Not everyone gets by with the default browser on their computer, and when it comes to picking an alternative, Firefox is one of the most popular out there, having clawed back support from upstart rivals like Google Chrome and Opera in recent years by switching to a rapid release cycle, ensuring major new versions of the browser are released every six weeks.
It’s true to say that individual updates often fail to deliver anything substantial, but cumulatively they roll together to produce a web browser that is radically different to the one – version 4 – that marked the start of a new era back in 2011.
Some of the landmark new features we’ve seen include a per-site Permissions Manager, enhanced Sync options, tabs on demand, silent updates and add-on enhancements. We also saw the launch of specific development branches including UX, which has led to the new Australis user interface, which sees a streamlined tab, revamped menu and customisation features.
And underpinning this all are a constantly evolving set of performance improvements, standards support (HTML5 and CSS3 are constantly being added to, for instance) and bug fixes.
Firefox 51 is now in the stable channel. Improvements/changes include:
- Added support for FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) playback
- Improved reliability of browser data sync
- An even faster E10s! Tab Switching is better!
- Added Georgian (ka) and Kabyle (kab) locales
- A warning is displayed when a login page does not have a secure connection
- Added support for WebGL 2
- Support saving passwords for forms without 'submit' events
- Improved video performance for users without GPU acceleration
- Visual indicator is shown in the URL bar if the zoom level is not at default level
- Users can now view passwords before saving them
- Remove Belarusian (be) locale
Firefox 51 includes support for FLAC and faster tab-switching.