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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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  • diddo
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there existed minor versions...
    Reply
  • amdwilliam1985
    Firefox used to be my main browser, now it's just a backup for my chrome. sigh...
    Keep up the good work, Mozilla.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    Each has their use: http://goo.gl/Fe9Nd
    Reply
  • madooo12
    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
    Reply
  • tpi2007
    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.
    Reply
  • hitman400
    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.
    Reply
  • Pherule
    Whoopie, now (soon) I can upgrade to Aurora 20
    Reply