Firefox 57 'Quantum' for macOS released, iOS version user interface refresh coming

Posted:
in Mac Software edited November 2017
Mozilla has wrapped up its "biggest update of code in over ten years with the release of Firefox 57 -- once called "Quantum" -- for macOS, and other platforms.




Mozilla claims that the new Firefox runs faster mostly because of the overhaul of the code base, and resultant performance improvements. The organization claims that the browser is twice as fast and uses 30 percent less memory than Chrome.





Users upgrading from another browser can choose to import bookmarks, history and other items. Built-in tools include standard bookmarking tools, synchronized tabs, and a screenshot tool.

According to a blog post documenting the new release, 4.9 million lines of code were added, with 6.9 million lines changed by more than 700 authors. There are over 5,000 compatible web extensions available for the browser.




Versions of Firefox 56 for macOS, Windows, and Linux are available now. The new user interface -- but not the improvements to the browsing engine -- will appear on iOS and Android in time.

Mac requirements are relatively light, requiring macOS 10.9 or greater, and 512MB of RAM.

AppleInsider is currently performing tests on the new Firefox version, versus Safari on macOS 10.13.1.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    It is fast.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Does anyone actually use FireFox for iOS? Just curious. I myself use Safari. 
  • Reply 3 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,933member
    It's great that it can best Chrome in many tests and that it uses less RAM, but I think both of those measures are major concerns for users today. I think features, security, and convenience are most important in this modern browser world.
    edited November 2017 dewme
  • Reply 4 of 20
    macxpress said:
    Does anyone actually use FireFox for iOS? Just curious. I myself use Safari. 
    Safari here too, but not because I prefer it or anything. I find browsing on a handheld devices annoying. For any interaction that requires doing anything other than just reading some text or casually viewing images, I wait until I'm in front of my computer. That means I haven't had much motivation to bother with another browser, particularly when I can't make other apps connect to it anyway.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    I wish there were another major browser besides offerings from Google and Microsoft. Firefox has small market share now. I wonder if Apple could work with Firefox to combine Safari and Firefox into one browser and make it total cross platform, windows, mac, linux and android. If played right that would put a severe dent into Chrome.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    ktappektappe Posts: 769member
    I tried it this afternoon. It froze within 5 minutes and had to be force-quit as the File-Quit menu option didn't work. I relaunched it and it quickly crashed again. Meanwhile, Safari and Chrome keep chugging along. Can't say I'm impressed. A pity, as I'd been looking forward to replacing the resource-hog Chrome.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    One of the main thing keeping me on Safari is iCloud integration. I've always been a Firefox fan, all the way back to Netscape 1.0. 
  • Reply 8 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,933member
    tyler82 said:
    One of the main thing keeping me on Safari is iCloud integration. I've always been a Firefox fan, all the way back to Netscape 1.0. 
    Handoff is a wonderfully convenient feature.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    My benchmark tests
    Speedometer 2.0:
    1. Safari 84
    2. Chrome 75
    3. Firefox Quantum 61
    JetStream 1.1:
    1. Safari 270
    2. Firefox Quantum 208
    3. Chrome 182
    ARES-6
    1. Safari 20
    2. Chrome 29
    3. Firefox Quantum 63
    MotionMark
    1. Safari 360
    2. Chrome 162
    3. Firefox Quantum 47
    I used MacBook Pro i7 2.9Ghz with 16GB for this test.

    I don't care what anyone says Safari is king on Mac. Chrome is still second best. I bet our Windows friends will have different results. 😎
    Solipscooter63fastasleepphilboogiepujones1
  • Reply 10 of 20
    ktappe said:
    I tried it this afternoon. It froze within 5 minutes and had to be force-quit as the File-Quit menu option didn't work. I relaunched it and it quickly crashed again. Meanwhile, Safari and Chrome keep chugging along. Can't say I'm impressed. A pity, as I'd been looking forward to replacing the resource-hog Chrome.
    Could it be because you’ve had an old version of Firefox long ago and you’ve now got outdated preference files lying around in your ~/Library folder? I’m wondering because I’ve been using Firefox Quantum every day since about two months ago (beta branch) and I haven’t seen any crashes as of late. Uninstall Firefox using an app like “AppCleaner” (free) or “CleanMyMac”: it will look around for app-related files scattered around on your SSD/HD (it’s amazingly confusing to find them on your own as modern MacOS creates secure enclaves for each app). Answer yes to have all these preference files moved to the trash and reinstall Firefox again. I guess another reason could be plugins, but that would be surprising because Firefox is basically incompatible with plugins, except the artificially maintained Flash. Note that I cannot say if the Flash plugin is compatible: I haven’t reinstalled Flash since my clean install of High Sierra a few weeks ago (I waited for 10.13.1 to take the plunge). This answer is written on Firefox 57.0 (Quantum)
  • Reply 11 of 20
    I really fail to see the relevancy. As pointed above, Safari is still the best on macOS, and there is really no other option on iOS. I've been using Safari exclusively for half a dozen years now (sans Flash), and I don't think I'm missing anything.

