I didn’t notice that Firefox 11 was already out until yesterday so I immediately upgraded to Firefox 11.
Firefox 11 New Features
So what’s new in Firefox 11? It can now migrate your bookmarks, history and cookies from Google Chrome. That’s very helpful if you use Firefox and Chrome back to back but I cannot really imagine Chrome users migrating to Firefox. Firefox 11 can also sync add-ons across different computers where you enable Firefox Sync. Media controls for HTML 5 video was redesigned which looks better than Chrome. However, Firefox still do not support .mp4 (h.264 + AAC) out of the box. You just need to install a plugin for Firefox to support .mp4 so it’s not really a problem.
Much of the additional features in Firefox 11 are developer features including the Syle Editor for editing CSS, HTML in XMLHttpRequest, 3D view of Web Page Structure and more.
You can see the 3D view in the demo below.
I think that the beta version “Tilt” is better because you have more options available. You can still install the add-on to test it out.
Nowadays I seldom use Firefox as my primary browser because most of the extensions that I use are available in Chrome already, or it is only available in Chrome. That’s the main challenge for Firefox to be on top of their game again. Before, Firefox is the only browser that offers add-ons which extends more features in the browser. Today, Chrome supports extensions and its extensions do not have compatibility problems regardless of the version you are using. Firefox is still in the process of converting all add-ons in using the new add-on SDK which means that its add-ons will be forward compatible with all the future versions of Firefox and the browser won’t need to be restarted anymore.
Memory Leak, Chrome 17 vs. Firerox 11
If you are still thinking that Firefox is still a memory hog, think again. On this test, I tested Firefox 11 and Chrome 17 with about a dozen of add-ons or extensions installed.
I have opened 11 tabs and I calculated the total memory that Chrome used and I was surprised it was using almost 2 Gb of memory! I have 8 Gb of memory available but for other users with less RAM available in their computers, that would be too much. I opened the same 11 tabs in Firefox and spent the same time working on those tabs in Firefox 11 and it only took about 600 mb memory.
I will worry about Firefox 11 being more crash prone than Chrome as it crashed several times during my test.
On the 2011 Q1, Internet Explorer share was 58.61%, Firefox – 23.06% and Chrome 11.56%.
In comparison on 2012 Q1, Internet Explorer market share shrunk to 52.32%, Firefox slide down to 22.10% and Google Chrome continued to eat the market share of both IE and Firefox. Now, Chrome is around 18.43%. according to Net Applications desktop browser market share.
Firefox should be really alarmed by now due to continued popularity of Google Chrome. While I am still looking forward as more useful features come in the future versions, I am afraid that more and more users will turn away from the Firefox to Chrome if the most important problem such as frequent crashing and plugin compatibility is not addressed soon enough.