Showdown: Chrome (Beta) vs. Firefox 4.0

By  |  Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 7:06 am

With new versions scheduled to be released for these two popular web browsers, many of us are rethinking where our loyalties lie. Should we go with the Google Chrome (Beta) or Mozilla Firefox 4.0? Is it worth the upgrade, or is it time to try something new? Here’s a list of the new and upgraded features to make your decision easier.

Release Date:

Google Chrome (Beta): Beta version available; Those using Chrome will be updated soon.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Web and mobile browser expected mid-to-late March. [NOTE: A beta version is available.]

Point Goes To: Chrome. It’s available now, and we all know what happens with tentative dates.

Speed:

Google Chrome (Beta): The new browser is 66 percent faster than the previous version using the V8 Benchmark Suite tests.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Firefox counters with a six times faster browser than their previous iteration, meaning a 6oo percent faster speed using the V8 Benchmark Suite tests.

Point Goes To: Firefox. Just look at the stats.

User Interface:

Google Chrome (Beta): The browser has been revamped to help the user customize their experience and get to what they need faster. This means:

- The settings interface is a tab in the browser. This makes it look cleaner.

- A search box so you can quickly find whatever you’re trying to fix/manage. Finally, you can search for your settings instead of clicking through and reading through each option.

- Each option page has a URL so you can help others find the same setting.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Lots of new stuff here including:

- Top navigation buttons have disappeared, making it look very similar to Chrome. Tabs are right on top now. Bookmarks are now a button on the top right of the page.

- Introducing App Tabs: If you’re someone who uses the same websites (such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.), you might want to try this option. You have the option to make a frequently used website an app tab, which appears as a small square to the left of your normal tabs. The app tabs light up when there is updated content.

- Switch To Tab: Now when you go to type in a new URL, you will have the option to “Switch To Tab.” No more forgetting that you already have that website open in a different window.

- Panorama: Instead of having multiple windows open, each with their own purpose, you can organize your tabs into different groups. Panorama gives you the option to click on that set of tabs and hide the rest (even though they are in the same browser window). This is best for people who use a ton of tabs daily.

Point: Firefox. I like all the new features Firefox has added – especially since I’m a tab freak. Even though a lot of it is just updating to be more like Chrome, there are some added features that Chrome hasn’t implemented. However, Chrome does get props for making searching for settings easier and helping us customize.

Synchronization:

Google Chrome (Beta): You can synchronize passwords across all the internet-capable devices you use that use Google Chrome and encrypt them for added security. Search through Chrome’s now-easy-to-use settings. It should be under the heading “Personal Stuff.” You can also import data from your other browsers with ease.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Not only can you synchronize passwords and auto-fill data across your internet-capable devices, you can access the same website that you were looking at on any of your devices.

For example, if you open Yelp.com on your computer and need that information on the go, you can open the Firefox browser on your Android device and opt to look at the sites you were browsing on your computer and vice versa. The new Firefox browser will ship out with new Android devices when it is ready. (iOS users need to download a separate app for this functionality since separate browsers are not allowed.)

Point goes to: Firefox. I do enjoy how easy it is to upload settings into Chrome, but being able to see the same web browser across devices? Very cool.

Updates:

Google Chrome (Beta): It’s so advanced it updates itself and most of its apps (eventually). You can also force an update at any time under the “About Chrome” section.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: You no longer need to restart Firefox when you update with a new add-on: It automatically installs it for you. This feature only works for new apps, although older add-ons have the option to upgrade to fit this new feature.

Point: Tie. I hate updating and like it when the program can figure it out for itself, but now Firefox is on an almost even playing field with the “no restart necessary” update.

Final Score: Advantage Firefox

I like what Chrome has done, but the new Firefox updates seem to take the best of what the browser can do and improve on it. Which do you prefer?

(This post is republished from our partner Techland.)

 
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15 Comments For This Post

  1. Filip Says:

    Why do you compare the relative performance increase from the last generation, and not the actual performance? As far as I know, Firefox 4 could have won because Firefox 3 was really slow. Also, you should point out that V8 only tests Javascript performance, and not anything that really matters, such as rendering speed.

