Mozilla Firefox is a fast, light and tidy open source web browser. Although the browser’s market share is lower for OS X, it is still one of the most popular browsers available on the Mac platform. The key features that have made Mozilla Firefox so popular are the simple and effective UI, browser speed and strong security capabilities. The browser is particularly popular with developers thanks to its open source development and active community of advanced users.

Easier Browsing

Mozilla put of a lot of resources into creating a simple but effective UI aimed at making browsing quicker and easier. They created the tab structure that has been adopted by most other browsers. In recent years Mozilla has also focused on maximising browsing area by simplifying toolbar controls to just a Firefox button and back/forward buttons. The URL box features direct Google searching as well as an auto predict/history feature called Awesome Bar. On the right side of the URL box there are bookmarking, history and refresh buttons. To the right of the URL box is a search box which allows you to customise your search engine options. Outside of that a view button controls what you see below the URL.

Speed

Mozilla Firefox boasts impressive page load speeds thanks to the excellent JagerMonkey JavaScript engine. Start up speed and graphics rendering are also among the quickest in the market. Firefox manages complex video and web content using layer-based Direct2D and Direct3D graphics systems. Crash protection ensures only the plugin causing the issue stops working, not the rest of the content being browsed. Reloading the page restarts any affected plugins. The tab system and Awesome Bar have been streamlined to launch and get results very quickly too.

Security

Firefox was the first browser to introduce a private browsing feature which allows you to use the internet more privately and securely. History, searches, passwords, downloads, cookies and cached content are all removed on shutdown. Minimising the chances of another user stealing your identity or finding confidential information. Content security, anti-phishing technology and anti-virus/anti-malware integration ensures your browsing experience is as safe as possible.

Personalisation & Development

One of the best features of the Firefox UI is customisation. The inbuilt Firefox Add-ons Manager allows you to discover and install add-ons within the browser as well as view ratings, recommendations and descriptions. Thousands of customisable themes allow you to customise the look and feel of your browser.

The following updates have been undertaken in this latest version of Firefox for Mac

New updates

  • Heartbeat user rating system – your feedback about Firefox.
  • Yandex set as default search provider for the Turkish locale.
  • Bing search now uses HTTPS for secure searching.
  • Improved protection against site impersonation via OneCRL centralised certificate revocation.
  • Opportunistically encrypt HTTP traffic where the server supports HTTP/2 AltSvc.

Changed

  • Disabled insecure TLS version fallback for site security.
  • Extended SSL error reporting for reporting non-certificate errors.
  • TLS False Start optimisation now requires a cipher suite using AEAD construction.
  • Improved certificate and TLS communication security by removing support for DSA.
  • Improved performance of WebGL rendering on Windows.

HTML5

  • Implemented a subset of the Media Source Extensions (MSE) API to allow native HTML5 playback on YouTube (Windows only).
  • Added support for CSS display:contents.
  • IndexedDB now accessible from worker threads.
  • New SDP/JSEP implementation in WebRTC.

Developer

  • Debug tabs opened in Chrome Desktop, Chrome for Android, and Safari for iOS.
  • New Inspector animations panel to control element animations.
  • New Security Panel included in Network Panel.
  • Debugger panel support for chrome:// and about:// URIs.
  • Added logging of weak ciphers to the web console.

You can download Firefox 37 for Mac from FileHippo.com, today.

[Image via blog.mozilla]