Firefox Quantum Is Pretty Great

The new Firefox Quantum web browser is awesome. Whatever they did to Firefox v57 has made it extremely fast, much faster than Chrome. It's so good that I've made Firefox my default browser now.

I love the design choices now, though I didn't at first. The dark tab bar provides a clear separation with the rest of the browser chrome. Moving the address/search bar into the center of the window took a while to get used to, but now I love that everything is perfectly centered and balanced now. It feels calming.

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When it's in full screen mode, the pinned tabs move to the far top-left corner, so they're easier to hit with the mouse. Same with the New Tab button moving to the far top-right corner. It even has built-in Health Report, showing how long Firefox takes to startup each time. (The new version only takes a couple of seconds, while old versions of Firefox were sometimes taking 45 seconds on my slower machine. Though with 16GB RAM, it shouldn't have ever been that slow.)

There's still a couple of things I miss. The Amazon Wish List extension doesn't seem to be available for Firefox. There's no Flash support, which means the Splice site is broken (a subscription website for downloading sound samples). It supports RSS subscriptions, but not in the browser bar, and it doesn't support subscribing to RSS feeds via Feedly out of the box. But I've mostly been able to work around those problems.

Unfortunately the new speed means Firefox Quantum eats battery even faster than Chrome. I work from cafes a lot, so the battery use is noticeable (down from 7.5 hours to 6 hours battery life, sometimes even less). Safari doesn't use as much battery, but I stopped using it because it gets longer battery life by interfering with website timers, causing havoc with network speed test websites and my Duolingo time-trial language lessons. Whereas on Firefox Quantum, Duolingo runs perfectly.

Give it a try! Even with those caveats, I like Firefox Quantum a lot more than Chrome now. It makes my slower laptop feel faster. And it's good to keep Firefox on your machine anyway for testing your website. It's pretty great!

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13 December 2017 // ©2017 Kohan Ikin.