Posts Firefox vs. Chrome

Firefox vs. Chrome

Image from lifehacker
Image from lifehacker

I use Firefox regularly for testing, but Chrome has been my default browser on OS X for a few years. Yesterday I used Firefox again the whole day as the latest Dev Channel Update of Chrome was horribly slow (UPDATE: This was due to a bug in Chrome.).

After a few hours of regular use (not web development), it’s pretty clear that Chrome wins on usability. The following features in particular frustrated me a lot:

  • Search.
    • Google is just better at search:
      • Google Instant in the Chrome bar. I don’t know if Firefox can do this easily.
      • Unified URL/search field. Firefox should do this. Even Safari does now.
    • The Firefox “awesome bar” remains great for history search and completion, but Chrome has mostly caught up lately.
  • Downloads.
    • The Firefox download window is better than in the past, but it’s still an annoying, clunky window.
    • Chrome’s placing of downloads at the bottom of the window is simply better and smarter, as it gives you instant access to what you want to do the most with your downloads: locate them, open them, or cancel them. Firefox should do something similar.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for editing text.
    • In OS X, you have two sets of keyboards shortcuts:
      • The Unix ctrl-a, ctrl-e, etc. These works in Firefox.
      • The Mac ⌘-←, ⌘-→, etc. These don’t work in Firefox in rich text editors (which use an iframe). It used to be that ⌘-← would do a browser back even while you were editing fields, and on many web pages you could lose the content you were editing. I suspect that’s why they disabled those shortcuts. But Chrome does it right.
  • ⌘-Q quits immediately.
    • I closed Firefox 4 times by mistake, while trying to reach ⌘-W to close a tab. Chrome does this the smart way: you have to press and hold ⌘-Q to quit. This nicely filters out mistakes, and is way better than a clunky confirmation dialog.

So go Firefox, work on those, and make me want to use you!