While Firefox 2 was actually released yesterday, it’s still pretty decent news, because a lot of folks have been waiting for a while, and the improvements are decent. Thus far I’m not certain that I would say that it deserved a jump all the way to version 2 (it seems more like a move to 1.6 was in order), but it’s an improvement, from what I can tell.
The speed of the browser appears to be better, though I haven’t given it any head-to-head tests, and I really doubt that I will. The tabs have a gradient look to them, which isn’t really all that different, but I suppose gives it a more polished appearance. And there’s also a “list all tabs” over on the end which is nice, so that you can see what is on all the tabs, in case they all get too squished together to read.
For those of you who like such things, there is also a spell checker built in, which adds a Microsoft Word-like red underline to words that are mis-spelled, which can certainly come in handy if you do a lot of typing in your browser (blogging comes to mind here). It can also be annoying if you have a tendency to use a lot of acronyms or uncommon words that won’t typically appear in a dictionary – though it’s easy enough to right-click and add the words to the dictionary.
The RSS integration has been enhanced a bit by allowing the easy subscription to pages as you are viewing them, just by clicking the little orange icon in the address bar (and you can select from multiple subscription services). That’s a neat feature, especially if you tend to subscribe a lot – though it can also lead pretty easily to information overload, so you’ll want to be careful with it.
Other than a slightly revamped preferences window, that’s about it. Not too many changes that I’ve seen. I’m sure that there are some under the hood, which is nice. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll see them when browsing.