Firefox iconFirefox 2.0 was released almost at the same time as Internet Explorer 7. And, what a difference. While Firefox alongside Opera is raising the bar, IE7 is barely catching up with the rest of the crowd.

This is a good example of how much more efficient the open source community can be compared to a giant behemoth company like MS. The new Firefox packs a lot of cool new features and most importantly it is much faster than the previous version. Here are the new features in the order of importance for me.

1. Speed.

The new Firefox’s speed is now comparable to Safari and Shiira. Switching between tabs, resizing windows and scrolling a page are instantaneous.

2. RSS integration.

Firefox RSS
For those of us who use RSS readers, Firefox now has the feature to select your favorite reader in the preferences. Next time you come across a site that you want to subscribe to, you can simply press the feed icon in the right corner of the address bar for the url of the feed to be added to your fav newsreader application or account. This is a huge time saver and very convenient.

3. Spell check

Nothing new to Safari users, but it was a missing much needed feature of Firefox. Misspelled words are underlined with a red dotted line and can be easily fixed by CTRL-clicking on them.

4. Sexy looks

The new default theme is much nicer and well thought out. Navigation icons highlight on hover. Tabs feature a sleek gradient. Input boxes appear more precisely.

5. Improved tabs

Tabs are better looking and slightly bigger which makes them easier to navigate. If you have too many tabs open you now have a special menu on the right side of the tabs section that gives you a drop down menu of all your open tabs.

6. Highlighting in search

The ability to highlight search results is very useful. Just press Apple (Cmd)-F and you will have the option in the search bar.

There are many more announced features that I either don’t understand fully or don’t care much about, such as remembering tabs, phishing protection, javascript 1.7, svg text, live headers, etc. But even just those six features listed above are well worth the upgrade, and make Firefox one of the best if not the best browsers available today.

PS. Even if you prefer IE over Firefox or Opera for some strange reason on your PC, please do yourself and all web designers a favor and download IE7 at least.


Creative Bits is a popular blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

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