Firefox 3 will be released to public in a few weeks. For geek users the release candidate version is out there, ready to be downloaded. Firefox 3 will feature user interface integration, which means that Firefox theme will match your operating system theme. Below you can see some screenshots for mozilla development blog that show that integration. Does this integration though worth that buzz?
First of all user interface is not a measurement for rating an application. Although it is the first thing that the end user sees. Personally I like the idea of making Firefox look like a native application on each operating system. The user interface varies even between windows vista and windows xp. Mac users will feel like home too as Firefox 3 will look similar to safari with the well known minimal mac feel.
I have tested Firefox 3 on a vista system. Bad news is that the web developer plugin did not work. Probably that will be fixed with a newer version of the plugin when Firefox 3 final version is out. Good news is that the browser renders pages much faster and most of the memory leaks that were a pain when using Firefox 2 have been fixed. Web standards are supported as usual with Firefox. Download manager has been upgraded too. A “search” field is there helping you navigate through your downloads. You can pause, resume, cancel or open multiple file locations at any time.
The feature I enjoy most on firefox 3 is the new security features. When visiting a web site, you can click the icon next to the address bar which will provide you information about the identity of the site you are visiting. Also if you want to see as more contest as you can at once, there is a full screen option which eliminates the user interface buttons and fills your screen with web content. Useful improvement, especially for notebook users.
In general web standatds support, native user interface which makes the browser easy-to-use even for users that have used only IE and security improvements make firefox 3 the best browser out there (and IE look like the worst one…).