Camino Browser: The Fifty Day Test

by Devanshu Mehta Aug 23, 2007

After I used Camino 1.5 for my June review, I realized that it was finally worth replacing Firefox as my primary browser. From that day I have used it as my main browser and the results are mixed.

Fifty days later, let us look back at the reasons I did recommend this browser in the first place:

  • Mac-like interface: After seven weeks, I don’t really care for it. It’s still not as smooth looking as Safari, and some functionality is actually better in Firefox (bookmark folders in the toolbar) than the Mac-matching Camino. I’m pretty neutral on the look.
  • OS X Integration: This is the best reason to switch to Camino—even though it doesn’t work perfectly all the time. My laptop moves from work, to home, to other locations all the time, and it’s great to have a browser that recognizes when my Network Location changes. I no longer need obscure plug-ins to enable my proxy with Camino. The other OS X tie-ins, however, are not seamless. Auto-filling my passwords is hit-or-miss, which is a huge annoyance, because there are some username/password combinations (my library card number!) that I always relied on Firefox to remember. Camino may or may not auto-fill these and I have yet to figure out why.
  • “Annoyance” Blocking: This works just as well as Firefox, it seems. I do not block ads; rather, I just don’t visit web sites that have annoying ads. Pop-up blocking works as expected. Blocking Flash used to be a great idea, but with the increasing number of web sites using Flash (including my own), blocking it sometimes destroys the page layout. Couple that with the fact that Camino itself has issues with the layout of some pages and you have a recipe for HTML disaster.
  • Bookmark Manager: This is a novelty that I rarely use. I’m sure others would find it useful, but I use to manage the bulk of my bookmarks.
  • Speed: I’m not so sure about this one any more. Camino is generally faster starting up (than Firefox) but sometimes when confronted with heavily javascript-ed pages (GMail, Google Reader), it starts spinning the beach ball of death at me for minutes at a time. Bad browser! Though, to be fair, one of the reasons I was looking for a Firefox alternative in the first place was the dreaded beach ball.
  • Session Restore: This feature works very well and has saved many a session for me when I’ve had to (willingly or unwillingly) reboot or kill the browser.


  • Sites That Don’t Look/Work Right: Some sites just don’t display correctly, which has always been a problem with non-IE browsers. More concerning is the fact that some sites don’t work correctly. A bank that I log in to regularly tells me that I am using a new computer and need to have it verified myself (a security feature) every time I log in. This requires me to have them send me an email and then enter a code from the email on the site. Every time I log in using Camino, I have to jump through these hoops. I’ve now learned to use Firefox for logging in to this bank—the trouble is, once you have to switch browsers for one web site, you might as well use it for everything else. It’s the reason why IE is so seductive for Windows users.
  • Plug-ins: The lack of plug-ins (UPDATE: Poor word choice. I meant when compared to Firefox’s range.) is a bit disappointing. I didn’t use too many in Firefox, for fear of slow-downs, but the ability to activate a few to get some power in my browser was a big draw. On the other hand, it has forced Camino to remain lean and plug-in-bloat-free.

Generally, I am still impressed with Camino for its clutter-free simplicity, but I am on the edge. One more minor mishap, and I may return to Firefox until a Camino 2.0 release.


  • What do you think about Quicktime performance in Camino? I found it lacking. For example, video would freeze while sound ran on. I also like the rendering in Safari better.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Aug 23, 2007 Posts: 371
  • No plugins? Ever heard of google? Type “camino plugins”. Ever heard of Obviously not. It would have been better of you to actually do some research before writing this article….

    turandota had this to say on Aug 23, 2007 Posts: 7
  • I didn’t mean to imply that there are “no” plugins; I mean that it doesn’t even come close to Firefox. I’m sorry if that was what came across.

    Devanshu Mehta had this to say on Aug 23, 2007 Posts: 108
  • Camino for me was average too - until I downloaded a Core 2 Duo/Core Duo optimised version from a link in . Ever since it has been blazingly fast, faster than even Safari 3.0.2. Also, I have found that the 1.5.1 update to solve many of the issue you (and I!) had…

    However I agree with your negatives on the browser, but none are perfect. Currently I juggle Camino as my primary, Safari as 2nd choice and Firefox as 3rd.

    Hungryjoe had this to say on Aug 23, 2007 Posts: 10
  • Camino works fine as an occasional backup browser for the few sites Safari doesn’t handle (as well).  Hopefully a future version of its Session Restore allows (de)selection of saved windows/tabs to reopen.  Never found a reason to install Firefox on 10.4; its uncomfortable interface and lack of OS X integration make it inferior to Camino for my modest uses.

    PS: Isn’t it turandota who should be the one who’s sorry for being unnecessarily rude to Devanshu?

    sjk had this to say on Aug 26, 2007 Posts: 112
  • Camino uses Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine and its interface is built on Mac-native Cocoa APIs. It should have the best of both worlds and certainly looks better than Firefox. It’s also faster and more secure than Safari.-Jonathan Berkowitz

    Ana had this to say on Aug 23, 2011 Posts: 76
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