September 17, 2021

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Firefox 83 Update Brings Performance Improvements and New Features

3 min read

Firefox version 83.0 has been launched by Mozilla and the updated version brings new features and performance improvements. Mozilla says this new version of Firefox brings up to 15 percent improvement in page load performance and up to 12 percent improvement in page responsiveness. The new features include an HTTPS-Only mode, Picture-in-Picture, and the long-awaited pinch zooming feature. Firefox 83 is available for Windows, Mac systems, and Android devices. The above-mentioned features are exclusive to the Windows and Mac versions of Firefox.

As described on the Mozilla website, version 83.0 brings significant updates to the JavaScript engine in Firefox — SpiderMonkey. The browser improves page load performance by 15 percent and page responsiveness by up to 12 percent. It also reduces memory usage by up to 8 percent. Firefox gets an HTTPS-Only mode as well that ensures every connection to the web is secure and when it is not, the user gets an alert.

After several years, Firefox has got a Pinch Zooming that allows users to zoom in and out of webpages with the pinch gesture on the trackpad. This feature is available on Windows touchpad and touchscreen devices, as well as Mac devices. Additionally, there is also a Picture-in-Picture mode that now supports keyboard shortcuts for rewinding and fast-forwarding videos, as well as controlling volume. The arrow keys can now be used to move forward and backward with 15-second intervals.

There are several other improvements and fixes to Firefox including searching through bookmarks, open tabs, and history from the bottom of the search panel; searching directly in a particular search engine straight from the address bar and screen reader fix. Arrow keys now work correctly after tabbing in the picture-in-picture window.

macOS users can expect better battery life as the browser now uses much less power when restoring a session with minimised windows. The version 83.0 update for Firefox adds some features for developers as well, including using the scroll badge in the Page Inspector to debug scrollable overflow.

Coming to the Android version of Firefox 83, the updated app gets a redesign making it faster, easier to use, private, and customisable. It brings support for new add-ons including FoxyProxy, Tomato Clock, Bitwarden, LeechBlock NG, AdGuard AdBlocker, Web Archives, and Ghostery. There are some security fixes as well.

Mozilla also shared through an official blog post that Firefox will end support for Adobe Flash on January 26, 2021 and that Firefox 84 will be the last version of the browser to support Adobe Flash. On the aforementioned date, Firefox 85 will be released without Flash support. This is being done because Adobe will stop supporting Flash at the end of 2020, which may negatively impact the security of services that use Flash. Thus, Mozilla has decided to end Flash support for Firefox, as it originally announced back in 2017.

Users who have Firefox Nightly builds can expect Flash support to end on November 17, 2020 and Beta release users can expect it to end on December 14, 2020. Users will not be able to re-enable Flash.

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