    Also, nowhere in the article does it say which Chrome version you are using. I think you are confusing Chrome 10 and Chrome 11. Chrome 10 has the 66% speed increase that you mention, but the current beta of Chrome (that you link to at the top of the article!) is version 11.

    Overall it is a very subpar article by Technologizer standards.

  2. yoann bohbot Says:

    What about startup speeds. How fast does firefox start. When one tab crashes does it save the rest?

    I agree with filip about the speed.

    I like both browsers but chrome has the leading advantage because the program itself is super snappy, firefox isn’t.

  3. Wally SirFatty Says:

    Been using Chrome for a couple years, never going back.

  4. Rob Says:

    You award a point to Chrome because it has a beta available now and not to Firefox 4 which, as you note parenthetically, has a beta available now?

    I agree with Filip, too, that the performance comparison is flawed.

    The prose does a good job of explaining what you like and dislike, but the scoring leaves a lot to be desired.

    I’m looking forward to FF4 because I want improvements, I’m addicted to FF as customized by the many extensions I use, and I don’t want Google looking over my shoulder constantly.

  5. The_Heraclitus Says:

    I updated to Chrome 10.0.648.127 and there is no difference in speed. Also, the changes with the tabs doesn't exist on mine. Maybe it isn't the version this article talks about.

  6. Reynaldo Rivera Says:

    Even if a turtle is 600% faster today than it was yesterday, it will NOT beat me in a bike race, especially if I got a new bike that is 66% faster than my old bike.

    Percentages mean nothing, what are the hard numbers?

  7. lothinator Says:

    Well, on a relatively fast computer, javascript speed is hardly noticeable on most sites. What's more noticeable is stability. In the Stability camp, Chrome wins hands-down. As far as speed, Chrome still feels faster to me. Plus it syncs with my CR-48.

  8. @MeltingIce Says:

    I think http://arewefastyet.com/ is the best measure of comparisons between browsers. Overall, Chrome is still the snappiest all around from my personal experience.

  9. @brunopanara Says:

    Quite a biased overview. All of the things you award points for are available in Chrome as well, feels like you never tried it :(

  10. dholyer Says:

    I an using two computers, one is not Net connected, but still needs a web browser. On this web connected PC I have both Firefox and Chrome.

    Chrome may be faster at loading web pages, but Firefox has more features that I use. And I am always surfing the plug in or add on charts.

    I let everyone else use chrome but I still use Firefox.

    The only flaw in Firefox is it is a little less html coding correctly loading and Chrome is getting better at it. As for speed this net connected PC is only a 1.4gig clock, but tthe other is over clocked to 3gig to do video on. So I do not count on this one to break any records so speed is not that important to me. I'm still happy with the fact it is DSL connected at 1.6 megabits /second at least thats what the net speed tests show for this 1.5Mbits line.

  11. cbarnes Says:

    I use both browsers for different reasons, including Safari. After all, they are all free and useful in their own ways. Hey it's a new era and nobody should use just one browser, that's so 2008!

  12. Joe Essig Says:

    I use both, and I for some reason prefer how firefox looks. Just in my opinion. I don't like how chrome tries to fit so many things into one area, I like how firefox does it. But sometimes I'll use chrome because it definitely is faster.

  13. Nishank Says:

    Ever since I've used chrome, it's been really annoying to use any other browser.. This article isn't comparing the two to each other, it's comparing them to their previous versions.. according to that Firefox 4 obviously wins as Firefox 3 is prehistorically old!

  14. @AtbattCares Says:

    It just seems as if Chrome ( http://www.softwarecrew.com/2011/05/google-chrome… )is playing catch up with download security(IE has had it since its last release). Don't get me wrong, Chrome is awesome but, other than the speech to text feature, it is all catch up from what is out there right now.

  15. Sheridan Berry Says:

    Between the two, I prefer Chrome. I love the extensions and add-ons of Chrome. And I even like it since I can personalize the google chrome theme.

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