So once again we visit the browser war with another new release, today Firefox 4 was made all official and now available for download. Naturally there’s a long list of new features which you can read over at the Mozilla blog, the most important are:
Mozilla claim Firefox 4 is ‘up to’ 6x faster than the previous release. Improvements include start-up and page load times as well as hardware acceleration to power graphics and rich animations. After using Firefox 4 for a few minutes, it certainly feels snappy.
You can see the evidence of a more streamlined UI in the screenshot below. This is a vanilla install, if you’ve upgraded and your screen looks different, spend some time revising your add-ons, you’ve likely accumulated unnecessary toolbars and buttons.
Firefox 4 adds the ability to sync your bookmarks and settings across machines. With Chrome and Opera also supporting sync, this leaves IE and Safari as the only mainstream browsers without it.
What would a browser release be without a HTML5 demo site ? That’s right, https://demos.mozilla.org shows off all that HTML5/CSS3/SVG goodness now available in Firefox.
Overall, this round of browsers is pretty impressive, all gaining massive speed enhancements. Do yourself a favour, upgrade to the latest version of your favourite today. As a developer I know the pain of having large parts of your target audience lagging behind on older versions. That ends in 2 ways, the first is that innovation is held back until the the majority of your audience is up-to-date, or massive investments in development to ensure failing gracefully occurs.