Firefox 50: Faster, Stronger, Smarter?

And so, Mozilla have unleashed the new stable Firefox 50 browser onto the internet.

The good news for Firefox desktop aficionados is that the new browser update will be rolled out and automatically installed across all the operating systems, including 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows, Linux and Mac.

Of course, Firefox 50 was originally slated to be released last week, but was delayed while Mozilla boffins tidied up a stray JavaScript bug that was reportedly causing major slowdowns. And it doesn’t look like we’re going to be kept waiting for the next version either, as Firefox 5.1 has been made available for Beta testers to try out as well. But back to today’s news.

firefox-50

Was the half century worth the wait?

In a word, yes. Anyone expecting a revolution in the new version will probably be disappointed; But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Firefox 50 is a welcome update to what is already one of the best and more reliable browsers available on the web today.

The new update comes with a vastly improved start up speed, and some nice new additions that will make anyone’s internet browsing a more productive and enjoyable experience.

According to some tests start up speeds have been improved by 35% with no add-ons loaded in the background, and a whopping 65% when they are. Of course, as these tests were conducted by Mozilla themselves, perhaps they should be taken with a pinch of salt, and a grain of irony. That said, while not a carried out using scientific methods, I must admit from my own use of Firefox 50, that it does indeed seem to be faster to get started than Firefox 49 did.

Another welcome addition is that playback video has also been improved on sites that don’t have plugins, and Mozilla have added WebM EME support for Widevine on Windows and Mac.

There’s a nice new feature for family computers as well, as Firefox now detects if Family Safety is active on Windows 8 or newer versions of Windows, which should give parents some peace of mind.

Behind the scenes has also had a bit of a facelift, with fixes such as the new utilisation of “Login cookies” that are now saved for sites with a high number of cookies.

For those people using older operating systems, Firefox 50 now also comes with built in Emoji for operating systems without native Emoji fonts (Windows 8.0 and lower and Linux)

Mozilla also fixed 22 security vulnerabilities, 3 of which were rated as critical, so that’s nice.

There is also a much improved and welcome improved find-on-page functionality, and the new ability to cycle through tabs with ctrl + tab, new preferences. There are other improvements as well, but to be fair, the ones above are probably the only ones that will prove of interest to most of us.

And as always of course, you can download Firefox 50 from Filehippo.com for free.