The latest release of Firefox appeared as promised this afternoon BST on the Mozilla website, with the headline improvement being a claimed performance boost. It also comes with some bugs.
Mozilla claims that version 3.5 is twice as fast as version 3.0, which appeared a year ago, and up to ten times as fast as version 2.0. It's also true that the browser of 2009 has a lot more to do, and the new version also includes enhanced support for video content within the browser rather than through plug-ins. This has been built in to improve stability and performance.
The new version does break the odd plug-in, however, including the popular LastPass web login application for automated access to websites. That now has to be run manually. Firefox 3.5 also interferes with some forms that have not been a problem in previous recent versions.
Privacy is another enhancement with the arrival of a 'private browsing' feature that stops the caching of websites visited, cookies, forms filled in during browsing and passwords and logins used. This has to be turned on.
Of more long-term interest is location-aware browsing that lets the software pass back information on a user's geographical location so that applications can suggest services and points of interest in a user's locality.
Firefox 3.5 is available for download from the Mozilla website.