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Mozilla today launched Firefox 62 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The release builds on Firefox Quantum, which the company calls “by far the biggest update since Firefox 1.0 in 2004.” Version 62 brings variable fonts, automatic dark theme on macOS, and better scrolling on Android.
Firefox 62 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. The latest iOS version is available on Apple’s App Store.
Mozilla has started breaking out user numbers for Firefox, which has about 300 million active users. In other words, it’s a major platform that web developers have to consider.
Windows, Mac, and Linux
Firefox 62 for desktop brings support for Variable Fonts, which makes it possible to create typography with a single font file. Traditionally, font families require a separate font file for each variation. Variable fonts contain additional data, which make it possible to generate different styles of the font on demand.
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This isn’t a massive release, but there is one other nice addition worth highlighting. When using macOS 10.14 dark mode, Firefox for macOS will now automatically enable the dark theme.
Here’s the full Firefox 62 for desktop changelog:
- Firefox Home (the default New Tab) now allows users to display up to 4 rows of top sites, Pocket stories, and highlights.
- “Reopen in Container” tab menu option appears for users with Containers that lets them choose to reopen a tab in a different container. (Bug 1376119)
- A preference that allows users distrust certificates issued by Symantec, in advance of removing all trust for Symantec-issued certificates in Firefox 63. To use this preference, go to about:config in the address bar and set the preference “security.pki.distrust_ca_policy” to 2 (Bug 1456112)
- FreeBSD support for WebAuthn (Bug 1468349)
- Improved graphics rendering for Windows users without accelerated hardware using Parallel-Off-Main-Thread Painting (Bug 1454980)
- Support for CSS Shapes, allowing for richer web page layouts (Bug 1098939). This goes hand in hand with a brand new Shape Path Editor in the CSS inspector (Bug 1242029).
- CSS Variable Fonts (OpenType Font Variations) support, which makes it possible to create beautiful typography with a single font file (Bug 1302685)
- In enterprise environments, AutoConfig is sandboxed to the documented API by default. You can disable the sandbox by setting the preference general.config.sandbox_enabled to false. The long term plan is to remove the ability to turn off the sandboxing. If you need to continue to use more complex AutoConfig scripts, you will need to use Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR).
- Added Canadian English (en-CA) locale
- Removed the description field for bookmarks. Users who have stored descriptions using the field may wish to export these descriptions as html or json files, as they will be removed in a future release.
- Dark theme is automatically enabled in macOS 10.14 dark mode (Bug 1466335)
- Changed the default setting to Enforce (3) for the security.pki.name_matching_mode preference (Bug 1463936)
- Adobe Flash applets now run in a more secure mode using process sandboxing on macOS.
- Users disconnecting from Sync are now offered the option to wipe their Firefox profile data (including bookmarks, passwords, history, cookies, and site data) from their desktop computer
- Changed how WebRTC handles screen sharing: When screen-sharing a window, the window will be brought to front. (Bug 1450658)
- Three-pane Inspector in Developer Tools separates the page’s CSS rules into their own panel
If you’re a web developer, more details are available for you here: Firefox 62 for developers.
There aren’t any new features in this Firefox for Android release. That said, you can expect performance improvements, especially when scrolling.
Here’s the full Firefox 62 for Android changelog:
- Improved scrolling performance
- Faster page load times over WiFi connections by loading from the network cache if disk cache is slow (Bug 1377570)
- “Product and feature tips” toggle in Notifications settings, allowing for more control over which notifications are shown (Bug 1454686)
- WebRTC video sessions between Firefox for Android and Safari browsers works again (Bug 1481139)
Firefox for iOS is updated separately from its counterparts, as denoted by its version number: 13.2. Indeed, the latest release arrived last month with the ability to easily change your theme between light and dark, manually or automatically (Settings =>Display => Light or Dark, or hit the Automatic switch).
Firefox for iOS has also gained some tab improvements. You can now manage tab settings in a single view, search your open tabs, and seamlessly switch between normal and private browsing.
Here’s the full Firefox 13 for iOS changelog:
- This latest release comes with some design improvements for easier navigation and discoverability.
- You can now search, filter, and drag the order of your currently open tabs.
- For easier night-time viewing, we now have a dark theme. On/Off and auto preferences are available in settings.
Mozilla releases new Firefox versions every six to eight weeks, and Firefox 63 is currently slated for mid-October.
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