Firefox 3.5: The Technologizer Review

The browser that reignited the browser wars is back--and still the most well-rounded one around.

By  |  Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 4:06 am

Web Standards

New Web standards inevitably suffer from the classic chicken-or-the-egg conundrum: Most sites won’t support them until major browsers do, which means that browsers end up supporting standards before there’s much tangible reason for consumers to care much about them. Among Firefox 3.5’s forward-looking features is the ability to download fonts specified by Web pages and native support for audio and video playback as specified by the nascent HTML 5 standard, no Flash or other plug-ins required.

Here’s Dailymotion’s experimental Flash-free video site–which looks like any Flash-based video hub but works only in Firefox 3.5 for the moment.

Dailymotion HTML 5 Video

And you’ve got Firefox 3.5 already, you need to check out this demo that inserts images–including any text you type–into a video scene and animates them.

HTML 5 Demo

The existing HTML 5 video demos are enough to convince me that it could be very cool if video were simply a core element of the Web rather than something bolted on via Flash or SilverLight. But for most of us, there’s little immediate benefit from these new features–the overwhelming majority of the Web’s video remains in Flash format, for instance, and much of Mozilla’s argument for the superiority of HTML 5 video (it doesn’t require licenses or royalty payments) is aimed at developers and site proprietors, not consumers. Still, nifty new browser technologies have to start somewhere. And if the new stuff that Firefox 3.5 enables catches on over the next few years, we’ll be grateful that this upgrade got things rolling.

Firefox 3.5 vs. the Competition

Not only are there more viable browsers than ever, but they’re more competitive, too. There are legitimate reasons to favor Chrome, Flock, IE, Opera, or Safari, and I wouldn’t argue the point if you told me that any one of those browsers spoke to you in ways that Firefox doesn’t.

Today’s most interesting browser isn’t Firefox–it’s Chrome, with its spare user interface and total focus on making Web apps run seamlessly. The most feature-rich browser continues to be Opera–and with the new Unite server technology, Opera is being daring in a way that Mozilla isn’t. The Mozilla-based Flock is the only browser built for today’s hottest Web trend: social networking. If you use OS X, you’re most likely to run Safari; if you plan to upgrade to Windows 7, you’ll get IE 8 as part of the package (unless you’re in Europe). All of which is just fine.

But as I said at the start of this review, Firefox remains the most well-rounded browser overall. Despite Microsoft’s introduction of Web Slices and Accelerators and Google’s baby steps towards making Chrome customizable through extensions, Firefox’s library of thousands of add-ons remains a unique asset. If a browser can do something, chances are there’s a free add-on that lets Firefox do it; it’s a little akin to the power of the iPhone’s 50,000-app store. (Note: Not all Add-Ons will be compatible with Firefox 3.5 out of the gate, but most major ones already work.) Firefox’s interface has barely changed, but it remains sleek and well thought out. And 3.5’s enhancements get Firefox back in the game in several areas where other browsers had jumped ahead.

Bottom line: If you seek browser advice from me and we’re not in a hurry, I may assess your particular needs and suggest something other than Mozilla’s browser. But if time is of the essence, I’ll happily give the six-word recommendation I’ve provided countless times since 2004: You won’t go wrong with Firefox.

«PREVIOUS PAGE 1 2 


66 Comments


Read more: , , , , , ,

25 Comments For This Post

  1. Evan Says:

    Nice review. Do current extensions work, or do they need to be updated.

  2. Rimantas Says:

    Safari 10 beta? What’s that?

  3. Anon Says:

    hahaha Safari 10?

    Safari 4 on my machine got around 550 in Sunspider, FF3.5 got around 1100.

    In V8v4, Safari 4 got around 3000, FF3.5 got around 300.

  4. Rafael E. Belliard Says:

    “Two new options on the History menu let you re-open tabs and windows you’ve recently closed.”

