Firefox 3 First Take: Worth The Wait, But Not Perfect

Mozilla seems to have gotten their Web server problems under control, and we’ve been able to download and install a copy of Firefox 3, the new version of their popular browser.

First take: We like it — it feels faster on our Apple (AAPL) laptops, the interface is more consistent to other Mac apps, and there are some helpful new features, like a browsing history search built in to the URL bar. (They’re calling it the “Awesome Bar.”)

The new Firefox also has a less obnoxious way of asking you if you’d like it to remember your passwords to sites, and supposedly there are a bunch more new security features under the hood. This is all good.

But Firefox 3 isn’t perfect. When we booted it up for the first time, it had forgotten a bunch of bookmarks we had added to the Firefox 2 bookmark bar in recent months. It also broke an important Applescript script we’d been using just fine with Firefox 2 for months.

And, on a Mac at least, its text rendering isn’t always better. Helvetica looks like it’s been squeezed horizontally to about 95% or 90% width — it feels weird and makes sentences wrap differently — which to our eyes, makes it harder to read:

While we’re sweating the small stuff, italicized text — ugly in Firefox 2 — looks a little better in Firefox 3:

What’s your take? Have you upgraded? Do you like the new version? Let us know in comments below.

Related: Firefox 3 Launches, Servers Crash

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