When Skype 5 Beta hit Windows, I was really upset that it didn’t hit OS X. The reason for that was the video conferencing, which is a really cool feature. Today thanks to my friend Michael, I learned that it has finally made its way over to my favorite Operating System. The startup screen and the main application window look much better! Finally Skype users on Mac OS X can rejoice as Skype has a long history of taking its sweet time with Mac OS X and Linux releases. Anyways you can download the beta here!
So I have been using Firefox 4 Beta 1 on my friend’s laptop (Macbook pro running OS X), and I can say it’s a move in the right direction! The first thing I noticed was it launches faster than before, this might be because he doesn’t have so many extensions. The next thing I noticed was the Site Identity button and fav icon have become part of the address bar, which makes things aesthetically nicer. Also aesthetically it looks more boxy, which makes me feel its leaner and faster. Finally on the aesthetics, the addons now open in a tab instead of a window, which I find neat (you can access it by typing in about:addons in the address bar). Next they added a progress indicator that loads a pie chart on each tab that is still loading, this allows you to see how much of the page is left to load. Finally it loads pages faster, more like chrome. Below are comparison shots of the site identity buttons from Firefox 3 and 4, and a snapshot of the pie chart progress indicator.
To conclude the 1st beta of Firefox 4 shows a real step forward and has been really stable with no crashes in the couple of days that I have used it. If you haven’t downloaded it yet you can get it for all three major Operating Systems (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) here.
Progress Pie Chart