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Firefox 18 Arrives, Available for Download Now

By - Source: The Next Web | B 21 comments

The latest version of Firefox, now up to 18, has launched, appearing on the FTP slightly ahead of the official launch date. The installer for Firefox 18 is now available via the front page of the official website and Google Play.

Mozilla has made the change log available. Here's what's new on the desktop version of the browser:

NEW:

  • Faster JavaScript performance via IonMonkey compiler
  • Support for Retina Display on OSX 10.7 and up
  • Preliminary support for WebRTC

CHANGED:

  • Experience better image quality with our new HTML scaling algorithm
  • Performance improvements around tab switching

DEVELOPER:

  • Support for new DOM property window.devicePixelRatio
  • Improvement in startup time through smart handling of signed extension certificates

HTML5:

  • Support for W3C touch events implemented, taking the place of MozTouch events

FIXED:

  • Disable insecure content loading on HTTPS pages (62178)
  • Improved responsiveness for users on proxies (769764)

The same page includes known issues with the new versions. Some of the more prominent ones include experiencing slower scrolling in the main Gmail window and preventing future updates for Firefox after using Window's System Restore, among others.

Mozilla claims that Firefox 18's new JavaScript compiler, IonMonkey, allows "Web apps and games perform up to 25 percent faster" and links to a game BananaBread as evidence for the performance boost. PCMag ran some benchmarks using Mozilla's Kraken benchmark and did find a significant performance boost, though it should be noted that benchmarks run with SunSpider produced "puzzling results, with the time taken to run the benchmark increasing on each subsequent run." So Mozilla's claims on IonMonkey's performance should be taken with a grain of salt.

Other significant changes to note are the preliminary support for WebRTC, allowing Web pages to access web cameras and microphones for voice chat without the need for a plugin such as Flash, and W3C touch events support in place of MozTouch, bringing the browser to the standard for touch events.

 

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  • 21 Hide
    diddo , January 9, 2013 12:50 PM
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there existed minor versions...
  • 10 Hide
    warezme , January 9, 2013 1:17 PM
    amdwilliam1985Firefox used to be my main browser, now it's just a backup for my chrome. sigh...Keep up the good work, Mozilla.
    seriously?? Chrome...ugh
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    diddo , January 9, 2013 12:50 PM
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there existed minor versions...
  • -2 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , January 9, 2013 12:54 PM
    Firefox used to be my main browser, now it's just a backup for my chrome. sigh...
    Keep up the good work, Mozilla.
  • 5 Hide
    Cryio , January 9, 2013 1:02 PM
    Opera 11.62 as my main browser (12.12 is ...eh) and Firefox as my second browser. Maxthon 4 would also be a good second browser. Chrome...meh
  • -2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , January 9, 2013 1:04 PM
    as much as i like firefox the more versions they come out wit the smaller the changes are becoming. they shouldn't just throw out new versions forthe sake of putting out a new version unless there are lot changes. Some of these new features could have been added on via update of the same version.
  • 10 Hide
    warezme , January 9, 2013 1:17 PM
    amdwilliam1985Firefox used to be my main browser, now it's just a backup for my chrome. sigh...Keep up the good work, Mozilla.
    seriously?? Chrome...ugh
  • -1 Hide
    jhansonxi , January 9, 2013 2:27 PM
    Each has their use: http://goo.gl/Fe9Nd
  • -5 Hide
    madooo12 , January 9, 2013 2:57 PM
    well Firefox is great, but when I saw anew major version, I expected something new, not just a minor update

    opera is better, I currently switch between both constantly, IE is my backup browser, safari is an apple product, buggy and eats my memory

    and I'm trying to boycott google (except youtube) because of their recent evil activities, and after the FTC said they didn't do nothing
  • 6 Hide
    tpi2007 , January 9, 2013 3:13 PM
    I understand why some people criticize Mozilla for having followed Google in making slight upgrades into a whole new version number, even though, at the end of the day, what really matters, more than numbers for the tech savvy, is the features / performance / bug fixes in the new version, but, anyway, as I was saying, that criticism is not suited this time around. Firefox 18 has a new JavaScript compiler, that, together with the other improvements, makes it deserve a new full version number.
  • 0 Hide
    hitman400 , January 9, 2013 3:19 PM
    bugidugigot a better solution? unfortunately ( coz i didn't really want to move to Chrome) it is the fastest browser that exist . Will be glad to prove me wrong and move to something else .


