I can’t help myself. I’m constantly tinkering with one thing or another when it comes to my laptop. Lately I’ve been playing around with different internet browsers. Like everyone else, I cut my teeth using Internet Explorer (IE); mainly because it was the only browser out there for a long time. Things have certainly changed as there are now several browsers to choose from and IE is no longer king.
On occasion I will download the most recent version reincarnation of IE. I’m not sure why I do it, but I do. No matter what changes Microsoft makes the browsing experience just isn’t what it could be. IE improves with each release to be sure, but the improvements always seem to come up short.
My latest browser experiment is Safari for Windows. I’ve had Apple computers for years and was excited to give it the old collage try on a Windows machine. It certainly has a lot to offer and, like everything Apple, is easy on the eyes. Unfortunately it tends to lock up on me at the most inopportune times. So for now I’ll continue to use it to mirror my browsing, but won’t use it as my primary browser just yet.
Google Chrome is a great little browser. I’m a minimalist by nature, which is probably why I’m drawn to Chrome. It has a very slick user interface and moves quickly from page to page. The knock I have against Chrome is interestingly the same thing I love about it; simplicity. I like to use a lot of “tools” when I browse the internet. I clip sites, use my finger to browse while on my tablet, capture references, highlight pages, so on and so forth. Chrome doesn’t yet offer many of these extras. I frequently keep Chrome minimized on my toolbar for those times when I need to quickly look something up. So I guess that makes it my back-up browser of choice.
Firefox is a great browser. I love the functionality it offers with all the incredible add-ons freely available just for the asking. Some of my favorite add-ons include: Evernote Web Clipper, FoxTab, IE Tab, Read it Later, ScrapBook, Session Manger, Wired-Marker and my all time favorite Zotero (image below). Zotero is a great online research tool that makes collecting information a snap. Along with Evernote, I use it almost daily. It is for these reasons that Firefox is my browser of choice. I just can’t live without all the additional functionality it has to offer. No matter how often I try to switch browsers I always find myself drawn back to Firefox. The only improvement I would make is to have all your add-ons stored online so they didn’t have to be loaded on every machine you use. Other then that, Firefox is almost the perfect browsing tool.