, 754 Socket Model)
1 gb Memory (DDR)
40 Gb Hard disk
OS: Windows 7
Intel Pentium 4 2.5 GHz (478 Socket)
1 Gb Memory DDR
40 40 = 80 gb Hard Disk
OS: Windows XP Home
Works fine. :D
|Comment #23.1 by: PCcat on 26 Mar 2011, 16:50 GMT|
FF4 works fine. It is just that Chrome10 works better, looks better, has more window viewing area, and renders pages better. Try it - open up say Fox News on both -- zoom the page, from zero to 144% zoom all views look correct. The bulleted items (links) in small fonts stay within the proper alignment. I used to use Firefox exclusively, with only testing with other browser. The browser I would recommend, of the Mozilla clan, is SeaMonkey, which presently does render sites well. You can move the address bar, and eliminate some bars and the status bar, get a nice persona skin, and have something modern looking in SeaMonkey, which is what they need to do. I trimmed it down and have a better looking SeaMonkey than FF4 and it seems quicker too. That said, Chrome10 is still besting the Monkey, so I am using Chrome10 with Matte Chrome Theme, and it looks and runs awesome.
|Comment #23.2 by: PCcat on 29 Mar 2011, 20:07 GMT|
-Update- On a scale of 1 to 5, I now rate FF4 ad 5 and will be using it....
Changing the rating up to 5 from 4. Apparently I was wrong about the page rendering. I had the NoSquint add-on set to change both font and whole page to say 120% which is wrong. Reset it to font (text) to 100% then ZOOM both Text and Page to ___% which for me most pages at 145% look fine and it works just fine. I was getting an improper text alignment and tried the Disable NoSquint and tested the page rendering and it sill looked off. Well, it likely had recalled the settings in Firefox, so my re-test was in error. Sorry Firefox Mozilla team, as I dead wrong, and the FF4 is rendering correctly set as from when downloaded, or using NoSquint set the way I just described above.
All said and done, I think the new Chrome10 is still going to be tough competition for Firefox. I have several add-ons making FF4 as good, if not a better choice, but many people never tweak a browser, so Chrome may be a better pick for them. I altered the toolbar setup and now after using just a row for bookmarks and one for tabs, have something as compact as Chrome -- will other people do this? Once tweaked, with wonderful add-ons, I am not 100% happy with Firefox 4.
|Comment #24 by: Texgame on 26 Mar 2011, 21:25 UTC|| reply to this comment|
After using 4 for 2 hours I knew I had made a big mistake. Froze up time and time again. Couldn't get back to home. Had to restart several times.
Took almost 12 hours to get 4 off the computer and put 3.6.16 back on. Now 3.6.16 doesn't work as good as it did.
Firefox 4 is to Mozilla what Vista is to Microsoft.
|Comment #25 by: TechStriker on 27 Mar 2011, 15:34 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Huh, There is problem in fonts.... :(
|Comment #26 by: 3.1.16 on 28 Mar 2011, 03:59 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Yeah Firefox 4 is awesome...not!!! I downloaded it and when I went to use it, every bloody time, within 5 min. it would crash and have me send a crash report. So I removed it. There is a bug in their program and they need to fix it before I use it again. Right now, I want my 3.1.16 back and back now!!!!!
|Comment #26.1 by: PCcat on 29 Mar 2011, 20:11 GMT|
Maybe it is one of your add-ons. I have used the Beta and Final without having it crash. My system has 4GB of RAM and Intel Quad from a year or so ago - forget the exact specs, but certainly middle road. With Win7, and FF4 no crashing problems so far.
|Comment #27 by: PCcat on 28 Mar 2011, 22:04 UTC|| reply to this comment|
--UPDATE-- was using only Chrome due to rendering issues... but resolved those now.... here is how...
