New Faster Firefox 6 Isn't That Much Faster

Though it's got a new version number, the latest edition is mostly small improvements

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Today Mozilla devotees have something to look forward to with the release of Firefox 6. Everyone else: Not so much. The latest update comes less than three months Firefox 5 in Mozilla's new rapid-fire approach to updating its browser. The newest version has some nice added touches, including faster startup and quicker navigation, but on the whole early reviews don't give many reasons to switch for anyone currently using Chrome or Internet Explorer 9.

New Firefox looks mostly like old Firefox, but when you take it for a spin it has one big important update reports Lifehacker's David Galloway. "The new version uses the same user interface as Firefox 5, but is reported to run 20% faster." But in speed benchmark tests run by Laptop Mag's Dan Howley, any speed improvements in Firefox 6 over its predecessor were not measurable and it ran slower than Chrome and IE 9. Howley concluded the upgrade "amounted to small but nice touches."

Those include small add-ons that some users won't even notice, like highlighting the domain name of your current web page, making it easier to identify you're current location--this is particularly helpful for web browser super users, explains Howley. "That’s especially nice when you have multiple tabs open and want a quick and easy way to identify which website you are on, without scrolling through all of the page’s content." It also has a special permissions preferences section--a quick one-stop page for passwords, popups and locations and increased support for HTML5.

For those who surf on the go, the mobile update is a bit more exciting argues Endgadget's Christopher Trout. "On the Android side, version 6 makes much bigger promises, like a 'fresh visual style in Chrome Gingerbread,' enhanced image scaling, and, perhaps most importantly, it's 'faster and uses less memory.'" But with all the best changes reserved for cell phone users and not many fun user upgrades, you might want to stick with your current browser of choice.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.