Firefox 3 now out of beta

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firefox_icon.jpgThe latest, highly anticipated version of Firefox is gearing up for full-scale release. It has just had its beta training wheels taken off and has reached Release Candidate stage. In short, it has reached the stage where web developers can test their services on a pretty much finalised version so that they’re ready for when it is granted its official release.

Naturally, Firefox 3 will be more secure from internet nasties and aims to be faster and more efficient than its predecessors. I’ve been tinkering around with the beta on my laptop and but have been able to do less than I’d have liked because it doesn’t work with our blogging tools properly yet. However, as soon as it does, I’ll be upgrading.

The best changes I’ve noticed so far are that it gives you the choice of saving all your open tabs for next time you run it (very Opera really). When you type an address into the navigation bar it also gives you a much more extensive list of websites that you have visited previously and drawn from your bookmarks to choose from.

The best feature of all is the redesigned password management. Old Firefox and (I believe) most other browsers offer you the chance to remember username and passwords before you login to any given site. Therefore, if you can’t quite remember your exact password, you either have to clikc ‘Not now’ and log back in later to get it to offer you the chance again or just hope that you’ve guessed right and risk having it remember the wrong thing.

In Firefox 3, the option to save your login deets pops up at the top of your navigation window at the same time as the site logs you in. So you can wait and see if you got it right before commiting it to your browser’s memory. Like all the best ideas, it so simple and sensible that it makes you wonder why no one thought to of it before.

I’m sure there are plenty of other tweaks and improvements appearing in the final release that I haven’t noticed yet, and inevitably one or two gripes, but so far it looks like a worthy successor to the Firefox line-up. You can see details of the new improvements here and download the Firefox 3 Release Candidate here.

Firefox (via eFluxMedia)

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4 comments

  • I kind of bypassed Firefox completely. I went from IE to Opera and saw no reason to go (as I see it) back the other way.

    I’ve never had a need for all these miscellaneous extensions I hear of. All the functionality I’ve ever needed has always just been there.

    I’m looking forward to ‘Opera Link’ in the new version currently in Beta, the idea of my desktop Opera and my mobiles Opera syncing resources is a welcome addition to the experience.

  • Yeah, poor old Opera very rarely gets a look in. It’s a shame given that the best browser innovation usually seems to appear on Opera first, then Firefox, then Safari, and at some point two years later on IE.

    That said, I used to use Opera on my Macbook but never really got on well with it.

  • I’m having to use Firefox to visit Digg.com at the moment, since their recent comment system overhaul has well and truly crippled the Opera browser.

    Which is ironic, given Operas well-respected level of ‘standards’ compliancy.

    I’m thrilled you gave it mention in this article actually; everybody seems to neglect its very existence in polls and discussions and yet it proves to be a very accomplished bit of kit alongside the likes of the ever-popular fox.

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