Firefox snags a new look and healthy speed boost in major update

Firefox snags a new look and healthy speed boost in major update

Called Firefox Quantum, this release is the culmination of months of work, including a recent beta test, meant to make Firefox speedier and more attractive. Out of the gate, the most obvious changes you'll notice is the browser's new look. Firefox Quantum definitely looks quite a bit sleeker, but it also includes a unified search bar, customizable toolbar, and built-in Pocket integration.

Under the hood is where Mozilla says Firefox Quantum really shines, however. According to Mozilla, the latest Firefox update packs hundreds of performance improvements that all add up to making Quantum two time faster than before. More crucially, Mozilla claims that Firefox Quantum uses 30 percent less memory than Chrome, which is already notorious for its liberal consumption of RAM. A large part of what contributes to Firefox's improved memory consumption comes down to the way it now handles tabs. According to Mozilla, Firefox will now more effectively prioritize the tab you're currently using ahead of tabs running in the background.

Other, smaller tweaks include adjustments to the UI to make sure it's usable with both touch and a mouse pointer, smoother animations, and a Library, where you can quickly access things like bookmarks, Pocket, history, downloads and more.

Firefox Quantum is available to download now for free on desktop. Similar updates will follow for Android and iOS.

See at Mozilla

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • The only thing I could think of seeing that first screenshot was, "Look, it's Mozilla Edge!"
  • I have to say it is super quick. Not going to switch though. Happy with Edge, surprisingly.
  • First time I read Edge and Happy in the same sentence :/
  • Been using the beta version and love it. I was a long time Firefox user, but had been using Opera lately, because Firefox had become bloated and sluggish. But now I'm back to Firefox full time. Losing legacy extensions is bit of a pain, but I think it will be better in the long run, because of speed and security. It actually hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be, because most of my legacy extensions have either been updated or there are replacements that are similar. And that should only get better with time.
  • I will forever love Opera more.
  • "should get better with time" and what do we do in the meantime? and what is all this obsession with "speed", I would give up speed for functionality and ease of use anytime, goodbye Firefox.
  • Replacing Chrome with this as my backup browser. Default is still Edge.
  • Opera all the way.
  • Once my more used extensions, like DownThemAll, are ported, I'll consider switching. Most of them are there or not that important, but I have probably 2/3 of my currently installed extensions showing as "Legacy" so I'm pretty wary about upgrading.  The extensions are one of the main reasons I keep using Firefox over the others.  (And Edge is getting better, but still has a ways to go w/ extensions/functionality I'd like to see.)
  • I just updated and most of my Extensions are now disabled and marked as Legacy. Ugh. I wish I didn't update.
  • You can't go back?
  • Funny you mention mobile and I went and checked my android phone/store and there wasn't no update or anything called Firefox Quantum 😂
  • From what I hear redesign for android is coming soon too... I just hope it's not MS's "soon"...
  • I'm already using it on Android. It's called Firefox Beta, and it runs great.
  • Good to know. Will try that
  • Not satisfied with the results.
    Chrome or Edge are on top place. And then comes Mozilla Quantum. They should also showcase the Mozilla Quantum vs Edge video.
  • I hope this isn't a really bad mistake by Mozilla. Yes, fast is good. The other enhancements are good. But it kills lots of very popular extensions that are the only reason I used Firefox at all. Good example is TabPlus but there are many others. Some have replacements but others such as TabPlus can't even be re-written because Mozilla hasn't provided APIs needed. Mozilla could do it and still remain compliant but don't have the manpower to have done it in time.
  • I have been using it for quite some time (since beta) and I am really impressed. I actually switched to quantom as it uses less RAM and uses MultiCore for processing! And its faster then chrome really.
  • While it probably uses less ram and ram than Edge (because what doesn't), it's still probably not as fast or smooth.
  • I was using "Quantum" since it formally entered the Beta channel and I'm really impressed. I was previously wondering if FF was ever going to go with a multi-process architecture and now here we are. FF Quantum really is as advertized: fast page loads, uses less memory and it has a cleaner interface. Sure, it sucks that most of its old library of xpi-s won't work anymore BUT they really, truly were a drag on the system; they really slowed down FF and gummed up the works. If FF can remain a viable alternative to Chrome for the long term, I'll happily keep using it. 🙂
  • You can always update to Firefox ESR for the time being until the extensions are updated.
  • Honestly why Microsoft or some other company haven't swoop them up yet is beyond me at least for their browser, web tech, and Thunderbird
  • This is possibly the worst software ever.  I really appreciate the Mozilla volunteers but quantum has done damage to my pc for which I cannont condone Firefox any more.  They have redefined memory leaks.  You do not believe me, let it sit on Yahoo mail with no activity and watch all your memory disappear.  It SUCKS!
  • I cant stand the new Firefox. I guess it's the end of the line.