A curious add-on called "Looking Glass" started popping up on Firefox for a number of users this past week — even if they didn't give the browser permission to install it. Due to its nebulous nature and creepy description that only said "MY REALITY…
If you’re a Firefox user, then you may have noticed a weird new extension that suddenly showed up in your browser this week. The extension is called “Looking Glass 1.0.3” and this is its description: MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT FROM YOURS. Now that sounds ominous. It’s really not, though. It’s a promotional campaign between Firefox and the TV series Mr. Robot… Read More
Firefox’s default search engine has become the subject of a hotly contested legal battle, a few weeks after Mozilla announced it would be moving from Yahoo to Google. Yahoo’s new parent Oath filed a complaint against Mozilla in a California court on December 1, alleging a breach of contract. Now Mozilla has filed a counter complaint, stating that the switch back was in line with a… Read More
Deals between web browser suppliers and search engine providers are big business. For Mozilla, agreements with search engines have brought in as much as US$300 million a year, which accounts for 90 percent of its income. So the stakes are high amid t…
With the launch of Firefox Quantum, Mozilla released what’s probably the most important update to its browser in recent years. It’s faster, lighter and you should give it a try. And as you do so, you’ll notice another change: Google is now the default search engine again — at least if you live in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Read More
Mozilla on Tuesday officially announced Firefox 57, the new “Quantum” version of its flagship desktop web browser for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Aside from a redesigned interface and a slew of new UI features, Mozilla says Quantum offers speeds twice as fast as Firefox 52 and a new engine that uses 30 percent less memory than Google Chrome.
The performance advantages are said to be down to Firefox’s “just right” multi-process architecture, which uses separate processes to run its user interface and tabbed web page content. These additional processes are able to run across multiple CPU cores, making it much less likely for open web pages to negatively impact each other or the performance of the web browser in general.
While both Firefox and Chrome now run using multiple processes, Mozilla claims to have done things differently to avoid using up precious working memory. Chrome creates a separate content process for each open tab, and each tab typically consumes hundreds of megabytes of RAM, which has earned the browser a reputation as a resource hog.
Where Quantum differs, claims Mozilla, is in its more conservative approach to using multiple processes. By default, Firefox now creates up to four separate processes for web page content, so the first four tabs each use those four processes, and additional tabs run using threads within those processes. This leads to multiple tabs within a process sharing the browser engine that already exists in memory, instead of each one creating their own.
In addition to the under-the-hood improvements, the redesigned “Photon” user interface offers a less cluttered, more minimalist environment for browsing the web and aims to look better on modern high DPI displays. It also adds several new features including a built-in tool to take screenshots, and a new library for putting things like browsing history, bookmarks, Pocket lists, and synced tabs in one convenient place.
Firefox 57 also includes support for WebVR, which enables websites to take full advantage of VR headsets like the HTC Vive, while Mozilla’s Pocket service is now more integrated in the browser and displays trending articles on the new tab page. Last but not least, a new feature called Tracking Protection blocks extensive requests for online user tracking. It works by default in the Private browsing window and Mozilla reckons it reduces the average page loading time by around 44 percent.
With all the changes, Firefox has had to lose support for many existing extensions written in XUL. Firefox Quantum only supports WebExtensions, which have more limitations, similar to Chrome extensions. Existing users can check the status of their extensions by navigating to Menu -> Add-Ons. Compatible ones are shown under “Extensions”, while deactivated browser extensions appear under “Legacy Extensions” alongside an option to find the closest equivalent replacement available.
If you’re already a Firefox user, you should receive an automatic upgrade to Quantum after restarting the browser. For everyone else, Firefox Quantum is available for macOS as a free download directly from the Mozilla website.
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Mozilla released version 10 of its Firefox browser for iOS on Wednesday. With a new look the developers have dubbed “Photon”, the update represents the Quantum release for mobile, boasting the same performance advantages as its forthcoming equivalent for desktops.
The more modern design aims to put users’ needs first, with rearranged menus for easier access to the most-used features and an updated minimalist look.
A new application menu now sits at the bottom of the interface, providing quick links to top sites, bookmarks, reading list, history, Settings, and one-click options to enable Night Mode and hide images.
Elsewhere, a Page actions menu can be found in the address bar, containing frequently used actions like share, sync, or save content for later, as well as page search, pin site, and bookmark options.
In addition, the new tab screen has been overhauled, with icons that link to top sites from around the web and popular articles on Pocket, as well as pages you’ve recently visited or bookmarked.
Firefox will now show popular search suggestions by default as you type, while the QR code reader button has been moved up next to the address bar to make it easier to find. Also included in this release is Firefox’s “Tracking Protection” privacy technology, which the company developed to mitigate invasive tracking of online activity.
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Firefox is making it easier for Android users to navigate the mobile web with Web App Manifest support, which will ship with Firefox 58 for Android. The feature supports Progressive Web Apps (PWA), the app-like interfaces displayed within mobile web…