Tag Archive for: browsers

Firefox 4 and Two Quick Tips

24 Mar 2011
March 24, 2011

By now you’ve no doubt heard that Firefox 4 was released last week. I had used it through a few beta and release candidate releases and like it a lot. Here are a couple small tips that I thought I’d share. One specific to XP and the other to Windows 7 (and Vista?).

Firefox 4 on XP tip

At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the redesigned menu but I’ve grown to like it, especially the amount of space it doesn’t take up. Here’s what it looks like on a Windows 7 machine:

Firefox 4 Menu on Windows 7

When I first installed it on my little XP laptop I was initially appalled. The bar was gone! Blah, it looked like the previous release:

Firefox 4 on XP -- old style menu

Fortunately, this is easily fixed. To get the snazzier menu, just go to View –> Toolbars and uncheck the “Menu Bar” option. Presto – problem fixed.

Firefox 4 on XP -- new style menu

Windows 7

When hovering over Firefox in the task bar, wouldn’t it be nice if it would show a thumbnail of all tabs, not just the current one? I sure thought so – and turns out it is just a checkbox away (assuming, of course, your operating system supports it).

Just go to Options and then the Tabs tab. Check the bottom option:

Firefox 4 - Show tab previews

Now hover over Firefox in the task bar:

Firefox 4 tab previews

From there you can click the tab you want to go to or even close them by hitting the little red “x”.

Search from the Address Bar

Bonus tip!

I’m not sure if this is a published feature or not, but I’ve noticed that I can type keyword searches straight into the address bar – instead of the search box – and it takes me to a Google search for those words. You know, like Chrome?

This doesn’t seem to be specifically listed on the Firefox Features page, but I sure like it. Also makes me think I could probably remove the search box altogether…

I Want Some Tab Candy

23 Jul 2010
July 23, 2010

I was starting to fear that only Google was innovating in the browser space, but this Tab Candy intro video shows that Mozilla is definitely still in the game. Check it out:

A Quick Look at Flock 2.0 Beta

18 Jun 2010
June 18, 2010

flock-button-200x60The latest beta of Flock’s “social browser” is out now and I thought I’d give it a look this week. I’ve checked it out in the past but generally been pretty underwhelmed… In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever written about it before. However, this latest version is based on Chromium which is the same code running Google’s Chrome browser and I’m rather bull’ish on Chrome.

Here’s the pitch:

Flock is faster, simpler, and more friendly. Literally. It’s the only sleek, modern web browser with the built-in ability to keep you up-to-date with your Facebook andTwitter friends.

The install is simple, as is the initial startup experience. I created a flock account (seemed to be necessary to use the social features) and then pointed it towards my Twitter and Facebook accounts. The browser started and I have this nifty little sidebar on the lift that has all the activity from both services mixed in.

Using the browser is, for the most part, just like using Google Chrome with slightly different fonts and colors. Basically, this seems like another Chromium port with a sidebar so I looked a little closer at the sidebar.

I don’t love it.

OK, I don’t hate it, but it is missing a few features that really bug me.

  1. No Twitter Groups support. The Flock sidebar does support groups and offers some really cool features. But. No access to your pre-existing twitter groups
  2. No Facebook comments. Yes, you see Facebook status updates from your friends, but you don’t see any comments or “likes” that might be on those updates. You have to click them (one by one) to see if anyone commented. Ugh.

Odd design decision? The twitter stream shows everything, including replies where you don’t know both parties. Old school! I’m on the fence if that’s good or bad.

If you really like Chrome and want some social integration, then give Flock 2.0 beta a look – unless you’re big into setting up Twitter groups! I’m going to hold off for now and see what subsequent betas bring to the table. Perhaps there’s more to come that will make me a bit more excited to switch over.

Chrome and Web Dev Extensions

27 May 2010
May 27, 2010

Google Chrome logoI’ve always been happy with the built-in Developer tools that come with Google’s Chrome browser. They’re a pretty solid kit and generally comparable to what you can get for add-ons to Mozilla Firefox. However, more than once I’ve been left wishing for some of those Firefox tools…

Today I was skimming over the Google Webmaster blog and found the recent Chrome Extensions for web development article. Bingo, my wishes just came true! There’s now a page of “featured” web development extensions. Clearly I’m a bit behind the times as I had no idea that there were this many extensions out there already.

I’m quite excited to see one of my old Firefox favorites now available for Chrome: Web Developer by Chris Pederick. Oh sure, I’m a fan of Firebug and many other tools, but Web Developer is one that I’ve often used when I need something that works the way I expect.

Also pleased to see extensions for measuring and eyedropper/color picking as well. Great stuff. Quite a few others out there that look worth exploring as well.

Any favorites that I should be sure to check out?