May 16, 2014, 12:01 PM — The new Firefox has been out for a while, and after a few weeks with it, I'm a believer. Here are five reasons you'll love it.
Finally, a usable menu layout
In the previous version of Firefox, you had to fiddle around to find the most basic features and settings -- for example, launching the Bookmarks bar or opening a new Private Window. No longer. The area to the right of the Search bar now includes icons for common features and tasks. It's customizable, so that you can add features to it and take them away. The change may sound like a small one, but it's not -- it saves plenty of time every day.
Overall, it loads more quickly, and pages seem to render faster as well. You can check out this blog from a Firefox developer to find how much faster his tests show it to be. My advice, though, is to forget feeds and speeds and just try it out. Try it out and you'll see.
If you use Firefox on multiple devices and platforms, you'll want to sync your bookmarks and other browser features among them. This latest iteration of Firefox includes a much-improved way to do that, via the Firefox Sync service. Just log into a Firefox account on each device, and the rest is done for you.
It's more Chrome-like
I've always been a big fan of Chrome and its less-is-more philosophy of design. Previous Firefox versions were fussier, with less attention to the actual content of Web pages. This latest version does away with all that, and makes it much cleaner-looking.
Bookmarking pages was always annoying in previous versions of Firefox. Previously, it was a two-step process. Now it's a single one -- click the star, an animation appears that shows you the bookmark being added to the bookmarks toolbar, and that's it.