Tagged: Firefox

iOS web browsers: Why bother?

By now you’ve heard the news that Mozilla is finally in testing phase with Firefox for iOS. And you may have noticed that AdBlock (the popular desktop browser extensions) is releasing their own AdBlock Browser as well. Google has Chrome for iOS, and I believe iCab still has a heartbeat.

I have to wonder though, why bother? Until you can change the default browser on iOS; something Apple isn’t likely to allow any time soon, you WILL be using Safari at least once per day whether you want to or not. Simply because nobody is going to want to copy/paste URLs from email or text message just so they can be viewed in a browser other than mobile Safari. And let’s face it, Safari on iOS is a pretty damn good browser experience for 99% of users.

So I’m back to wondering what the ‘end-game’ is for companies that make web browsers for iOS. Why bother?

Firefox 9 update brings Swipe gestures for Lion users

Mozilla has FINALLY added Mac OS X Lion gesture support in Firefox. Although, Firefox 9 only adds two gestures (forward and back), they are certainly the most popular.

Firefox 9

Still not making the feature list (below), though, are numerous other Lion (and even Leopard) features that Chrome & Safari browsers have, such as PDF viewing support and native full screen. With the plethora of extensions now available for Chrome, there’s little reason to use the more bloated Firefox browser right now.

Manage and speed-up downloads with Folx downloader (15% off)

Folx Downloader for MacIf you find yourself having to download large files from the Internet on a regular basis, you’ve probably been frustrated with the fact that browsers tend to come to a crawl when downloading them, and downloading more than one can slow your entire system. And if you’re like me, your download folder can become quite unruly with so many files piling up. I sometimes look at the list of files and wonder what some of them even are.

That’s where Folx comes in. Folx is an easy to use download manager that not only speeds up your normal Internet downloads, but also helps you organize your downloaded files, schedules downloads, and even integrates a full Torrent search and download client.

Folx offers a free version, but readers of The Graphic Mac can get 15% off the Pro version by using the following coupon code at checkout time: GRAPH-MAC-15.

Web browser choices have never been better for Mac users

Popular Mac Browsers

Some of the most popular browsers from Mozilla, Google, Apple, and others

When Apple first released Mac OS X a decade ago, Mac users had little choice in web browsers. There was Microsoft Explorer, and Netscape Navigator, and… well, that was it. Soon after we were treated to a few more options, but nothing like we have today.

With Safari shipping on every Mac, and the world-wide popularity of Mozilla’s Firefox, you would think there wouldn’t be much room for competition in the web browser market. But the options have actually never been better for Mac users. (more…)

Firefox 4 leads Mac browsers in battery life

Web browser effects on battery life

Firefox 4 is the best battery life browser for Mac users

Microsoft has released a fairly extensive study of browser use on laptop computers and the effects on battery life. Not surprisingly, IE 9 comes out in the lead overall. As far as Mac browsers go, Firefox 4 takes the crown, followed by Chrome and Safari. Opera brings up the rear in the study.

I’m not sure about the usefulness of the information, as your use of the browser is only one aspect in terms of how long your MacBook’s battery lasts. And how many people use enough Watts of power just surfing the web? But the information provided is interesting nonetheless.

Web developers and designers: How fast does your page load?


loads.in is a great site to test your web page load speed

In a day and age where a good majority of web surfers have high-speed Internet, web developers and designers still must concern themselves with page loading speed. Javascript, JQuery, Java, Flash, and large images can slow the load time of any given page. The best way to test the speed of your web pages is to use an off-site app to test it.

Loads.in is a great site to do just that. You simply type in the URL of your web page and wait a few seconds for the test to run. Once completed, a display of average load times is provided. From there, you can select cities in various countries from a list and retest your page. Additionally, you can choose to use IE, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox to run the test.

Countdown to IE6 extinction: Even Microsoft wants it!

Microsoft is behind the IE6 countdown site, which endeavors to let the world know just how many (or few, as the case is) IE6 users are still out there – which currently stands at a mere 12 percent of the web browsing population.

IE6 use worldwide

IE6 users account for less than 3 percent of U.S. browsers

As a web designer or developer, you’re probably sick and tired of working around the fact that your company wants IE6 compatibility with their website. But my question to you is, WHY do you continue to do it?

Unless your primary audience lives in China (34.5 percent) or South Korea (24.8 percent), you have little reason to care about IE6 users – which are probably people who don’t care about your site to begin with. In fact, half of that 12 percent can probably be attributed to servers or computers not actively used by humans.

Here in the U.S., less than 3 percent of the web browsing population uses IE6, and you can safely assume that those people probably are on dial-up connections, or do little surfing to begin with. After all, wouldn’t you grow tired of seeing all the “sorry, this doohicky site won’t work with IE6” error messages and just click that upgrade button eventually if you had a nice speedy cable connection? There’s most likely a reason they aren’t upgrading.

