Wow, after much waiting, testing of release candidates and beta versions (in which I too did my rightful part) Mozilla Firefox 1.5 is finally out! This calls for some celebration for sure!
Also, it now has a different website, Mozilla.com. Sure, the Mozilla.org site still exists, but they shifting away from it. Also, SpreadFirefox.com now has a new section, ‘Firefox Flicks’, a user experiences section. Hope all this blitzkrieg helps in defeating bad ol’ Internet Explorer.
Most casual observers won’t find much of a difference from Firefox 1.0.x, except maybe that pages load faster and ‘smoother’, not the hiccuping type that was seen earlier. Also, one delightful change I found was that the cursor behaves more ‘properly’ while typing in text-boxes – earlier it was pretty much an oaf; now its more ‘smoother’ and shows up properly while writing. Check out the difference yourself, you’ll understand.
Frankly, casual users may be lulled into believing that there’s not much of a change, why upgrade etc. etc. but believe me, the Firefox rendering engine is MUCH MORE secure this time round and beats the hell out of Internet Explorer. One cool feature in this Firefox 1.5 is auto-updates. Earlier, upgrading was a frustrating experience – download a complete new version and then install it; pretty crude way do things, actually. Not anymore, Firefox 1.5’s update feature is now more like antivirus updates (just to explain, guys, no offence to Mozilla), it won’t download the whole thing, just the new bits. Net result – faster updates = larger number of secure Mozilla Firefox browsers.
The other ‘major’ change has been the interface. Not much if you scratch just the surface, but better laid-out option when you go to the ‘Options’ tab. Not surprisingly, new options in ‘Options’ tab have been added, especially better privacy control. Clearing histories, caches, cookies, downloads, etc. is no more a chore, ‘Clear Private Data’ in ‘Tools’ menu is all you need to do.
That said, there could be some minor problems. You’ll probably have to upgrade to newer versions of your addons, Firefox will do this for you when you install. Also, it will disable incompatible addons (till the time a compatible one comes out), and it will automatically check and tell you when that is available. However, no need to hit the PANIC button yet, because everything (except some skins) are working fine. These include Google Toolbar, Yahoo! Toolbar, Great Quizzard Toolbar, FoxyTunes, Forecastfox, Google Send to Phone, Google Suggest, Mouse Gestures, etc. (use the Google Search box for more on any of these). Since these are the ones used generally, most shouldn’t have a problem. I don’t expect many others to be incompatible.
The Help pages are better in Firefox 1.5, with the section for Internet Explorer users being updated. It’s much more streamlined now, easier to find answers, and better ones at that.
Now, I have a tiny, little complaint about Mozilla Firefox 1.5. I was much elated when I discovered that two weeks ago, Yahoo! Mail had enabled ‘Color and Graphics’ option while composing mails for Firefox users. Unfortunately, that functionality is lost in v1.5, but I hope this will get rectified soon. Actually, this has to be done by Yahoo! not Mozilla, so actually, it isn’t Firefox’s fault.
Mozilla Firefox 1.5 has finally risen to the challenge. Earlier, it was somewhat of a geek phenomenon. I believe that chenges have made this verison more user-friendly. So what are YOU waiting for; download Mozilla Firefox 1.5 NOW and REDEFINE YOUR BROWSING EXPERIENCE.