Mozilla today launched Firefox 46 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The browser has gained some small improvements on the desktop, but really the Android version has received more love this time around.
Firefox 46 for the desktop is available for download now on Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play.
Mozilla doesn’t break out the exact numbers for Firefox, though the company does say “half a billion people around the world” use the browser. In other words, it’s a major platform that web developers target — even in a world increasingly dominated by mobile apps.
The biggest highlight is an improved look and feel for Linux users (GTK3 integration). On all desktop platforms, Firefox users can expect security and performance improvements, but no major new features.
Here’s the full Firefox 46 changelog:
- GTK3 integration (GNU/Linux only)
- Screen reader behavior with blank spaces in Google Docs corrected
- Correct rendering for scaled SVGs that use a clip and a mask
- WebRTC fixes to improve performance and stability
- Display dominator trees in Memory tool
- Allocation and garbage collection pause profiling in the performance panel
- Launch responsive mode from the Style Editor @media sidebar
- Added support for document.elementsFromPoint
- Added HKDF support for Web Crypto API
If you’re a web developer, more details are available for you here: Firefox 46 for developers.
It has been a long time since we’ve seen a Firefox release that brings more to Android than to Windows, Mac, or Linux. Yet this release includes an improvement to user notifications and clearer homescreen shortcut icons.
Firefox 46 is also the first version that drops support for Android Honeycomb (versions 3.0 through 3.2.6). To be clear, Firefox still works on Android Honeycomb devices, but they can’t upgrade past Firefox 45, which is the last version for the old Android version. Mozilla plans to end support for Android Gingerbread (versions 2.3 through 2.3.7) next.
Here’s the full Firefox 46 for Android changelog:
- Notifications about tabs opened in the background now list the URLs
- Firefox will request permissions at runtime instead of installation time (Android 6.0+)
- Previously cached pages will be displayed when offline
- Prevent installation of unverified add-ons
- History and Bookmarks items added to menu
- Include default domains for inline autocompletion
- Clearer homescreen shortcut icons
- Keep track of track of tab history under memory pressure
- Text to speech function in TalkBack now works while users swipe right
- Top Sites panel now lists popular sites by default
- Removed support for Firefox Sync 1.1 in favor of Firefox Accounts
- Dropped support for Android Honeycomb (version 3)
Mozilla releases new Firefox versions every six to eight weeks, and we thus expect Firefox 47 to arrive by mid-June.