Just stop worrying about IE6 users and move on. The web browsing public is much more savvy today than they were just a few years ago. If they’re truly interested in your site, they WILL upgrade their browser.

To help encourage browser upgrades, the IE6 Countdown site even offers a simple HTML code you can place in the header of your HTML that pops up a banner encouraging an IE6 visitor to upgrade.

Web browsers on the Mac: They all suck, except for Chrome

Google ChromeWith the recent update to Opera 10.5 for Mac OS X, I decided it was time to take a look at all the major Web browsers for Mac OS X.

I’ve been using Google Chrome (developer builds, not the betas) for quite some time now, and made it my default browser within hours of installing it. Nevertheless, I’m going to remain unbiased in thoughts.

Below is my extremely thorough review and expert advice for which Web browser you should use in Mac OS X.

Chrome (most recent dev build or beta version)

Uber fast to launch. Smokin’ fast browsing speed. Compatibility is nearly perfect, but there are a few sites it doesn’t work with. Expansion via extensions is pretty good, and getting better every week. Frequent updates and improvements make it more fun to work with lately. The clean interface coupled with the speed make this my favorite, and you should use this as your main browser!
Download: Release Version | Beta Version | Developer Build

Safari 4.0.5

Looks great. Quite speedy. Completely lacks any usefulness beyond just surfing pages randomly. With no expansion opportunity beyond a few really crappy plugins, it’s feature-starved. Make it your backup browser though.
Download: Release Version

Firefox 3.63.

Looks clunky. Works clunky. Takes forever and 6 months to launch. It’s fast, but not as fast as Safari. The only real redeeming thing about it is the obnoxious amount of add-ons you can install to do virtually anything – which unfortunately makes it look and work even more clunky. Don’t bother with it unless you’re a geek and want all the extra add-ons.
Download: Release Version | Beta Version

Opera 10.52

Interface lacks polish. Just configuring all the options and preferences can take weeks. Speed ain’t all that. Buggy. It basically sucks and you shouldn’t even bother trying it.
Download: Shipping Version

The Rest of them

They all suck, don’t bother.
Download: Really, don’t bother.

Great Web page screenshot add-on for Firefox

If you find yourself taking screenshots a lot, you no doubt dumped Mac OSX’s built-in screen capture utility long ago. My preferred screen capture app is Snapz Pro. But the one area that few apps do well is capture an entire Web page (including the portion not currently on screen). There are a few stand-alone apps that can do this, but most require you to manually type the URL into the app for it to work.

Simple screen capture in Firefox

Simple screen capture in Firefox

Since I use Firefox, I have a few options available that are fully integrated into the browser to accomplish the task. My favorite is Pearl Crescent Page Saver (PCPS). PCPS adds a little camera icon to your toolbar that allows you to save an entire Web page, the visible portion of the page, or a single frame on the page as a .jpg or .png file. If you don’t care for a button in the toolbar, you can also assign a keyboard shortcut, or use the contextual menu it adds to the browser. PCPS works perfectly capturing a page, including a page containing Flash content, an area that many screen capture utilities seem to have great difficulty with.
Pearl Crescent Page Saver Options

Pearl Crescent Page Saver Options

PCPS offers several more configuration options that make working with it a productive experience, particularly for bloggers with a fixed-width site. PCPS not only allows you to set the file format, including the JPG quality, but you can customize the output size of the image by percentage or pixel-width dimensions. Your image is ready to upload immediately. You can even have a custom naming convention set up via the preferences.
Pearl Crescent Page Saver offers plenty of flexibility

Pearl Crescent Page Saver offers plenty of flexibility

There are several add-ons that offer screen-capture capability to Firefox, but I’ve found Pearl Crescent Page Saver to be stable, reliable, and offering just enough in the way of customization to satisfy my needs.

Mac Web Browsers: Are We There Yet?

Mac Web browsersLong-time Mac users probably remember the day when Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator were the only games in town. With Mac OS 9 and the early days of Mac OS X, IE was the lean, mean, speed-machine; while Navigator was continuing its fast slide to irrelevance. But with OS X’s Unix underpinnings, and its sleek new GUI, it wasn’t long until developers started porting old browsers, or releasing all new ones to run on Apple’s shiny new OS. One of the earliest non-MS/Mozilla browsers was OmniWeb. It was easily faster than most anything out there, had a slick interface, and boasted features few other browsers offered at the time, such as tabs on the side, per-site preferences, built-in ad-blocking, and more. Due to Microsoft’s barely-an-effort port of IE to OS X, and Netscape Navigator suffering from never-ending software bloat, the time was right for other vendors to make their move. OmniWeb’s popularity exploded, and with it came a (welcome) blistering onslaught of Web browsers available for the Mac. (more…)