Firefox 18 Arrives, Available for Download Now

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 comments
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    Top Comments
  • diddo
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there existed minor versions...
    21
  • warezme
    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
    10
  • Other Comments
  • diddo
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there existed minor versions...
    21
  • amdwilliam1985
    Firefox used to be my main browser, now it's just a backup for my chrome. sigh...
    Keep up the good work, Mozilla.
    -2
  • Cryio
    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
    5