Firefox 57/Firefox Quantum overview

Tomorrow, the 14th of November, will be the Firefox 57 release date – the official name of the of this new version of the browser is Firefox Quantum. This will be the latest version of one of the most popular and widely used web browsers, Mozilla Firefox, and here, we will go over the main improvements and changes that will get added with the oncoming release.

What’s new?

The Quantum Engine

One of the most notable modifications that Firefox 57 or Firefox Quantum will have compared to earlier version will be the reinvigorated engine. It is widely known that Firefox uses the Gecko engine which will now be modified and turned into the Quantum engine. According to the developers at Mozilla, this will boost the overall speed of the browser twofold compared to last year, making Firefox one of the fastest browsing programs out there. Many beta testers have already confirmed that, indeed, Firefox Quantum does feel significantly faster and smoother.

One additional plus that Mozilla point out in their summary of the new browser version is that with the Quantum engine the required virtual memory would be decreased making the browser lighter and less demanding which would in turn improve the performance of the PC while the browser is being used. There is even a remark from Mozilla, where they claim that the RAM required by Firefox to operate would be 30% less than the amount of memory that Chrome needs in order to run.

Interface Changes

With the release of Firefox 57, there will also be certain improvements to the browser’s interface, generally giving it a more modern feel.

  • Tabs look changed – with Firefox Quantum, the tabs will no longer appear rounded like they used to and will now have a square look like most other modern browsers.
  • Search and address bar combined – Firefox was one of the last major browser to have the URL and search bars separated. With the release of its latest version, this is about to change. After users get their Firefox browser updated to its Quantum version, the two boxes will be combined. While this might seem like a more convenient variant, many researchers and PC geeks dislike this tendency among modern browsers as it is believed to compromise privacy (whatever gets written in the combined box might be monitored by search providers).
  • In-browser screenshots – this isn’t anything revolutionary but is still a nice addition that would help make Firefox feel like a more modern browser. The feature would work similarly to Window’s built-in Snipping Tool app allowing the user to make screenshots of the browser (the whole browser screen or only selected parts of it). However, as we mentioned, this has already been introduced to other browsers such as Opera or the lesser-known Slimjet browser.
  • Other cosmetic changes – the whole look of Firefox would seem modernized and improved with Firefox 57 making it appear slicker and more stylish.

Privacy and full Tracking Protection

We already mentioned in an article about the oncoming Firefox 57/Quantum version of the browser that it will also add Tracking Protection options from the program’s settings instead of just having the Tracking protection enable only for Incognito Mode browsing. Now the user will be able to choose whether they want to have Tracking protection enabled for their regular browsing windows. Though in the past this was still actually possible, it required some extra knowledge and a coupe more steps where as now, all one would need to do is go to the browser’s settings and choose the option that best suites their needs.

We have also received information that further privacy improvements will be made to Firefox with its version 58 – we will make sure to keep you updated on that.

Add-ons compatibility

On Firefox 57, the add-ons will be handled differently – the XUL (XML User Interface Language) from older versions of the browser will be replaced with the WebExtensions standard that most big browsers such as Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers) and Edge currently use. This technically means that extensions for Chrome and Opera will now be compatible with Firefox but on the flip side, a lot of Firefox’s current add-ons might not work for the browser until they get re-made so as to be compatible with the WebExtensions standard.

As we already mentioned, the Firefox 57 release date will be tomorrow, the 14th of November and anyone who uses this browser will be able to or would rather have their program automatically updated with its latest version. Here is the official page of Firefox Quantum if you desire to visit it.