Firefox Quantum is ready to speed up your web browsing

Angelica Greene
November 15, 2017

OF NOTE: The iOS and Android versions of Firefox were also announced to get an update.

In spite of going up against Google in the program space, Firefox resorts to utilizing Google as the default internet searcher in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Called Firefox Quantum, this release is the culmination of months of work, including a recent beta test, meant to make Firefox speedier and more attractive. But those were just the tip of the iceberg.

You can read the full Firefox 57 patch notes here.

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The new browser not just looks impressive on claims but it also performs. While Mozilla is touting an overall 2x improvement in performance, some operations can load up to 18 times faster thanks to Quantum CSS. The redesign is part of a larger Mozilla initiative called Photon, an effort by the company to unify and modernize the appearance of everything Firefox.

The core engine uses less memory, and therefore less power, allowing for multiple tabs while the CSS engine runs in parallel across multiple processor cores available on PC and mobile devices. The new engine has been parallelized and should be substantially faster, and Mozilla believes it can use its new Servo engine to enable capabilities like mixed-reality support far more easily than would've been possible in the old version. "No other browser can do this", Mozilla claims. The company said 369 bugs related to performance and responsiveness have been fixed, along with 1,190 software bugs "related to the user experience". "In fact, nearly 75% of the Firefox code was impacted all to give you a browser that is fast, intuitive and modern on all of your devices".

Other, smaller tweaks include adjustments to the UI to make sure it's usable with both touch and a mouse pointer, smoother animations, and a Library, where you can quickly access things like bookmarks, Pocket, history, downloads and more. The selected stories are chosen out of the millions of items users are saving to Pocket throughout the day, and becuase of this Mozilla says, "they do a great job of representing what's worth reading and watching on the web". Not only should it be faster to load and render pages, but its user interface should remain quick and responsive even under heavy load with hundreds of tabs.

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