Got FF4 more to my liking now. Unchecked the hardware acceleration, set the add-on No Squint to Zoom Page and Text with text then set at 100%, Standard Font Verdana 16pt Fixed width Font Calibri 16pt with Encoding = Western ISO-8859-1. > Still think they will have a rough road ahead, as Chrome10 is pretty darn sharp. Without many add-ons, I would say Chrome is a 5 and Firefox tweaked well, now would say is a good 5 -- needs it add-ons. FF4 does in fact have better add-ons, so in a way is besting Chrome for those wanting to take the time to tweak the browser.
|Comment #28 by: Diajimtkhz on 28 Mar 2011, 23:20 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Be WARNED. If you like sipping into old comfortable shoes, then stick with 3.6. If you want to have a radical change and waste time trying work with a new interface layout, then by all means upgrade to 4.0.
|Comment #30 by: alaa on 30 Mar 2011, 01:08 UTC|| reply to this comment|
i love firefox ...too fast and kicks chrome real good
|Comment #30.1 by: modo0011 on 30 Mar 2011, 19:05 GMT|
te encanta FF4 porque ha imitado a chrome,porque ha reconocido sus falencias y ha visto las maravillas de su competidor.Ha tenido un hijoCROME.
|Comment #30.2 by: Aki on 02 Apr 2011, 04:18 GMT|
Go to hell...chrome is the best
|Comment #31 by: FIREFOX SUCKS on 01 Apr 2011, 18:22 UTC|| reply to this comment|
This is the worst version of Firefox ever. It just sucks!
Page faults, hangs, ugly, program not responding. Need I say more. Did they even try to QA it?
|Comment #31.1 by: Jay on 02 Apr 2011, 16:03 GMT|
How the heck did they rate FF4 so high? They couldn't have tested it more than a few minutes, because that's how long it runs before it crashes.
|Comment #33 by: JC on 02 Apr 2011, 13:51 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I had Firefox 3.6 and consider it to be the best ever browser. I just tried 4.0 and find the team has completely ruined what used to be the worlds greatest browser. It slows my 10.0 broadband to 3.75 and is terribly slow. The "new" header bar now hides most items and the Keyscrambler tool won't work with this version. Sorry guys, this is a giant leap backward for mankind. Warning to all, don't upgrade to 4.0.
|Comment #34 by: Dyonis on 04 Apr 2011, 18:34 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Internet Explorer 9 rules!!! It is much better!
|Comment #35 by: Nascarfan562011 on 05 Apr 2011, 19:06 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I went back to version 3.6 It is really easy to go back. The new version was faster but was plain ugly and half my extensions did not work. Therefor it was not nearly as much fun or functional as previous versions. I am not going to upgrade unless they fix Firefox 4.
|Comment #36 by: Dikehopper on 09 Apr 2011, 01:30 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I got a pop up while at Yahoo's home page offering the upgrade to Firefox 4.0. I installed it only to find it was a Yahoo centered version of Firefox. Jeez, it was a cluttered mess.
It took me a while to figure out how to get rid of that and install a clean, non-Yahoo version of Firefox 4.0. Then I found that 4.0 dropped a couple of my favorite features, the main one being the ability to close Firefox while saving my open tabs - to open them automatically again the next time I open Firefox.
I finally figured out how to reinstall the older version from my program files and went back.
I agree with those who say that version 4.0 is a step backwards - at least for my own needs.
|Comment #37 by: Yelpye on 10 Apr 2011, 04:54 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I finally got rid of my beloved Firefox v4 -- I tried, and have been a Firefox fan for many years. It just is a PIG, and slows down my fast PC, and runs in the background and won't open... on and on. The add-ons I use do not work. It was my default browser. As of today, that is Chrome. I am a web developer, and love the add-ons that USED TO make my job easy. Firefox v 4 is NOT ready for prime time. It is TERRIBLE, and it finally drove me over the edge. I will use Chrome and MSIE v8 (which I need to test against anyway).
GET IT RIGHT, I miss v 3.6 and will load that when I find that version.
|Comment #38 by: Vinny on 14 Apr 2011, 13:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I downloaded Firefox 4.0 last night. Big mistake. This thing is a beast, and not in a good way. It's slow. If anybody tells you any different, they're either lying, smoking crack, doing lsd, live in an alternate universe, or they are irrational FireFox fans, or they work for FireFox.
