The Mozilla Foundation has released a completely new web browser called Firefox Quantum. Of course, the new browser came to compete with Google's Chrome.
Firefox Quantum was released in November 2017 for users of almost all operating systems: Android, iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows. Mozilla has announced that Firefox Quantum is designed to deliver twice the speed of its predecessor and uses 30% less memory than the Chrome browser.
Marketing is great, but is Firefox Quantum really better than Google's rival browser?
Below we will try the pros and cons of both browsers.
In December 2017, just one month after the release of Firefox Quantum. the Mozilla Foundation announced that there were 44% more downloads from Chrome users compared to the same period last year. On Android and iOS devices, in particular, Firefox installations increased by 24%.
Let's put the above information in context: First, when Chrome debuted in 2008, it quickly became the de-facto web browser. Before that, everyone used Firefox as an alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari.
Chrome has bypassed Firefox, which seems to be starting to reverse. According to the Digital Analytics Program, in January 2017, Chrome dominated the US (with a market share of 44,5%). It was followed by Safari (with 25,4%), Internet Explorer (with a market share of 15,5%) and finally Firefox (in fourth place) with 7,4%.
However, a month after the release of Quantum Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation confirmed that 170 million people have installed the new browser, which allows you to open over 1.500 cards in just seconds.
What's new in Firefox Quantum?
Before we move on to Firefox Quantum, you should know that we are talking about the technical version 57 of the Firefox browser. The name "Quantum" comes from the development project that made Firefox the browser it is now. But the name remained.
Beneath the redesigned look is a new browser, born of the Quantum project, along with new multitasking technology created by the Mozilla Foundation for the browser.
Firefox Quantum also features an AMD VP9 video encoder, which helps reduce battery consumption by cutting off video decoding per tab. The result is a browser that is very light and designed to run multiple tabs of various tasks with 86% less standby time. All this with less RAM than Chrome uses. You can play 3D games at native speeds and browse with confidence knowing that Firefox uses enough memory to let you work in parallel with other applications. Firefox uses 1,77 times less memory than Chrome, according to the Mozilla Foundation.
We all want a fast and light browser, but we also want one that looks good. Firefox Quantum does not seem to disappoint. You will immediately see the changes throughout the browser, from the toolbar icons, the "Settings" menu, the "New tab", etc. If, for any reason, you do not like the new look, Firefox Quantum lets you customize it to your liking. You can move all buttons, change colors and fonts, and even control the browser's optical density. You can also choose from thousands of themes.
Firefox Quantum comes loaded with a lot of tricks. Like Chrome, it has a built-in QR reader and menu item for copying a URL. With Firefox Quantum you can capture a section from your screen, or the entire screen, or just a webpage. You can enable "Night Mode" to invert browser colors. You can also install extensions and add-ons, sync your browser, and share open tabs on your mobile phone, desktop, or tablet. You can manage your passwords and give your computer a master password for extra security. You can browse privately. Mozilla Foundation with Firefox Quantum as an open source browser will not make your electronic data available and lets you choose privacy so you can browse freely.
With privacy, for example, Firefox Quantum actively blocks any unwanted content, including ads, parsers, and social media share buttons that record your behavior without your explicit permission.
The latest version of Firefox seems to be superior to Chrome, in all the comparative tests I have read so far. The test results show that a lot of effort has been put into a better performance of Firefox. However, although something seems obvious, no one can see a huge difference in speed - but this should not be a surprise, as in 2018 all modern browsers are quite fast.
The Mozilla Foundation, of course, could not be left behind and released a promotional video that directly compares the two browsers. Watch the video.
Chrome has remained the same for years. So if you're feeling a little tired of the look of Chrome, you might be fascinated by Firefox Quantum's "Photon" look. Just do not expect any new browsing experience. We are always talking about a web browser. In fact, Firefox Quantum is very similar to Chrome. And to be fair Firefox Quantum is not the only browser that comes with its own custom store. You can easily browse through the thousands of themes available for Chrome, from here.
Google has always tried to market Chrome as a secure browser and rightly so. It has built-in malware detection software and phishing detection, thanks to sandboxing technology and safe browsing. The Google App offers automatic updates for security fixes. It also has many privacy tools. For example, as with Firefox Quantum privacy, Chrome has something called anonymous browsing. The function mostly automatically deletes cookies.
Finally, Chrome also lets you sign in for instant access to your synced bookmarks, history, and other settings from any device. Also, like Firefox Quantum, it has add-ons and extensions, as well as the Chrome Web Store.
We'll leave the design aside (since the subject is subjective), and turn to speed and the features that make the match between Firefox Quantum and Chrome quite difficult.
As we said earlier, a lot of the data seems to suggest that Firefox Quantum is faster, but some synthetic tests suggest that speed is negligible in the real world.
In other words, both browsers can be just as fast, but you may notice differences when running them side by side on your computer. Twelve tabs in Chrome can reach memory limits, while in Firefox Quantum, you can have 30 to 40 tabs open and not feel any delay. It's worth a try, especially if you spend most of your time on the computer using the browser.
Firefox Quantum vs Google Chrome: The browser war
Chrome has won several wars, but as history has shown, at some point it is likely to lose its crown. Although Chrome has dominated in recent years, Firefox seems to be moving at a quantum pace.
Mozilla now hopes that Firefox Quantum will allow it to regain the ground it lost from Chrome, although it faces some very difficult challenges: Chrome is the default browser for all Android devices and Safari is the default browser for Mac and iOS devices, and Microsoft Edge is the default browser for Windows 10 devices.
After all, changing browsers is not an easy task. There is a learning curve, and indeed behavioral learning.
What you choose will probably go with the operating system you are using, although it is never too late to learn something new.