Firefox Quantum

The latest version of Firefox has just been released, and if there's anything that Mozilla wants you to know about it, it's that it is fast.

Mozilla first announced Project Quantum just over a year ago, as an effort to re-engineer Firefox from the ground up, fixing various performance issues and incorporating components from Servo, Mozilla's parallel browser engine project. And now, the project has reached its first milestone with Firefox Quantum.

The latest version of the browser brings with it a new CSS rendering engine called Quantum CSS, that is based on Servo, fixes for almost 400 performance bugs, improved multi-processor support, all while lowering power and RAM usage, with Mozilla claiming that Firefox uses 30% less memory than Google Chrome.

Of course, you can't have performance talk without benchmarks, and Mozilla delivers. They are claiming that Firefox Quantum is twice as fast in the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark compared to when Project Quantum first launched.

Along with the quantum leap in performance (sorry), Firefox also gains a new user interface called Photon UI (there's a bit of a theme going on here). This new interface introduces smoother animations, better support for HiDPI and touch screens, and a feature called Library, which lets you quickly access your bookmarks, history, downloads, along with all your other saved content.

But the changes don't end there, as Firefox Quantum will bring even more changes and improvements, including:

  • Redesigned Developer Tools
  • Improved autofill
  • Input widgets for date and time on web pages
  • VP9 hardware video decoder support for AMD browsers

One last big change is the removal of support for classic XUL extensions. This transition from classic Firefox extensions to Chrome-style WebExtensions was announced in 2015, so while most popular extensions should already be using the new format, if you're concerned about your current extensions, you can use this extension to check for any possible compatibility issues.

Firefox is available today at the official website for Windows, macOS, and Linux users today, while mobile versions will be updated shortly with the new user interface.