Mozilla today announced the public release of the latest update to its Firefox browser called Quantum boasting that it's twice as fast as the previous version of its open-source browser.
Firefox 57 introduces a revamped user interface that introduces several new features, including square tabs, 'smooth' animations, as well as a Library that provides quick access to anything the user saves such as bookmarks, Pocket, history, downloads, tabs and screenshots. The biggest selling point, though, is the sheer speed of its latest update to the browser.
According to Mozilla’s benchmark tests, Quantum is twice as fast as Firefox 52. That performance increase is complemented by an architecture upgrade that, according to the company, uses 30% less memory than Google Chrome.
The optimization to make Firefox Quantum run as smoothly as it does is carried out through a brand new GPU-accelerated rendering engine that was written in Rust named “WebRender.” Web rendering is now carried out at 60FPS. Improvements also see the browser paint every pixel on the screen for each frame, making the web rendering both quicker and smoother.
Mozilla also applied several performance enhancements to the browser’s core, which is accompanied by a new CSS engine, Stylo, which offers better support for the nigh-ubiquitous multi-core devices used today.
Mozilla also emphasized its work on tabs. The tab a user is on gets prioritized over the rest of the tabs, which the company says consequently makes better use of one's system resources.
As for the user interface, Mozilla details: "We call this initiative Photon, and its goal is to modernize and unify anything that we call Firefox while taking advantage of the speedy new engine. You guessed it: the Photon UI itself is incredibly fast and smooth. To create Photon, our user research team studied how people browsed the web."
Those who already use Firefox should receive an automatic upgrade to Quantum after restarting their browser. If you're not currently using the browser, Firefox Quantum is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android via a free download.