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Firefox for the Mac

I've been using my Mac for a week now and I have to say that Firefox for OS X is simply not as good as it is for Windows.

  • Load performance is slower. I'm using a faster computer then before so it's not the CPU.
  • Some pages don't render quite right. This is rare but certain pages look slightly different on the Mac then on Windows, it's subtle and may have something to do with fonts. In some cases the page just looks wrong. Similarly some sites have links that don't seem to work on the Mac version of Firefox. Click, nothing, click, nothing. I'm not sure what causes this bug.
  • Accessibility is much worse. In particular it's not possible to tab into combo-boxes, radio-buttons, or regular buttons. Perhaps there's a trick to this but the tab key seems to only moves between text inputs. Safari is much better in terms of Accessibility.
  • Sometimes it's impossible to type. I'm not sure what causes this but placing focus in the URL bar and typing sometimes doesn't do anything. I see the blinking cursor but when I type nothing happens. This seems to happen about once a day, I'm not sure why, and others seem to have this problem.
  • There is no way to take the browser full-screen. This feature is available in the Windows version but curiously absent on the Mac.
  • The bookmarks toolbar doesn't show icons. Perhaps this is the Mac style but for me the icons help quickly identify sites by color. Having the option to see the icons would be helpful.
  • The bookmarks menu has an item called "Imported IE favorites." Since this is a Mac and has never had IE installed I have no idea where this came from.
  • Controls don't follow the look and feel of the OS. Buttons, combo-boxes, checkboxes don't have the OSX look and feel. Instead they look like Windows 2000 controls. Only the scrollbars look like OSX.

Overall Firefox for the Mac isn't bad but it's also not as good as I expect it to be. I'm going to try Safari and see how it compares.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.