    FYI, the ability to open recently closed tabs has been on firefox at least since Firefox 3.0. Great review, though. 🙂

    http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/2523/firefox3recentlytabs.jpg

  5. Don Clark - Atlanta, GA Says:

    The only reason that I (and many of my coworkers) havent switched to chrome is that we have grown so attached to the Add-ons for Firefox. I did have a love affair with Opera for a couple of years, but I have been happily engaged to Firefox for over 5 years now.

  6. Rafael E. Belliard Says:

    Agreed with Clark. Firefox add-ons are its real killer-app. Adblock, Mail managers, Foxmarks, Firebug, Flashgot, et al. That’s why Opera never stood a chance with me.

  7. Spellcheck Says:

    sorry to nitpick, but the proper spelling is “shoo-in,” not “shoe-in”
    (see: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoo-in and http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shoo-in)

  8. AMSR Says:

    Safari 10 beta? You mean Safari 4 Release? /confused

  9. John Baxter Says:

    On the Mac where I’ve been gently kicking the 3.5RC series’ tires, the browser seemed to convert itself automatically to 3.5 when I started it this morning.

    Being the nasty suspicious type that I am, I downloaded a fresh copy. which turned out to be a few thousand bytes smaller. I’ve replaced what was there with the downloaded form (which stayed the same size when launched and quit.

    I suspect that is a distinction without a difference, though.

  10. Tonio Loewald Says:

    I just tried Sunspider on my XP SP3 32-bit machine with the latest Safari 4 and Firefox 3.5 and got *dramatically* different results: overall — Safari 4 1.5x faster. Are you perhaps running a 64-bit version of Mozilla against a 32-bit version of Safari?

  11. Harry McCracken Says:

    @tonio: Nope, 32-bit versions of Firefox 3.5 and Safari on a 32-bit OS (Windows XP). I’ll keep an eye out for what others report…

    Thanks,

    –Harry

  12. fred buddemeyer Says:

    wordtolb this review is rated 8.9 overall subject=harry mccraken evaluator=fred buddemeyer

  13. riflessioniquotidiane Says:

    good browser firefox.
    http://riflessioniquotidiane.wordpress.com

  14. sohbet Says:

    hi blog
    “The first step we’re taking sets new efficiency standards on fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Now I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses. Between 2012 and 2042, these new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year, conserve enough electricity to power every home in America for 10 months, reduce…

  15. jagraham Says:

    Just installed the new 3.5 update and I haven’t noticed a huge difference in speed, a little faster perhaps, but on average it doesn’t seem to be 2.5 times faster. I do like some of the little tweaks though; the ‘awesome bar’ seems a little smoother and the ‘private browsing’ matches that of IE8. The time Firefox takes to start up is a bit of a pain still though and it still uses quite a bit more RAM than IE, but that’s something I can put up with.

  16. Gadden Says:

    Hey nice article 😀
    take a look at my blog http://www.hardwarehome.wordpress.com

  17. lida diyet zayıflama r10seoogle Says:

    Anyway, here’s a more in-depth review.Thanks

  18. Slym Says:

    This is really a great review and beneficial too.
    I will work on it and explore it further. firefox nowdays is an essential utility to surf internet in easy and fast way. I am lovin it

  19. Prakash Says:

    Hello people,
    I have been using the FF 3.5 since two weeks. While it is a faster browser than the previous one, it is at the same time not so stable. Like i am using the google mail and it does not load the editor window while composing a mail. In this way the previous version was better.
    Hope the programmers fix this problem with the next version.
    Except that i thank the mozilla team for their great service.

    Prakash

  20. Coach Says:

    I’ve been a user of Firefox since v1 and now am on a crusade to convert all my site visitors to Firefox from IE.

    Many visitors complain that my sites slow down or that the browser ‘freezes’ when visiting my site, in addition to multiple security warnings. I now realise that most of these visitors experience this because they are using the default IE browser. Once they switch to Firefox or Chrome, these problems disappear!

