Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 Officially Available for Download (Review)

Mozilla just released the first official beta of Firefox 3.6, featuring built-in support for themes (Personas), improved performance, and more. So, Beta testers and early adopters, your download is ready. This beta version of the next version of Firefox is built on the Gecko 1.9.2 web rendering engine, containing many improvements for web developers, Add-on developers, and users.

Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 Officially Available for Download

In a nutshell, the updated features and improvements in Firefox 3.6 beta 1 look like this:

– Users can now change their browser’s appearance with a single click, with built in support for Personas.
– Firefox 3.6 will alert users about out of date plugins to keep them safe.
– Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames.
– Support for the WOFF font format.
– Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup time.
– Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies.

In case you want to give this latest beta a try but don’t want to mess up with your current Firefox 3.5, extract 3.6b from your Firefox .DMG to a file on your desktop, or any directory other than where your 3.5 build is located. This way you can have both FF 3.5 and FF 3.6 Beta running at a time. You don’t install Firefox, by the way, you just drop the .app file in a folder and then run it.

If you’ve heard enough about it and can’t wait to give it a try right away, here are some direct download links to get you upgraded to the Beta ASAP:

– Windows: Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 Setup.exe
– Mac OS X: Firefox 3.6 Beta 1.dmg
– Linux: firefox-3.6b1.tar.bz2

We here at tried this latest beta and we are very, very impressed by the speed (and stability so far) of this beta. We have noticed a few small inconveniences though.

1. The close tab button is only shown on the active tab. We realize this can be changed in the about:config page, but the option to put the close button on all tabs no longer does so, unfortunately.  Anyway, any active tab can still be closed by middle clicking on it (as before, thankfully).

2. Scrolling down a page seems to move at a way little faster than normal pace. It’s slightly unsettling, actually.

3. Middle clicking to open a link in a new tab places the new tab after the active tab, instead of at the end. Again, a minor inconvenience. But again, that’s how Google Chrome behaves these days, doesn’t it?

However, overall we are LOVING the speed boost. Everything seems so much snappier. Have you given Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 a try yet? How have been your experience? Let us hear.


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