Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 available for download

By on November 2, 2009, 3:30 AM
Firefox 3.6 finally hit its first beta milestone during the weekend, so those of you who were holding off until a more mature build of the upcoming browser became available will be glad to know this is it, no more test candidates or nightly builds needed.

We've been closely watching the development of Firefox's next iteration which brings a long list of additions and refinements to the popular Web browser. After a small developmental setback, Beta 1 arrives highlighting the following new features:

  • Users can now change their browser’s appearance with a single click, with built in support for Personas
  • Firefox 3.6 will alert users about out of date plugins to keep them safe
  • Open, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames
  • Support for the WOFF font format
  • Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness and startup time
  • Support for new CSS, DOM and HTML5 web technologies

Since the release of Google Chrome, a lot more focus has been put on browser's speed, not only by Mozilla but all major players including Microsoft. While I still consider Firefox the best all-around browser out there (in good part thanks to the numerous useful add-ons available), I've been experimenting severe slowdown problems on JavaScript heavy pages, whereas even Internet Explorer seems to behave just fine.

Other additions should appeal to a variety of users, depending on what you like to do with your browser. Personas support lets you skin your browser instantly, in fact you can preview Firefox's modified looks by merely hovering over the different styles available. Video support continues to be enhanced on the browser, while developers will be keen about Web Open Font Format (WOFF), HTML5 and CSS' new features support.

Last but not least, Firefox 3.6 Beta will likely break a majority of your current add-ons, however, if you are lucky you should still be able to override compatibility and put them to use regardless.

User Comments: 36

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Razerblade said:

I have just downloaded it and I think they have made some good improvements. One thing I noticed which was good was the support for the windows 7 task bar. It now shows each tab as a windows on the Aero Peak feature which is very useful.

kimsland, Ex-TechSpotter, said:

Running Namoroka Firefox 3.6b1 right now, all seems well

It did startup quicker, but I'll have to test over a few days to confirm all is ok

But obviously this is still Beta version software

aestarvirus said:

wow, ths is great! i don't know about this latest version of of firefox. i am using firefox as my browser for the couple of years and it doesnt disappoint me at all.

it is good that firefox 3.6 improves it's java script  feature for sometimes when i'm browsing, some script is not shown or blocked. i like waching movies on the internet and with the latest inovation of this firefox version, i think i'll be spending more of my time in front of the computer...

and there is an allert status wherein users can be notice about the latest update in the stored plugins. that's beneficial to techy users like me.

anonemus said:

I downloaded and installed this a few days ago. As expected, it won't work with add-ons yet--and add-ons and RSS feed subscriptions--are the two reasons I use FF. For browsing, I use Chrome.

I just read the link on this article to force add-ons to work with newer versions of FF. Still, its too much of a hassle to do. I'll just wait for FF 3.6 to go Gold before leaving 3.5. In the meantime, I'll continue with Chrome.

zaidpirwani said:

Just installed it and tried it... works like a charm.. no problems... I think it should be made final now... you ask why, it starts FAST, thats why..

spikester48661 spikester48661 said:

run it works good ,speeds good too. add-on not working.but for browsing it aok so go get it.

limpangel limpangel said:

As far as I know, Mike Beltzner said that Firefox 3.6 will be considered a minor release, mostly under the hood changes for security and stability.

So the question is: will Firefox update automaticly when the stable selease is done or will you have to specifically choose to install it as for 3.0->3.5 upgrade ???

elroacho72 said:

I'm on the fence I've used older versions of Firefox but always ended up going back IE.

Can I ask what are the pros to Firefox? What is your best plug-in?

Plus the cons


Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Excelent news, since a lot of improvements have been made.

Didn't want to try this before because of the constant changes and the security threat an explorer (Even if it's not new) can be in it's first stages, will be following up.

njel said:

I test Firefox 3.6b1 and Firefox 3.7a1pre. The 3.6b1 use a lot of memory after a few hours and 10 tabs opened. I hope they will fix that for the release version.

The 3.7 is too buggy for a daily usage. But I really like the new look.

I hope the speed won't be the only enhancement of those versions.

It would be sad if you have to restart your browser every 4 hours because it uses too much memory.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

As the author noted, I've been experiencing some slowdowns in later releases of FireFox as well... I'll try 3.6 to see if it hopefully improves. Interesting note: same exact configuration of FireFox runs approximately twice as fast (particularly at browser startup) on my slower older WindowsXP computer than it does on my year old much more powerful Vista computer. The new IE behaves exactly opposite, runs twice as fast in Vista... Once I upgrade to Win7 it'll be interesting to see if anything changes.

salbar1981 said:

I use Chrome when I need fast browsing ... I'll try this beta right away ! (and I'll cross my fingers it won't swallow up much memory)

psycholexx said:

The Mozilla is for sure the most user friendly and mature browser around. Chrome on the other hand added speed over conventional browsers and made the competition for market absorption more interesting, by giving tremendous speed to the user. Now Mozilla in order to grow and keep its adepts must tweak the browser for a snappier feeling. Another nice feature is the extended video support, which in this multimedia era is a big plus.

The bad thing I've experienced the most is a not-so-good java integration, which sometimes freezes the browser, and makes me end the process tree and restart Mozilla, but doesn't happen so often to annoy me, anyway, is good to hear that they are working to solve this issue.

treeski treeski said:

Sounds like a great improvement to Firefox, or at least it will be when it finally releases. I've been sold on Chrome mostly since it came out though. I love the speed and the sleek, clean look.