  21. William Roberts Says:

    Incandescent light bulbs will soon be phased out because they waste a lot of energy.,*~

  22. yhwebcn Says:

    Watch is an accessory, only one person should not be:
    50 Fathoms Watches

    Breguet Classique Tourbillon Watches
    the pursuit of quality of life of people now have become a mainstream,
    Bell & Ross Watches Accessories
    BR 01 – Instrument 46mm Watches
    from the exterior to the movement of people everywhere to work are moving fine.so more and more customers will buy a few watches to match different to clothing differently occasions,
    BR 02 – Instrument 44mm Watches
    such as have to watch while swimming at a business dinner to watch and definitely not one to wear light-colored shirt and suit T shirt to watch the same can not, therefore, essentially, the watch is a work of art,
    BR 03 – Instrument 42mm Watches
    Breitling Accessories Watches

  23. yhwebcn Says:

    please come here, we are lowest price replica Watches supplier,
    Royal Oak Offshore Watches
    Replica Riviera Watches
    offer high-class fake Watches in about 100 famous brands。Watch the quality is good and my hands the final say, the buyer's evaluation of the quality of the watch is the most objective evaluation.Replica Breguet Type XX Watches
    Allows you to truly experience the fun of online shopping, and that one of the baby's expectations.Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Watches
    Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches
    Welcome customers to patronize, to buy more discount more than the price the same product we; the same price we are more than quality;the same quality service site that we were honest promise:Quality assurance; customer first; credit management,Avenger Skyland

  24. yhwebcn Says:

    So that every customer can buy the rest assured that with the peace of mind! Your satisfaction is my greatest joy! Either give it away or bring their own are a good choice!Replica Swiss Chronomat Watch
    Breitling Evolution Watches
    In order to meet their own pursuit of the watch, although the top watch can not afford this life,Replica Swiss Montbrillant Watch
    Replica Swiss Navitimer Watch
    Replica Swiss Superocean Watch
    and a few pieces, but can buy high quality imitation table … reason to believe that a different way of life for those who desire for the urban population power with lore.

  25. water damge orange county Says:

    I cannot wait to study more of this beneficial topic. So much than me Ive never even regarded. You sure did put an exciting new twist on something that Ive heard a lot of about. I dont believe Ive actually read any scenario that does this subject of the same quality justice as you simply just did.

41 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. The Firefox Cometh! | Snoopy on Skittles Says:

    […] (Image via Technologizer) […]

  2. Web Media Daily – Tues. June 30, 2009 | Reinventing Yourself... Says:

    […] Firefox 3.5: The Technologizer Review …Technologizer […]

  3. The Firefox Cometh! | Jay Daily Says:

    […] (Image via Technologizer) […]

  4. Firefox 3.5 Tips and Tricks Says:

    […] The Tecnologizer reviews the new features in Firefox 3.5, telling us about the new features that have been included in Firefox 3.5 and more, head over and read Firefox 3.5 Review. […]

  5. Firefox is Getting a Bit Plump Says:

    […] Anyway, here’s a more in-depth review. […]

  6. Porque recomiendo usar Firefox | Jose Orestes Says:

    […] web usando la ingeniera TraceMonkey en JavaScript, optimizando aplicaciones como Gmail. Según Technologizer la velocidad todavía no es optima en la Beta pero se a dado un gran paso. Posibilidad de compartir […]

  7. Firefox 3.5 released; What’s new and exciting? | Geekword Says:

    […] let’s talk about the Speed of this very new browser, here is the SunSpider result for Firefox 3.5, Firefox 3.0, Internet […]

  8. More Proof that P0rn Drives Web Tech | _mindMeld Says:

    […] link: Firefox 3.5: The Technologizer Review | Technologizer […]

  9. Firefox 3.5 Released « The Firefox Extension Guru’s Blog Says:

    […] Firefox 3.5: The Technologizer Review […]

  10. Firefox reaches 3.5 - but are browser wars out of touch? @ Technology News Says:

    […] people are enthusiastic: Harry McCracken at Technologizer says that FF remains the best choice for the widest array of folks. Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, meanwhile says it’s not withering from […]

