Firefox 48 has been released on August 2, 2016 and is ready for public use. The most important changes are discussed here.
Overhaul of Application Process Architecture
Mozilla is attempting to slowly migrate Firefox into a multi process browser. This with the purpose of trying to improve performance, be more secure, and run with greater stability. Not all users will have this feature turned on because it is a major application overhaul that can affect user satisfaction. Mozilla has said that they will enable this for a small group of users and then slowly increase the user base as they get more feedback from usage. The plan is to migrate this into several future versions as add on developers move towards the WebExtensions API.
Because of this, if you are a current Firefox user, you should make sure that the add ons you use comply with this new architecture moving forward. You may run into a lot of add ons being dead due to the authors not willing to modify their code. That is the risk Mozilla takes moving forward.
Improved Download Protection
Mozilla improves the download experience by adding protection to two categories of downloads:
- Uncommon downloads
- Potentially unwanted software
On some security software like Symantec, whenever you download a file you are told the risk and popularity of the file. The idea is similar in that Firefox uses the Google Safe Browsing service to get additional information and provide you with a warning if it is determined the file is unsafe. You are going to want to enable the following checkboxes in the Security configuation to take advantage of this:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block dangerous and deceptive content
- Block dangerous downloads
- Warn me about unwanted and uncommon software
Add On Protection
Installing an add on is always a risky venture. One can never know if the add on installs malware to do funny things while you are surfing the Internet. In version 48, Firefox now requires all Extensions to be digitally signed by Mozilla.
The Add-On signing requires developers to follow guidelines and must be proven to be valid before they can installed.
Download Firefox 48
You can download the new version of Mozilla Firefox for your computing system here.