If you want a cheap knockoff of Chrome combined with the molasses like speed of IE, then by all means get Firefox.
|Comment #39 by: Tim on 23 Apr 2011, 02:48 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I am done with 4. It hangs, crashes, and won't close unless I force it. I never like the changes to the UI. Back to 3.6 indefinitely.
|Comment #40 by: tanzanos on 06 May 2011, 06:26 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Minimalist UI? This trend is possibly the worst part of contemporary software. Ever since drop down menus were discarded it has been downhill all the way. I reinstalled 3.6. My opinion is keep away from 4.
|Comment #41 by: bingo5 on 10 May 2011, 17:03 UTC|| reply to this comment|
|Comment #42 by: JDD on 12 May 2011, 01:00 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I found Firefox 4 to be an enormous step backwards for Mozilla. In the first deployment at our enterprise, perfectly fine HTML that worked fine with FF3.6 was suddenly unable to render, meaning that the error-catching routines of FF3 were nowhere to be found with FF4. Add to that the truly poor user interface and it's clear that our enterprise will either switch to Google Chrome or revert back to MSIE before using the nonsensical FF4 branch. Sad, but true.
|Comment #43 by: ron on 19 May 2011, 23:21 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I do not like Firefox 4 in any way. Thank God I was able to find version 3.65 online and dump version 4.
|Comment #44 by: Avi on 03 Jun 2011, 11:47 UTC|| reply to this comment|
it crashes some times on my laptop.I have 2GHz core 2 duo processor.I also have updated firefox 4 to 4.01.But it gives me same problem.What should I do?
|Comment #46 by: Sciamenna on 08 Jun 2011, 05:40 UTC|| reply to this comment|
IT IS SO DIFFICULT TO SAVE PERMANENTLY (I SAID PERMANENTLY) THE TABS???
HAVE YOU TESTED YOUR F*****G NEW FEATURE???
HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT IF I SPEND TIME TO SET MY PERMA TABS THEN I OPEN A NEW FIREFOX WINDOW I LOSE THEM ALL???
|Comment #47 by: user on 09 Jun 2011, 00:40 UTC|| reply to this comment|
GARBAGE!!! Going back to 3.6.
Firefox 4 sucks big time.
|Comment #48 by: Dave on 22 Jun 2011, 19:24 UTC|| reply to this comment|
FF4 is terrible (being polite here). It's that bloated it needs 512 RAM and 200mB drive space for starters. What about any updates how much RAM will they gobble?
WebGL needs to be disabled as it's a serious flaw! See the Register http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/11/chrome_firefox_security_threat/ this applies to Chrome, Safari and Opera that uses WEbGL.
Why does it eat so much RAM no other browser I can think of does nor does earlier FF builds.
There ARE plenty folks either leaving FF4 or switching to earlier builds. FF really needs to get their act together.
I just want a configurable browser that works, so does many other people I guess.
FF4 is over hyped pure and simple and causes problems for many.
|Comment #49 by: BB on 13 Aug 2011, 20:09 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Well, it's mid-August, and I can categorically say that you were wrong about FF4. FF4 sucks because its crashing problems FAR outweigh its benefits. When you can't open Firebug in FF4 and open a couple of pages with large tables and some DHTML without it hanging for several seconds upon leaving the page (or completely locking up and having to be rebooted), it's totally unusable.
The same version of Firebug works perfectly fine with 3.6.19, BTW. No hanging, etc.
Firefox 4 = Netscape 4... The beginning of the end for Firefox.
|Comment #49.1 by: campsy on 14 Aug 2011, 14:59 GMT|
you are aware the current ff version is 6.0 right?
|Comment #50 by: XXSUPERHEROXX on 09 Mar 2012, 17:15 UTC|| reply to this comment|
worse browser ever sits and spins and is the slowest it's ever been I regret installing it
|Comment #51 by: Jack on 07 May 2012, 14:46 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I just see a lot of bugs in Firefox v12.0, from mutilated web pages to plug-ins that appear as blank, black boxes.
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