  11. Firefox 3.5 takes you back to a time before browser add-ons | UpOff.com Says:

    […] his review of the new browser, Technologizer’s Henry McCracken says, “Not all Add-Ons will be compatible with Firefox […]

  12. Top 5 Killer Features in Firefox 3.5 Says:

    […] from Technologizer and PCPro show that with TraceMonkey, Firefox 3.5 remains a viable option for web application […]

  13. Top 5 Killer Features in Firefox 3.5 | HyipLife.com Says:

    […] from Technologizer and PCPro show that with TraceMonkey, Firefox 3.5 remains a viable option for web application […]

  14. Top 5 Killer Features in Firefox 3.5 | TechDozer.Com Says:

    […] from Technologizer and PCPro show that with TraceMonkey, Firefox 3.5 remains a viable option for web application […]

  15. Top 5 Killer Features in Firefox 3.5 | www.3gcom.org Says:

    […] from Technologizer and PCPro show that with TraceMonkey, Firefox 3.5 remains a viable option for web application […]

  16. Firefox 3.5 released :: Andrej Koelewijn Says:

    […] 3.5 has been released. Not everybody is excited about this release, but most reviews are quite positive. In my opinion, the enhanced javascript performance is the most important […]

  17. Download of the day: Firefox 3.5 | csmonitor.com Says:

    […] reviews have been glowing. Technologizer calls it the most well-rounded […]

  18. SeoMaster » Blog Archive » Nuevo Firefox 3.5 + + + Says:

    […] es la palabra clave de esta actualización. En Technologyzer ya han hecho una prueba y no tiene nada que envidiar a sus competidores: abre el JavaScript -probablemente el lenguaje más […]

  19. Firefox 3.5 todo velocidad -- Tecnobichos Says:

    […] es la palabra clave de esta actualización. En Technologyzer ya han hecho una prueba y no tiene nada que envidiar a sus competidores: abre el JavaScript […]

  20. Top Posts « WordPress.com Says:

    […] Firefox 3.5: The Technologizer Review Was it really fewer than five years ago that Firefox 1.0 debuted? Its arrival ended the dismal period in which only one […] […]

  21. Mozilla Firefox 3.5 Has Finally Arrived! « Says:

    […] product page or via software update. For good review of Mozilla Firefox 3.5 you can go here: https://technologizer.com/2009/06/30/firefox-3-5-review/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Firefox 3 has Arrived.Browser: Firefox 3.5 Final […]

  22. Top 5 Killer Features in Firefox 3.5 | NASZAKLASA Says:

    […] from Technologizer and PCPro show that with TraceMonkey, Firefox 3.5 remains a viable option for web application […]

  23. Firefox 3.5 ya ha llegado « Videogamer Blog Says:

    […] es una forma de mirar las cosas, pero para hacernos una mejor idea, gracias a Technologizer, podemos ver un análisis entre toda la competencia, donde Firefox queda en segundo lugar por muy […]

  24. Firefox 3.5 dirilis, Lebih Cepat Lebih Baik « Tempat Untuk Berbagi Says:

    […] Sumber : https://technologizer.com/2009/06/30/firefox-3-5-review/ […]

  25. Firefox 3.5 – Die 5 besten Neuerungen Says:

    […] Die Geschwindkeitsverbesserung basieren primär auf einer neuen Javascript-Engine – und die kann sich auch im Wettbewerbsumfeld sehr gut sehen lassen: Tracemonkey Test mit den wichtigsten Browsern (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, IE8) (Quelle: Technologizer.com) […]

  26. Firefox 3.5 Review Says:

    […] result of a new JavaScript Engine called TraceMonkey for this version of firefox. The test run by Technologiser indicates it is 2.6 times faster than old firefox JavaScript engine in the industry standard […]

  27. Firefox: The Next Generation :: Innovation in Software :: The Vagueware Blog Says:

    […] the really clever stuff seems to happen first, and it’s gaining pace. Everybody is obviously raving about Firefox 3.5 that was released yesterday, but yesterday’s release is of no interest to […]