Deso said:

limpangel said:

As far as I know, Mike Beltzner said that Firefox 3.6 will be considered a minor release, mostly under the hood changes for security and stability.

So the question is: will Firefox update automaticly when the stable selease is done or will you have to specifically choose to install it as for 3.0->3.5 upgrade ???

You will have to specifically choose to install 3.5 from 3.0 and older version.

Puiu Puiu said:

I'm in no hurry to upgrade. I always wait for the final version before downloading. I don't have to worry about beta bugs. Does anyone know when the 3.6 will be released? (an approximate date will be good)

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I use Firefox, it's clean, secure and very customizable with the plugin features.

For those opting Chrome, it has as light security as it can be, there are tons of programs (And even manually you can do it) out there that can easily crack any password you have stored (Although I still don't know if it uses a main password encryption yet), and for what I've read there has been some holes in it's security that makes the computer vulnerable. Yes, it's fast but at what cost?

On the other hand, IE... I think it has been a microsoft issue here, forcing many users to pick their explorer with so many options out there to get every user happy to what they seek.

MBK MBK said:

Cool, will be waiting for the actual 3.6 release I'd imagine, I just got windows 7 sorted, don't want to cause myself more problems already...

I noticed someone mentioned that some Windows 7 features have been integrated. Hopefully there will be some useful jump list features.

Improved functionality on java script  pages can only be a good thing too, especially with the web becomming more and more about rich internet apps.

Kinda peeved that a lot of the addons will break, but that's kinda the down side of open source/extensible software, the creators make changes and extension devs are constantly playing catch up. Oh well, I'm sure many of them will be updated soon and as I'm quite probably waiting for final release, I'm hoping the few I use will be functioning fine.

jazboy said:

I am mozilla fan from quite long time, as mozilla is fast compare too IE8. They are getting serious competition from chrome. But i like Mozilla more because of availability of plugins for Mozilla , secure and more over i got used to this.

k0eff said:

The function which I love is when I type in address bar, for example - the pirate bay, firefox will open Nice!

fida1989 said:

I am quite happy with Firefox.My only complain is about it's page loading issue.Sometimes I need refreshing to load a page even for the first time.

FrankTank said:

Still using 3.0, I've been hesitant to upgrade due to all the mixed reviews and security issues.

I've definatley preferred it over IE. Plus it works out great on the home PC. I use Firefox, the wife uses IE. Can't say I've used the brower to its fullest potential in it's current state so I'm not sure if the upgrade is worth if for me but maybe I'll give it a try.

kodrutz kodrutz said:

It seems Firefox skins will also become much more interesting than until now - take a look at Operetta and Operetta Advance, for example. Firefox with Opera looks, that's awesome!

freedomthinker said:

Finally , i can once again , i can use the mighty FireFox ! It was starting the get annoying using Opera ;/ . Can't wait for the full version to come out ! Trying it out right now , and works awesome , not perfect but big still improvements !

LxTrix said:

I like trying the firefox betas but they always seem to crash when i do.

jurrasstoil said:

I'll wait for the next final to give the new firefox another try.

I've used 3.5 for quite a while and wasn't happy with it at all. It got slow and unstable when it was open for a longer time and the few additional features were not worth this hassle, so I went back to 3.0.15 and am pretty happy with it.

BlindObject said:

Eh, it crashed on me one too many times. I have XP 64bit pro.

Mrelreydelmundo said:

Am downloading it now

rgdot said:

3.5 is a memory hog, I have seen or heard about it from too many people, it can't be 'just my experience'

3.6 beta seems better, somewhat, but mozilla guys are already putting themselves in danger relative to Chrome

Souljacker Souljacker said:

All of the addons I use are still working, I imagine a lot don't, but the likes of linky, adblock plus, stumbleupon and flashgot work.

Love the feature that lets you preview tabs using aero peek.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Does beta 1 imply a better 2? Im glad to see there overall support for there browers continues, I can't believe they could make it any faster as it was already the fastest one I use. Lately iv been falling for safari brower, maybe I wont tho if this is the future for firefox. It can only get better.

ken777 said:

Firefox is getting a lot better, but I wish they'd hurry up and supported threading like Chrome. I'm tired of having a single tab getting stalled on something and making the entire Firefox process unresponsive.

Shalimar said:

Once again FF FTW (and not just because I help make it).

IE users need to get with the program!

Puiu Puiu said:

What older versions did you use?

Here are some pros: better security (much better that IE8); better support for newer versions of html, CSS, etc; better java script  engine; here are some addons: download status bar, downloadthemall!, built in IRC client (don't remember the name now), FireFTP, AdBlock Plus, Noscript, VideoDownload helper, etc (there's something for anyone!) + themes.

Here are some cons: it can use a bit more memory that IE (especially if you have many addons), if you have many addons loading times increase (i only keep 3 or 4 at max just to be sure) - no other cons i can think of right now. FF 3.6 solves most of the loading times problems but i'm waiting for the final release not the beta

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The full screen video feature is extremely useful, especially for JTV and other streams Hopefully this will leave beta soon.

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Does beta 1 imply a better 2? Im glad to see there overall support for there browers continues, I can't believe they could make it any faster as it was already the fastest one I use.
I take it you've never used Chrome? :-)

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