Last month I decided to try using Firefox instead of Chrome. I’m a fan of Firefox but years ago I started to use Google Chrome, mostly because of its sync feature and the features of the Google products that only worked properly on Chrome.
I was tired of every release of Chrome removing some feature that I appreciate, I wanted to revisit my good old browser and see how it’s going.
The first thing that made me happy is that Firefox Sync is working pretty well, and is a solid alternative to the sync of the Chrome browser. The only things I notice that does not sync are the dictionaries and the search engines, but I think it’s not big deal. For the search engines, I can use the bookmark keyword feature. Unfortunately, I could not find an alternative for syncing dictionaries, but there’s a bug filed already and I believe it will be implemented in the future.
Still talking about the dictionary, it’s only possible to choose one dictionary to check the spelling, Chrome already let you choose more than one.
Firefox was popularly known for having powerful extensions, and it’s still the case. I could find an alternative for every extension I use on Chrome, and even more powerful ones. And there are good ideas that I could try on Test Pilot that look really promising.
Tab Center is awesome! Page shot is really promising and Min Vid is great, I hope it work with more sites in the future.
But it seems that these powerful extensions may not work in future Firefox versions. It’s sad, but I hope Mozilla is right about their decisions.
There’s also the freedom of custom settings in the browser, that can be changed on
about:config. That is something really awesome to have.
And the new Container Tabs feature is great!
For now, I can say that I could switch from Chrome to Firefox without losing too much, but there’s only one problem.
One thing that I was let down by Firefox was the performance. It is significantly slower than Chrome. Not talking about the speed of loading sites or something like that. I mean the UI, that is not very responsive, some sites get very slow over time and when using other applications. Something I don’t notice when using Chrome.
I’ve tried using multiple versions of Firefox, different configurations with the help of the community (which by the way, is awesome), and could not achieve similar performance of Chrome. At least on Firefox on Linux. And that’s a deal breaker for me. If it was a small difference in performance, I think I’d be fine with it, but it’s not. It’s something that really bothers in day-to-day use and I cannot ignore.
There are some other issues with Firefox, but they’re not very significant, like the password import from Chrome, that does not work on Linux. I had to use the Windows version for that. But overall, it’s still a great browser. I just wish it had better performance on my system so I could use it as a daily browser.
I’m sorry I can’t choose Firefox now but I’m going to try it again later in this year, and I really hope it will be able to replace Chrome for me. And I look forward contributing to Mozilla and the Open Web.