Review: Camino Browser 1.5

by Devanshu Mehta Jun 07, 2007

It has been 16 months since I reviewed Camino 1.0, the open source Mac-only browser from Mozilla, based on the same engine as Firefox. This week Camino moved to 1.5 and brings with it an impressive set of improvements.

To recap my Camino 1.0 review, Camino is:

  • very cool
  • Mac-like
  • based on the same rendering engine, Gecko, as Firefox 2
  • faster than Firefox
  • integrated with Keychain, Address Book, Bonjour, and Spotlight
  • has “annoyance blocking” built-in for pop-ups, ads, and similar ickiness
  • has a very nice bookmark manager
  • takes system-wide Network Preferences into consideration

Though the improvements in this version are not dramatic, they are moving in the right direction and do make it a much more well-rounded browser. This version should help it break out of the “novelty” category and into real competition with Safari and Firefox on the Mac.

What’s New:

  • Spell Check: Camino, like everything else, now has spell-checking built-in. Also, like every other Camino feature, it is strongly tied in to Mac OS X by using the OS X dictionary.
  • RSS Feed Detection: Similar to Firefox, Camino now can automatically detect feeds for the site you visit. Clicking on the feed will open it in the system’s default feed-reading application.
  • Built-in Flashblock and Better Annoyance Control: The only plug-in I now use in Firefox is Flashblock, and it is nice to see that it is part of the new Camino. Flashblock allows you to configure whether you want Flash to load automatically with the page, or load only when you ask it to. This is useful to get a page to load quickly and completely before you decide if you want to waste time on the Flash content—which may or may not be integral to the page.
  • Session Restore: Again, similar to Firefox and myriad other plug-ins, you can restore your Camino session from where you left off after a planned or unplanned exit of the program.
  • Compatible with Safari Keychain: You can now share your Safari Keychain with Camino, so any passwords you already have stored or may in the future can be shared across both browsers.

You can also get the full release notes for this version.

Migrating from Firefox

  • Import Bookmarks: Under File->Import Bookmarks, from Firefox, Safari, Netscape, IE, and Opera
  • Copy history.dat file
  • Copy your cookie preferences and blacklist/whitelist
  • No way to import password database, since Camino uses Keychain
  • Keyboard shortcuts are more Mac-like than Firefox/Win-like
  • Typing cmd-F brings up a search window that will start searching only after you ask it to. If you want to “find as you type,” hit “/” while viewing the page you wish to search. Like most other things in the Mozilla world, there are hidden preferences to tweak this behavior.

General Thoughts
Generally, Camino is a lot faster than Firefox. The response time to application actions (to a greater extent) and the speed of rendering web pages (to a lesser extent) is much smaller in Camino than the latest incarnation of Firefox. Firefox has gained a bit of bloat in recent times. That, coupled with the fact that it is not tied in to OS X very well, makes Camino a real contender.

The Camino experience is about a lot of small touches—the well-designed Bookmark Manager, the ability to resize the web search window, in addition to the features you would expect in a modern browser. Until 1.5, Camino was lacking in some of these features, but it is catching up. What I like most about Camino is the uncluttered and streamlined design of the application. In a time when browsers are morphing into desktops, Camino looks and acts like it was designed for a single purpose—interacting with the web.

To extend and generally geek-ify your Camino browser, check out


  • Whooo, Camino is really wicked fast, no kidding. I used it years ago and then dumped it for Safari. Now going back from Safari to Camino is very straightforward, good job! I have several issues though:

    - a website where I have different accounts to log in will only autofill the log-in data for one of those, no matter how often I tell the browser to remember the new data. Huh?

    - In Safari, when you have bookmarks in the bookmarks-bar, you can conveniently access them via shortcut, command+number, according to their position in the list. This also works in Camino, but unlike Safari, it only does if you have the bookmarks-bar visible in the browser. Why?!

    - Inquisitor for Camino has been dropped. Now that is a true shame! Inquisitor is a *very* nice add-on to Safari.

    - it is much quicker than Safari, even Safari with a freshly cleaned cache, but Safari’s rendering clearly looks better, especially for text.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Jun 08, 2007 Posts: 371
  • A proxy server is a substitute for another computer during a network connection. Proxies perform a wide range of services all over the Internet but a computer’s Web proxy settings configures access to one type of proxy. This is called a forward proxy server.-Any Lab Test Now

    Ana had this to say on Sep 26, 2011 Posts: 76
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