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Firefox 59 Released With Faster Load Times on Desktop, HLS Support on Android


Mozilla on Tuesday announced the rollout of Firefox Quantum version 59 for users on desktop and Android. With the new update, the Firefox browser on desktop will get improved privacy in its Private Browsing mode, faster page load times on webpages, new tools for annotating and cropping Firefox screenshots, and better arrangement for top sites on the browser’s Home Page. Firefox for Android gets support for websites that stream videos using the HLS protocol. And, lastly, Firefox Quantum for Enterprise will be available in Beta starting Wednesday, March 14.

Firefox 59 updates for desktop
Firefox 59 adds several performance enhancements to the browser’s desktop version. These include faster load times for content which the browser will achieve by loading it from networked cache or cache obtained directly from the user’s hard drive. Off-Main-Thread Painting (OMTP) is also being introduced for Mac to offer better graphic rendering.

New features for Firefox Screenshots include basic annotation and cropping that allow the user to draw on, highlight, or change the viewable area of screenshots. Apart from that, the update also enhances Real-Time Communication (RTC) capabilities, adds support for W3C specs, and blocks unknown websites from sending notifications. Firefox Private Browsing mode will remove path information from referrers with an aim to prevent cross-tracking.

Firefox 59 updates for Android
On the Android app, Firefox 59 adds support for the Firefox as an assist app allowing users to start searching by pressing the home button on their smartphones. The app now also supports HLS or HTTP Live Streaming video playback and gets the same Firefox Private Browsing upgrades as the ones mentioned for desktop. Users can also lock video full screen while in landscape mode.

Firefox Quantum for Enterprise
A new beta version of Firefox Quantum will be available for enterprise users starting March 14. The version comes with certain administrative controls that will allow IT users to deploy pre-configured installation tools on Firefox for platforms including Windows, Mac, and Linux.