Showdown: Chrome (Beta) vs. Firefox 4.0

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With new versions scheduled to be released for these two popular web browsers, many of us are rethinking where our loyalties lie. Should we go with the Google Chrome (Beta) or Mozilla Firefox 4.0? Is it worth the upgrade, or is it time to try something new? Here’s a list of the new and upgraded features to make your decision easier.

Release Date:

Google Chrome (Beta): Beta version available; Those using Chrome will be updated soon.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Web and mobile browser expected mid-to-late March.

Point Goes To: Chrome. It’s available now, and we all know what happens with tentative dates.

Speed:

Google Chrome (Beta): The new browser is 66 percent faster than the previous version using the V8 Benchmark Suite tests.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Firefox counters with a six times faster browser than their previous iteration, meaning a 6oo percent faster speed using the V8 Benchmark Suite tests.

Point Goes To: Firefox. Just look at the stats.

User Interface:

Google Chrome (Beta): The browser has been revamped to help the user customize their experience and get to what they need faster. This means:

- The settings interface is a tab in the browser. This makes it look cleaner.

- A search box so you can quickly find whatever you’re trying to fix/manage. Finally, you can search for your settings instead of clicking through and reading through each option.

- Each option page has a URL so you can help others find the same setting.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Lots of new stuff here including:

- Top navigation buttons have disappeared, making it look very similar to Chrome. Tabs are right on top now. Bookmarks are now a button on the top right of the page.

- Introducing App Tabs: If you’re someone who uses the same websites (such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.), you might want to try this option. You have the option to make a frequently used website an app tab, which appears as a small square to the left of your normal tabs. The app tabs light up when there is updated content.

- Switch To Tab: Now when you go to type in a new URL, you will have the option to “Switch To Tab.” No more forgetting that you already have that website open in a different window.

- Panorama: Instead of having multiple windows open, each with their own purpose, you can organize your tabs into different groups. Panorama gives you the option to click on that set of tabs and hide the rest (even though they are in the same browser window). This is best for people who use a ton of tabs daily.

Point: Firefox. I like all the new features Firefox has added – especially since I’m a tab freak. Even though a lot of it is just updating to be more like Chrome, there are some added features that Chrome hasn’t implemented. However, Chrome does get props for making searching for settings easier and helping us customize.

Synchronization:

Google Chrome (Beta): You can synchronize passwords across all the internet-capable devices you use that use Google Chrome and encrypt them for added security. Search through Chrome’s now-easy-to-use settings. It should be under the heading “Personal Stuff.” You can also import data from your other browsers with ease.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: Not only can you synchronize passwords and auto-fill data across your internet-capable devices, you can access the same website that you were looking at on any of your devices.

For example, if you open Yelp.com on your computer and need that information on the go, you can open the Firefox browser on your Android device and opt to look at the sites you were browsing on your computer and vice versa. The new Firefox browser will ship out with new Android devices when it is ready. (iOS users need to download a separate app for this functionality since separate browsers are not allowed.)

Point goes to: Firefox. I do enjoy how easy it is to upload settings into Chrome, but being able to see the same web browser across devices? Very cool.

Updates:

Google Chrome (Beta): It’s so advanced it updates itself and most of its apps (eventually). You can also force an update at any time under the “About Chrome” section.

Mozilla Firefox 4.0: You no longer need to restart Firefox when you update with a new add-on: It automatically installs it for you. This feature only works for new apps, although older add-ons have the option to upgrade to fit this new feature.

Point: Tie. I hate updating and like it when the program can figure it out for itself, but now Firefox is on an almost even playing field with the “no restart necessary” update.

Final Score: Advantage Firefox

I like what Chrome has done, but the new Firefox updates seem to take the best of what the browser can do and improve on it. Which do you prefer?

More on TIME.com:

Google Chrome Works Behind the Scenes with Background Pages

Chrome 10 Beta Promises “Speed, Sync and Settings”

Is Your Browsing History Accessible Without Your Consent?

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