Not everyone gets by with the default browser on their computer, and when it comes to picking an alternative, Firefox is one of the most popular out there, having clawed back support from upstart rivals like Google Chrome and Opera in recent years by switching to a rapid release cycle, ensuring major new versions of the browser are released every six weeks.
It’s true to say that individual updates often fail to deliver anything substantial, but cumulatively they roll together to produce a web browser that is radically different to the one – version 4 – that marked the start of a new era back in 2011.
Some of the landmark new features we’ve seen include a per-site Permissions Manager, enhanced Sync options, tabs on demand, silent updates and add-on enhancements. We also saw the launch of specific development branches including UX, which has led to the new Australis user interface, which sees a streamlined tab, revamped menu and customisation features.
And underpinning this all are a constantly evolving set of performance improvements, standards support (HTML5 and CSS3 are constantly being added to, for instance) and bug fixes.
Firefox 61.0 is now in the stable channel. Improvements/changes include:
- Faster page rendering with Quantum CSS improvements and the new retained display list feature
- Faster switching between tabs on Windows and Linux
- WebExtensions now run in their own process on MacOS
- Convenient access to more search engines: You can now add search engines to the address bar “Search with” tool from the page action menu when on a webpage that provides an OpenSearch plugin
- Share links from Firefox for MacOS more easily: You can now share the URL of an active tab from the page actions menu in the address bar
- Improved security
- A more consistent user experience: Improvements for dark theme support across the entire Firefox user interface
- More customization for tab management: added support to allow WebExtensions to hide tabs
- Improved bookmark syncing