    Ya I remember, when it used to be too. But just because one thing was faster at one point in time, doesn't mean it will be forever. Since Firefox 17 and now 18, they have claimed that it is 18 - 21% faster than Chrome. And plus, with Adblock Plus for Firefox, I'm surprised that people on youtube still complain they have to sit through ads nowadays when Adblock plus blocks those ads, including all, too.
  • 0 Hide
    Pherule , January 9, 2013 3:19 PM
    Whoopie, now (soon) I can upgrade to Aurora 20
  • 1 Hide
    john15v16 , January 9, 2013 3:20 PM
    After 2 solid years of chrome...firefox has gained my attention once again...only time will tell...
  • -5 Hide
    makaveli316 , January 9, 2013 3:25 PM
    I was also i big fan of Firefox, but i had to change to Chrome and i find it better.
    I never thought i would change to Chrome, i used to hate it actually.
    Plus, all the talking that Chrome isn't customizable as much as Firefox is just a myth.
    Google did a great job at catching up...

    P.S What is wrong with Firefox? It takes 2 seconds to start when i click on it, while Chrome starts instantly. I'm with a Samsung 830 ssd by the way...
  • 2 Hide
    wishtar , January 9, 2013 4:31 PM
    With Mozilla's rapid release schedule I couldn't remember what version of Firefox I was on. Checking the Firefox About box triggered an update so now I'm on 18. Yeah!!
  • 0 Hide
    nurgletheunclean , January 9, 2013 4:46 PM
    There's a lot to like about Firefox. Opera is still my primary browser. But there's reason for an assortment. I like opera for it's bigger feature set out of the box, tabs on the left, cloning tabs, etc. Chrome can't be beat for Google's sites like YouTube, gmail, etc. Firefox just plain works, for most sites, things like online banking, online shopping, etc, Firefox rarely lets me down always rendering the page correctly, cookie/session handling, handling referrals, downloads, etc. IE is unsurpassed for things like outlook web access, sharepoint, and the plethora of other Microsoft sites and Services. I don't have and interest in Apple material but I bet it's safe to assume all Apple stuff runs better on Safari.

    While I like the Idea of using a single browser for everything, using that mentality is only going to limit your web experience. I like to think of browsers as shortcuts to different sites. Sure, windows media player can open an AVI file, but I'll associate AVIs with MPC-HC or Zoom player instead. Using this approach for websites is going to be better in the long run, because face it, as long as browser companies are creating web content there will always be preferential treatment for thier browsers.
  • 1 Hide
    CerianK , January 9, 2013 4:58 PM
    Firefox 18 has apparently resolved an intermittent issue with SafeBrowsing ('Reported Attack Site') where a cleaned website would continue to throw warnings (thus steering traffic away) for weeks after the site issue was resolved. Other browsers (Chrome, IE, etc.) apparently had no similar issue.
  • -1 Hide
    mariusmotea , January 9, 2013 5:34 PM
    i will wait for version 25. will come soon.
  • 0 Hide
    snwkill , January 9, 2013 5:40 PM
    My problem, and why I switched, is because Firefox would blank out drop downs when it was on my secondary monitor when using hardware acceleration.

    It is just easier to switch browsers...
  • 1 Hide
    tntom , January 9, 2013 6:30 PM
    Since version 16 FF has been having a few crashes with specific websites with Flash, mostly those with search features in Flash. But Chrome's productivity issues are hard to tolerate, so I use it only with those websites that give Flash a hard time. Chrome also lacks very important easy access to controlling whether or not content is downloaded, opened or displayed. Not so sure FF18 will resolve those issues.
  • -1 Hide
    Hellbound , January 9, 2013 6:31 PM
    I predict 18.0.1 will be out soon to fix some security hole they forgot..lol
  • -1 Hide
    wlachan , January 10, 2013 6:51 AM
    Bah bah bah... and it still freezes + going background by itself (cause of double click problem) for the last 3 updates. I love FF but it's dying.
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