Firefox 3 Beta for Mac Shows Promise

After giving Firefox 3 beta 1 a fair bit of testing, I am happy to say it has a lot going for it. Right now may not be a great time to upgrade since the majority of extensions are not compatible with the beta, but it’s a bright look into the future of the browser.

Bookmarking has undergone a major overhaul in Firefox 3. The new bookmark tools, called places,  are like smart folders that give you quick access to your most visited bookmarks or recently added favorites. Bookmarks can now be tagged, a direct stab at the social bookmarking competition like del.icio.us.

While Firefox 3 for the Mac is still a Carbon application, meaning nifty features like the services menu and access to the system-wide dictionary are not available, but the new native widgets make its appearance a little more bearable. And theme creator Aronnax has updated his GrApple theme for 3.0b1, making Firefox appear nearly indecipherable from Safari–that’s a good thing.

Still lacking in Firefox 3 is support for the system-wide keychain for password storage. This is a feature available in Safari and in Mozilla’s own Camino browser. Why they can’t incorporate it into Firefox instead of its junky proprietary one is beyond me.

You can check out the current 3.0 beta now, but I would recommend waiting a month or two for the final release, which has serious potential to steal some Safari 3 users away from Apple.

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