I have been wanting to write a post about Camino, the Mac browser from Mozilla, for some time. The problem is, I still am still not sure what I think of it. I have been using it on my Mac since version 1.2, and the latest as of today is 1.5.5. I never used it much at first, but in the past couple of weeks, I decided to get serious, and set it as my default browser.
First, it is way faster than Firefox. Camino is a pure native Cocoa app for the Mac OS X. It loads pages quickly and effortlessly, and the program loads faster than Firefox as well. Camino also has a cool, built-in feature to block most web advertising. That said, the browser doesn’t have all of the features of Firefox (or Safari 3). For instance, the program’s options are pretty sparse, you can’t rearrange tabs, and there is no support for browser themes or extensions.
I have come to think of Camino as a fast trade-off. I like using it, but I can’t live without my favorite Firefox extensions. I have tried to find a way to incorporate adding new bookmarks into Del.icio.us from Camino, but it must be near-impossible, because I have not had any luck.
One thing I am used to in Firefox is opening new tabs for my bookmarks by middle-clicking them. This doesn’t for bookmarks in Camino, but does work for links within a webpage. The solution is to hold down the CMD key while clicking bookmarks. Another issue is apparent in my Netflix queue. In Firefox, I can click and drag titles around to rearrange their order. In Camino, this ability is absent. That alone makes me wonder what other cool AJAX-style goodies I could be missing while visiting other sites.
Frustrated at Camino’s limitations, I ran back to Firefox. It was only then that I realized how much faster Camino was. When I switched back, Firefox felt noticeably slow and clunky. And there’s the rub.
Both Camino 2 and Firefox 3 are in the making. While Camino will never support Firefox extensions by nature, perhaps new versions of both browsers will be able to settle the battle for my favorite. Until then, I’ll just have to use both. Camino is so fast, it is worth using regularly.