Firefox Quantum, a new faster and lighter browser that has everything to overcome Chrome
Today, November 14, is the day. After a long time with Chrome reigning in the world of browsers came the moment, again, for Firefox. In Mozilla they had been boasting of better capabilities and greater potential for some time. The good management of the memory was more, its rapidity stood out and the version that was going to suppose a certain point of inflection was just around the corner. And here it is: it’s Firefox Quantum .
“It’s a completely new Firefox, created to load pages faster, offer smoother scrolling, and switch between tabs faster,” says a text that welcomes us. “These performance updates come with a modern and intuitive design, start browsing and experience it for yourself: the best Firefox yet .”
Is it true? Let’s check it
Quantum is faster, there is no doubt
Since the preliminary versions have told us that Firefox 57 is much faster. They assured us that it was twice as fast as it was a year ago – that is, that Firefox 52 – and that it was going to be completely new .
That’s why they could not simply stay with the version number and made the decision to transmit the magnitude of the changes with a name: Quantum . The project was announced in October 2016. The intention was to continue with the path taken by another project, Electrolysis and its multiprocess navigation , to face the next step in the form of Project Quantum.
An initiative whose ultimate goal was the development of a next generation web engine that was ready by the end of 2017. It would offer a faster, smoother and smoother browsing experience, adding the benefits of Servo, a technology developed in Rust that allows to take advantage of completely the device processor cores . Great news.
The result of all these improvements is between us and, a priori, corroborates what has been affirmed by Mozilla during the last months. Because this version aims to be the fastest Firefox to date. We noticed it from the first second when we started to open tabs, we felt it carrying out a normal navigation, seemed to endorse tests like the video against Chrome and come to confirm tests with the benchmark Speddometer 2.0, made by the foundation itself.
We may not be talking about such extraordinary results as they show, but the speed increase is really notorious. Quantum is very reminiscent of those early Firefox that arrived to turn everything upside down and listen to the demands of the users. Now switching between tabs is also faster and working with them is a delight.
Memory management is another great point, although with nuances
Another promise that brought Firefox Quantum under his arm was good memory management. They assure us that this version 57 consumes 30% less memory than Chrome and that is not a trivial fact. One of the big complaints addressed to Google is the large consumption of RAM that makes your browser, no matter how hard they try to solve it , and a major rival in this area could hurt your market share.
Does Mozilla manage to give us what he promises? A priori, according to a simple test we have done, it seems that no . We have tried to open the same tabs in Chrome and the new Firefox, one with Genbeta , another with Xataka , a third with YouTube and a last one with The New York Times , and the numbers speak for themselves. The seen, in our case, has not been positive.
The reason we do not know, but can influence from the team itself to other applications that are currently running. It must be said that both browsers were free of add-ons in the test.
The improvements that should be experienced, and that surely many users do , would have to do with the changes introduced to improve speed and the path taken to make multiprocessing theirs. That has not exactly been taken at the time by Chrome, as we will see.
While the Google browser is created a process for each tab that we open or each extension that is running, something we can easily see in the task manager, Firefox creates four processes only, regardless of the number of open websites. The work, therefore, is shared among these four plots .
Instead of having ten tabs with their ten processes, with individualized resources that grow as they open up more, Quantum creates four processes and all that the open pages need is taken from them . Without creating duplicities that can increase memory usage disproportionately, also compromising speed.
Using it on a daily basis who would have to notice this way of working are the users who keep a multitude of tabs open in their browsers. If in Chrome the list was infinite and this caused a demand of resources sometimes excessive, in Firefox the load should not be so high and we should appreciate in a clear way that the four processes effectively carry out a better use of the capabilities of the device.
We will continue performing tests until we prove it.
Privacy as a capital issue
Firefox, since its inception, in addition to seeking speed and smooth operation, also craved to preserve the privacy of its users. Be respectful to them . In Mozilla do not live on the data of those who use their browser and therefore strive to turn this battlefield into one of their flags.
For this reason borrowed characteristics of anonymous browsers such as Tor, to avoid revealing that fingerprint of your orenador, and have endeavored to build the “most powerful” private browsing mode.
In addition to the classics of private browsing, such as not remembering visited pages, not saving cookies , searches or temporary files, adds the protection against tracking that both promoted at the time. This means, as we know, that we will be safe from the websites that use trackers that monitor our activity through the internet. Many users wished to be alien to the targeting and finally, without additions, they will be able to fulfill their objective.
In times of surveillance, espionage and abusive practices, a leading browser continues to strive so much for privacy should make us all happy . Although we do not worry about this matter.
The changes also reach the packaging
Although we know that we should not judge a book by its tapas, the beautiful sells. So if in the new Firefox changed almost everything inside, the changes should also be noticed on the outside . That is, in the interface, where its new design has been fully manifested
Photon seeks to embrace minimalism , to be cleaner, more pleasant and discreet, leaving behind forms that some people thought were outdated. Finally it is at the height of Chrome in this aspect, although any aesthetic issue is always subjective.
The rounded forms of the eyelashes have been renounced to opt, in this particular case, for the angles with a more rectangular silhouette. The address bar has also undergone changes, allowing it to be converted in the same way into a search bar. The area it occupies can be modified by organizing browser icons, add-ons, adding extra spaces to separate elements and taking advantage of the so-called “overflow menu” , much like Chrome. Although this, as a differential feature, is independent and does not depend on the conventional menu.
Personalization options continue to be as powerful as ever and, according to Mozilla blog , there are ” 265,252,859,191,742,656,903,069,040,640,000 more ways to customize the new toolbar.” Almost nothing. Lovers of the most extreme customizations can continue to be in luck.
Firefox Quantum can stand up to Chrome
After having experienced a few weeks with the preliminary versions and a few hours with the stable version of Firefox Quantum, we can safely say that the new browser of Mozilla is at the height of Chrome and the competition will be more equal than ever.
The speed and smoothness are evident, the good management of RAM is noticed by many users, although we have not had the taste, the new design feels more than good and, in general, Firefox 57 leaves us with very good taste of mouth . Everything, from the work in parallel to the new architecture through the renewed engine, seems to be noticed in its performance.
With the exception of that problem that we have had with the memory and the extensions that, due to the change of architecture, may be left behind.
In a few months it will be time to take stock and keep an eye on the statistics. Will those from Mozilla manage to cut distances thanks to the benefits of Quantum? Will Google put the batteries so that any improvement of the competition can affect them? We have no answer to these questions, but we know that this Firefox only wants to be the beginning of a return to the right path. This historical website continues very much alive .