I’ve been using Camino 1.1alpha2 since this morning, and it’s a huge improvement over 1.0.3, the current version. Although on the surface it appears pretty much the same, there are some important and useful improvements.
Perhaps the best new feature is the spellcheck. The Camino team promised this would appear when Firefox got spellchecking, and they didn’t disappoint. It uses the OS X spelling library, and works extremely well.
Although there is no UI for this yet, the framework is there for session saving, so pages you were visiting when you closed the application reappear when it is re-launched. It also saves them after a crash, however, this is a feature I have yet to require, as despite the alpha label, it is very stable, and although I am frequently greeted with the Spinning Beach Ball of Death I have yet the experience any crashes.
Also new is a popup blocking interface similar to Firefox’s, that is, when a popup is blocked, a bar appears at the top of the screen, which allows you to add websites to the whitelist. Finally, webpages with embedded feeds have a feed icon displayed in the address bar, again, a feature of Firefox, and this allows you to subscribe to it with the feed reader of your choice, in my case, Vienna. I have also noticed a small speed increase, good to see that despite new features, Camino still gets faster. The font rendering also looks slightly different, but I’m not sure whether I like that or not. This is not due to the switch to the Cairo rendering engine, only trunk builds of 1.2 use Cairo.
With this update, Camino retains it’s niche: the features of Firefox, but without looking out of place on OS X.