  28. links for 2009-07-01 « Tuna Park Says:

    […] Firefox 3.5: The Technologizer Review | Technologizer "Bottom line: If you seek browser advice from me and we’re not in a hurry, I may assess your particular needs and suggest something other than Mozilla’s browser. But if time is of the essence, I’ll happily give the six-word recommendation I’ve provided countless times since 2004: You won’t go wrong with Firefox." (tags: fx35 firefox) […]

  29. Techknology’s Blog » Murphy’s Law: Is a Firefox 3.5 Really That Fast? Says:

    […] and their validity for real-world comparisons. Using this very benchmark, Harry McCracken of Technologizer notes that Firefox 3.5 delivers a performance improvement that’s 2.4 times faster than […]

  30. Is a Firefox 3.5 Really That Fast? | Xtreme Core Says:

    […] and their validity for real-world comparisons. Using this very benchmark, Harry McCracken of Technologizernotes that Firefox 3.5 delivers a performance improvement that’s 2.4 times faster than Firefox […]

  31. Firefox 3.5 released : Review in Nutshell | TechDusts Says:

    […] Tecnologizer […]

  32. Top 5 Killer Features in Firefox 3.5 « Internet Marketing KB Says:

    […] from Technologizer and PCPro show that with TraceMonkey, Firefox 3.5 remains a viable option for web application […]

  33. Southside Computer Care » Blog Archive » New Firefox 3.5 makes for faster more convenient browsing Says:

    […] How much faster is open to debate. Mozilla says it ran the industry-standard SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark, which measures how quickly browsers render JavaScript, on versions 2, 3 and 3.5 of Firefox, and asserts that the newest version is more than twice as fast as Firefox 3 and more than ten times as fast as Firefox 2 on the test. Other testers have reported similar results. […]

  34. Takethe5th Picks and Pans » Blog Archive » RWW’s Sarah Perez: Microsoft Hitwoman? Says:

    […] the last 2 months] or final release of Firefox 3.5 which shows marked performance improvements such that it is neck and neck with Chrome 2.0 and Safari 4.0. Again, Ms. Perez would do readers a service by asking her Microsoft 10 colleagues to predict when […]

  35. List of Firefox 3.5 Tips and Tricks | The Hidden Guide Says:

    […] The Tecnologizer reviews the new features in Firefox 3.5, telling us about the new features that have been included in Firefox 3.5 and more, head over and read Firefox 3.5 Review. […]

  36. Firefox 3.5 makes browsing faster, easier and more fun | Ezine AIO Says:

    […] How much faster is open to debate. Mozilla says it ran the industry-standardSunSpider JavaScript Benchmark, which measures how quickly browsers render JavaScript, on versions 2, 3 and 3.5 of Firefox, and asserts that the newest version is more than twice as fast as Firefox 3 and more than ten times as fast as Firefox 2 on the test. Other testers have reported similar results. […]

  37. Stupid ads solving non-existent problems and other bad sales pitches : Says:

    […] Not bad for a free browser developed by an not-for-profit foundation.  Oh, and it’s the best product on the market.  That’s got to […]

  38. Five Reasons to Celebrate Firefox’s Fifth Birthday | Technologizer Says:

    […] It’s spurned bloat. In many ways, today’s Firefox 3.5 doesn’t feel radically different from 2004’s Firefox 1.0. That’s a good […]

  39. Opera 10.5: Better and Chrome-ier Says:

    […] engine, which the company says is eight times faster than the old one. (The previous engine performed poorly compared to other browsers in the SunSpider benchmark test.) Judging browser speed based largely on JavaScript doesn’t make a lot of sense, but all of […]

  40. Link Fire: 1st July 09 Says:

    […] Firefox 3.5 review – A close up look at the features and performance of Firefox latest browser version 3.5 by Technologizer. [link] […]

  41. Firefox 3.5 released; What’s new and exciting? | Geekword Says:

    […] let’s talk about the Speed of this very new browser, here is the SunSpider result for Firefox 3.5, Firefox 3.0, Internet […]