Is Firefox Quantum worth trying?
Mozilla says Firefox Quantum is twice as fast as Firefox.
Downloading might only take a minute, but is it worth switching?
The company claims Mozilla Quantum is about twice as fast as Mozilla Firefox based on the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark, which measures the browser’s performance across popular web apps. That’s important because tests in 2017 have shown Firefox finishing dead last running the Speedometer benchmark.
In a big pool of browsers, we pick one and stick to it. Until it takes all the resources than we switch to never return. The same has happened with Mozilla, and they want you to give another chance to try their luck.
They have named the latest (v57) of the browser a Quantum Firefox. But is it just for sake of the name?
Firefox was known for its extreme CPU usage. But it used a lot lesser memory than Chrome. We preferred the latter. Mozilla worked hard for a year to make it better than Chrome, at least in theory.
If you have a multi-core CPU, which we usually have, the Quantum will take benefit of it and won’t take away the single core to freeze the computer.
On top of solving the basic performance, it comes with added features such as allowing users to snap screenshots right from within the browser, sync tabs with mobile versions of Firefox, and more.
And, it features a modern looking, and familiar user interface which they call “Photon UI”.
Is the hype real?
Some are even reporting that newer UI in Firefox makes Chrome look old. This is certainly not true. The truth is Firefox doesn’t look old anymore. It looks more like chrome than ever, which is the world’s favorite browser. It is what a modern browser should be.
Should you switch?
Whatever Mozilla makes it’s never going to have the integration at the level of Chrome with Google services. That might be a deal breaker for many. You can seamlessly import the bookmarks and history from any browser at any time if required.
At the end of the day, you’ll have saved a ton of milliseconds. But will you realize those few milliseconds every time? Likely not.
It doesn’t break the internet neither it changes the way you use the internet. It’s just another browser that sucks no more. It’s something new from team Mozilla, but not something we had never had. Chrome has been handling each tab as separate for a time I have lost the count.
The switch for performance comes with a price
1. Traditional Firefox extensions, often written in XUL, are no longer supported. If you need some old plugins that haven’t been updated lately, they’re no longer available. Firefox has supported both traditional extensions and WebExtensions for quite some time. Some of the extensions you use may already be WebExtensions that will continue to function normally. The other side of the coin is that now plugins work more like they do for Chrome or edge.
2. This is a huge change, it’s not just another theme applied. It’s a change under the hood. What if your old grandparents need their baby Firefox back? Mozilla, are you listening?
Like almost everyone, I have been an avid Chrome user for a while now. The new Quantum Firefox uses slightly less RAM per tab than chrome though chrome still is more performant in WebGL while FF uses a lot less CPU than chrome. That’s preliminary test on the final release released just today. Talking beyond the resources, the new Firefox feels very fast. It’s as responsive as Chrome if not more (for slightly lower resources). Mozilla is being brave and attention-seeker. The attention-seeker level is so high that it’d make anyone feel this is the only browser anyone should use. This is not going to happen!
If you seek privacy you’ll love the new Firefox. It has advanced tracking protection mechanisms built into it. It blocks the cryptocurrency mining using your CPU, of which some websites were found guilty of lately. You can harden it more via preferences
If you have been a Firefox user, they should thank you for the loyalty, you already know how fast it has become the latest update. You use the alternative good enough browser you won’t be having any earth-shattering experience. It’s just a browser, after all. And you’re just an internet user. It cannot download food or drive your car to your office.