Firefox 3.5 Review

By soumitra, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

firefoxWorld’s second most popular web browser Firefox offers faster web browsing, better tab handling, newer interface tweaks and many more with its latest 3.5 version (read our previous Firefox 3.5 RC review) which is now available for download. However the improvements are, by no means, a leap ahead of the previous version and rather common and implemented just to keep in pace with the other competing web browsers like Safari or Chrome which have gone through a lot of developments as Apple and Google poured in enough  money understanding the need of a good browser in coming years. We have made a review of the latest 3.5 version to let you know what new features they incorporated in Firefox 3.5 version and what else did not impress us.


Many people just get newer and latest browsers to get the most speedy version. Yes, the 3.5 version is more speedy than previous version 3 and the pages load noticeably quicker. The speed improvements are 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 SunSpider Benchmark test. Here is a result that would help you to compare it with the other web browsers available. The shorter bars indicate greater speed.

Awesome Bar

The 3.5 has awesome bar / address bar which populates the URL suggestions at awesome speeds while you are typing in the bar. There are now some inbuilt filters to make it more interesting. Normally the list of suggestions will be fetched from Bookmarks, page history and tags but if you add * filter, it would populate pages from bookmarks only and + limits the suggestions to the tags only.

Privacy Mode

This is basically a ‘porn mode’ that doesn’t store the session in the history. The feature is already available in IE named as InPrivate, in Chrome as Incognito and in Safari, well Private Browsing. This feature is not a surprise but it makes firefox to keep in pace with the others. When browsing in privacy mode, firfox closes all open tabs and lets you browse privately and restores the tabs when you’re done. I can imagine some good uses of this features other than opening those, ahem, sites, is hiding the surprise gift purchases or when using my friends browser without messing up his own history.

Restore Closed Windows

If you accidentally closed a open firefox tab it couldn’t be restored in the old version. Now you can restore the closed tabs from the list of previously closed tabs and windows according to your choice. These option can be found at the history menu.

Delete a particular site from History

You can delete a particular entry from the history in this new version. You can also clear your entire recent browsing history over past hour, two hours, four hours, today or all contents in the history.

Tab tear

If you used Google Chrome, you may have noticed that grabing a tab and dragging it a little opens a new window. You can do the same in this firefox version. You can also do the same by right click menu option on the tabs if you don’t like the dragging functions.

Session Restore

The session restore feature is focused on crash recovery in this version of firefox. In case of crashes, users can select the tabs to open while restoring them, so that you can remove the tab for which the browser crashed.


The integrated geo-location feature retrieves data about your locality and helps to get local search results. This is very helpful when I want some details of local places or services. You can always disable this feature if you don’t want to restrict your searches to local results.

Developer Support

Aggressive developer support pushes Firefox ahead of its competitors. If you are not a developer, this may not sound impressive to you but latest firefox is really worked up to support CSS media tags, HTML5 local storage, downloadable fonts, Web worker thread, and native JSON support, or SVG transforms.

Video Support

This version supports embedded ICC profiles, Ogg Vorbis and Theora Video and audio formats. This means that colors will look better and closer to what they were intended and no plug-in will be required to play those open source Vorbis video formats. The flash player is no longer needed to be called when playing a video within a webpage. Firefox 3.5 will consider the Ogg Vorbis or Theora Videos as a part of the webpage without the help of some flash content. This way videos can be more interactive like any other objects on the webpage like you can rotate a video while it is playing, instantly comment on the videos on the webpages, etc.


Firefox 3.5 delivers the much needed improvement to serve not only as an alternative browser but as the most powerful popular browser in the world. The support for HTML 5 and other developer enhancements will make it the most advanced browser and the other feature inclusions are there also to keep it in line with the competition. Who do you think will win the browser war? Share your thoughts with us.

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