Why I switched back to Firefox

I know you’ve all been clamoring for this info, and now it’s finally here: Why Nathan Swartz switched back to Firefox after becoming such a devoted Safari user. Enjoy. 🙂

  • Plugins. I switched to Safari before version 3 was released. Pre-3, plugins were kind of supported in a round-a-bout way. With the release of v.3 though, many of those plugins no longer worked. Plugins are essential, because every user is going to want to do things that the browser doesn’t do right out of the box.
  • Remember the Milk Greasemonkey Script. RTM is a great to do list application that I can use on my iPhone (look for the ToDo app in the AppStore, or RTM’s own iPhone interface web app), and in Gmail. Having your to do list right in your email client is key, as it’s more likely I’ll use it there than try and log into RTM every time as a separate task. No Greasemonkey for Safari = no RTM in Gmail.
  • Firefox’s download handling is superior to Safari as well. Aside from being able to download files anywhere to your computer, you can specify which types of files you’d like to download and which you’d like to just open. You might always want to download mp3s, but automatically open PDFs. Safari doesn’t allow you to decide on a per-file basis. Plus, the actual Download window in FF has search and multiple right-click options
  • Safari looks nicer than FF in my opinion, but now you can make FF look exactly like Safari.
  • Firefox 3 doesn’t crash like previous versions. Safari 3 rarely crashed on me either, though.
  • Firefox remembers your passwords and has them auto-filled in all the time. Safari doesn’t, so you’ve got to have one helluva memory on you.
  • Firefox’s Google Toolbar is way more the awesome. You can setup different search engines (like Google, Wikipedia, Google Images, custom searches) and use them in tandem with a dropdown menu, unlike Safari which only allows you to use one search engine at a time.
  • Sidebars. Seriously, why doesn’t Safari have sidebars? Is Steve Jobs just a jerk? Sidebars are one of the only ways to get Google Talk on a Mac, in any decently usable form.

It’s still kind of a bummer that FF can’t sync bookmarks with Safari, since I can’t sync bookmarks with my iPhone and FF. But to be honest, bookmarks are for wimps anyway.

Up Next: Free the Airwaves