    I do abhor Chrome. Every time I have to be attended by someone on a lame Windows box, running Chrome, and they say that the connection is slow, or the servers are not responding, I try very hard not to point out that they are using a shitty hardware/software combo, and be labeled a snob.

    Dear God, if it is a matter of money, keep the hardware, but at least put Linux on it! And then use Firefox, which was great for me back in the day, when Apple was out of my pocket's reach.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    I've been using Firefox exclusively for years because there are extensions I can't live without--at least DownThemAll, ANT Video Downloader,  BbCode Extra, and Faviconize Tab, but there are several more. Mozilla has been progressively breaking the extensions I use and now they're all gone.

    I've tried to go back to Safari, but I've been completely dismayed by its dumbing-down--Hell, it's even lost the ability to "Zoom Text Only"! And absolutely none of the extensions are any use at all.

    I refuse to use Chrome--and their extensions are almost as useless as Safari's now. Opera is Chrome nowadays....

    I downloaded Firefox 57 today. I finally figured out how to stop getting "So-and-so has configured their website incorrectly" at every site (including mozilla.org!) and have been trying to find workarounds. I've found a video downloader that's a quarter as good as ANT, maybe. I'm going to try Free Download Manager and its Firefox extension to see if it's any kind of substitute for DownThemAll....

    I guess I can get used to the childish appearance and the complete lack of customizability--all the others are the same way now. Damn those upside-down tabs, though!
  • Reply 13 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,933member
    I've tried to go back to Safari, but I've been completely dismayed by its dumbing-down--Hell, it's even lost the ability to "Zoom Text Only"! And absolutely none of the extensions are any use at all.
    1) Open View from the Menu Bar then press either Option keys.

    2) You can always remap keys with ease in macOS by going to System Preferences » Keyboard » App Shortcuts » [+] to add Safari, then type in the names of the options exactly and the keystroke to which you want to map them.

    3) This extension may also work for you:

    philboogie
  • Reply 14 of 20
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    I have updated on macOS 10.12.6 (16G1036) Sierra, and latest version is Firefox ESR 52.5.0 (64-bit).
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,630administrator
    appex said:
    I have updated on macOS 10.12.6 (16G1036) Sierra, and latest version is Firefox ESR 52.5.0 (64-bit).
    It is not. You're using the "extended service release" as opposed to the newest version. To get off that track, you need to re-download it.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    It is not. You're using the "extended service release" as opposed to the newest version. To get off that track, you need to re-download it.
    Thanks, but I do need ESR, since that is the only one working to sign with digital certificates on some web sites.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    Firefox uses different model of multitasking sessions. Many of people learned that Chrome opening new process per website ended up with resource hogging and RAM gets swamped with duplications and possibly even with system thrashing. Tabbing is also not best approach for people who prefer comparing information on large screen rather than switching between tabs making them feel uncomfortable. Firefox got it right and allows for some real control. For some time SeaMonkey was even better than both while using Firefox engine.

    So it is not how it looks side by side or how fast it renders one page with excessively large JavaScript (which in Chrome may and up with some dumb question popping on your screen), but about how your hardware is used... or abused unneccessarily leaving your other apps in trouble. Also the engine behind Firefox allows you for more privacy and security control (that is why it is core to Tor browser) while Chrome might chose to expose your work based on Google policies rather than yours.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Very upset with this release. They still do not have native macOS spell checking and text transformations, etc. We've been begging them for this for over a decade and they just don't do it. Sticking with Safari and (Epi)chrome here until they get their act together!

    By the way, would be nice if they had a Safari-like tab interaction where we can see all of the tabs readily. Chrome tabs have ALWAYS sucked.
    edited November 2017 Soli
  • Reply 19 of 20
    Speed1050Speed1050 Posts: 16unconfirmed, member
    I don't like the aesthetics, but do like the speed.

    But... Having FF open now creates more fan noise and heat than running Win10 in a VM.  Nuts.

    edited November 2017 Soli
  • Reply 20 of 20
    cowycowy Posts: 17member
    I turn to Chrome for a long time, what's Firefox's strength?
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