The world’s best free web browser has been upgraded to version 2 and released on October 24 2006.
The list of new features in Firefox:
- Improved tabbed browsing
- Spell checking
- Search suggestions
- Updated web feeds
- Identity theft protection
I have used a beta of version 2 before. The major peeve for me is the changes Mozilla made for tabbed browsing. The width of each tab is fixed, which is a benefit as you will be able to read the title of the page all the time. However, this results in tabs that are not able to fit in the width of the browser window and you will not be able to guage the number of tabs that are currently open and not be able to see the next tab that you are about to switch to. Having a button that lists the open tabs doesn’t appeal to me because I prefer to use the keyboard (ctrl-tab and ctrl-shift-tab) to navigate them. I suppose there is a key that I can set to change the behaviour of the tabs.
If you happen to accidentally close a tab, Firefox 2 can recall it from the History menu. My favourite add-on, called Session Manager, can save and restore the list of tabs when the browser is restarted, so you can resume your browsing when you turn your computer back on. This also has been integrated in version 2 and is known as Session Restore.
Identity theft, or phishing, protection is a very useful feature. Firefox 2 will warn you when you visit a web site suspected of forgery and is out to maliciously capture your secure information.
Some of Google Toolbar’s features have also been integrated natively into Firefox 2. You will find spell checking in forms and search suggestions in the search toolbar in this browser. However, Google Toolbar is still good to have for features such as AutoFill, AutoLink, PageRank, Word Translator and Highlight Search Terms.
Go ahead, get yourself a better web browser. Click on the “Get Firefox with Google Toolbar” or the links below.
Update (30 Oct 2006 1047hrs):
To revert the tab behaviour to pre-version 2.0, type “about:config” in the address bar, press “Enter”, look for or create (if it does not exist) the setting “browser.tabs.closeButtons” and set its value to 3, set or create the setting “browser.tabs.tabMinWidth” and set its value to 0, and install this style. For more information on new or upgrade installation issues with Firefox 2, go to this thread in the MozillaZine Forums.
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