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What’s New In Mozilla Firefox 84 - Science/Technology - Nairaland

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What’s New In Mozilla Firefox 84 by toddhhn: 12:38pm On Dec 17, 2020
Mozilla has just released a new version of Firefox, its award-winning browser that’s currently the third most-used app worldwide after Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

Earlier this year, Mozilla switched to a four-week release cycle for production builds of Mozilla Firefox, thus accelerating the release cadence and bringing major updates to all supported platforms much faster than before.

While in theory, this is good news for everybody, the problem with this approach is that sometimes Firefox updates can ship with unpolished performance, eventually leading to post-installation problems experienced by users who update the browser.

Firefox 84 is now available for download on supported platforms, and one of the most important changes is full support for Apple Silicon.

As you probably know already, Apple launched the M1 chip in November and the first devices running it are already available for download. And now developers across the world are working around the clock to optimize their solutions and prepare them for Apple Silicon, thus taking full advantage of the improvements the Cupertino-based tech giant has introduced on its very own ARM-based processor.

“Native support for macOS devices built with Apple Silicon CPUs brings dramatic performance improvements over the non-native build that was shipped in Firefox 83: Firefox launches over 2.5 times faster and web apps are now twice as responsive (per the SpeedoMeter 2.0 test),” Mozilla explains.

There are also more WebRender improvements, and they are available on all supported platforms, including Linux.

“WebRender rolls out to MacOS Big Sur, Windows devices with Intel Gen 6 GPUs, and Intel laptops running Windows 7 and 8. Additionally we'll ship an accelerated rendering pipeline for Linux/GNOME/X11 users for the first time, ever!” Mozilla announced today.

Firefox 84 is the last version of the browser to support Adobe Flash Player, so beginning with Firefox 85, the plugin would stop working.

“Firefox version 84 will be the final version to support Flash. Firefox version 85 (release date: January 26, 2021) will ship without Flash support, improving our performance and security. There will be no setting to re-enable Flash support. Adobe and other browsers will also end support Flash at the end of 2020. Even if you install an older version of Firefox, the Flash plugin itself will stop loading Flash content after January 12, 2021,” Mozilla explains.

Of course, the new version of the browser also comes with plenty of security improvements, and this is one of the main reasons you should install version 84. Mozilla says it has resolved several critical and moderate vulnerabilities.

One particular bug resolved with the latest Firefox update concerns the Android version of the browser, which prevents an issue exploited by malicious applications installed on the smartphone.

“When a malicious application installed on the user's device broadcast an Intent to Firefox for Android, arbitrary headers could have been specified, leading to attacks such as abusing ambient authority or session fixation. This was resolved by only allowing certain safe-listed headers,” Mozilla says.

The new version of the browser is available through the built-in update system that’s bundled with Firefox, but at the same time, it can also be downloaded manually using the links in this article.

At the time of writing, there are no reports of issues hitting this new version of Firefox, and this is quite good news given the latest few updates experienced such problems shortly after the rollout started. I’ll continue to monitor the release of the new Firefox version to devices out there and let you know should any problems be discovered.

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