Friday, June 13, 2008

Review of Firefox 3

I have had the pleasure of using the Firefox 3 beta for some time now and, while initial versions were a bit buggy, the latest release candidate (RC 3 as of this writing) has really won me over with its stability and overall usefulness.

Here are my top 3 reasons you should switch to Firefox 3:
  1. Bookmarks. At long last, bookmarks are now usable and user-friendly. Find a site you want to come back to later? Bookmark it with one click by lighting up the little star in the Smart Location Bar (more about that in a minute). By default, this new bookmark will be stored in the Unfiled Bookmarks folder, so you'll never ever have an unorganized Bookmarks list ever again.

    Should you later decide you'd like to organize this bookmark, you have two options: do it right away by clicking the star again (or double-click it at the outset) to bring up a simple organizing tool, or go to the full-fledged bookmarks organizer, where you can sort out all your unsorted bookmarks.
  2. The Smart Location Bar (AKA the "AwesomeBar"). Instead of pulling up a list of mind-numbing URLs, Firefox now allows you to throw in keywords just like a Google search. The result set is nothing short of absolutely useful; the result is a list of sites you've both visited in the past and/or bookmarked, which contain your keywords.

  3. Speed. Firefox has always been a little bit faster than Internet Explorer, especially if you used the FasterFox extension. Well now, I'm pleased to say that Firefox 3 is dramatically faster, including start up time and page loads. Users of Digg might notice that the site loads at least twice as fast and stories with 100+ comments now load in a fraction of the time. (This, combined with their revamp of the comments system makes the experience even better. Thanks, Digg!). Perhaps even more impressive is how snappy Gmail feels now.
For further review, head over to dria.org and check out this "field guide".

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Qik for iPhone in private alpha testing phase

Hey all you iPhone owners out there: there's a killer new app coming. As previously noted and confirmed, Qik for the iPhone is under development and now in the private alpha testing stage. For those not in the know, Qik is a little app that streams live video from your phone to the internet and saves the stream so you and others can watch it later.

Digg.com founder Kevin Rose recently spoke with the CEO of Qik and confirmed that he'll be part of the alpha testing and it'll be installed this weekend. I'm curious to see how the video compares to the Nokias, but I'm not holding my breath that it'll be any better just because it's an iPhone.

Your thoughts?