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Latest Firefox update brings performance tweaks and new screenshot features

Mozilla has been on a roll with Firefox recently, beginning with its Quantum overhaul in November and following with further performance tweaks since. For its latest update, Firefox 59, the changes included aren't quite as drastic, but Mozilla has managed to throw in some further performance gains and additional little features that could come in handy.

Though November's Quantum update was packed with speed improvements of its own, Mozilla says that Firefox 59 should sport faster page load times, particularly for content on the Firefox home page. Aside from the smaller tweaks included in this update, however, Mozilla has included some new annotation and re-cropping features for Firefox screenshots. And if you're sick of websites asking if they can send you notifications, the latest update includes a settings option to block those requests.

Here's a look at all of what's new in Firefox 59:

  • Faster load times for content on the Firefox Home page
  • Faster page load times by loading either from the networked cache or the cache on the user's hard drive (Race Cache With Network)
  • Improved graphics rendering using Off-Main-Thread Painting (OMTP) for Mac users (OMTP for Windows and Linux was released in Firefox 58)
  • Drag-and-drop to rearrange Top Sites on the Firefox Home page, and customize new windows and tabs in other ways
  • Added features for Firefox Screenshots:
    • Basic annotation lets the user draw on and highlight saved screenshots
    • Recropping to change the viewable area of saved screenshots
  • Added support for W3C specs for pointer events and improved platform integration with added device support for mouse, pen, and touch screen pointer input
  • Added the Ecosia search engine as an option for German Firefox
  • Added the Qwant search engine as an option for French Firefox
  • Added settings in about:preferences to stop websites from asking to send notifications or access your device's camera, microphone, and location, while still allowing trusted websites to use these features

If you already use Firefox, you can grab the latest update now. If you're new to the browser, you can grab Firefox Quantum directly from Mozilla.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

5 Comments
  • I wish the guys would still kinda package a lite version in the windows store, I mean I get that they're basically just have an edge hybrid and financially it makes no sense but just to check the demand for it or treat how close they could get it...I'm just curious 😥
  • I believe Microsoft does not allow competing browsers on the store.
  • They'll allow other browsers, but they have to use the Edge rendering engine iirc. Kinda puts a damper on any hope of Firefox or Chrome making their way to the Store, unfortunately. (Edit: Microsoft isn't alone here. Apple has a similar policy for browsers on the App Store.)
  • So what about PWA support in Firefox?
  • While it is superfast at page loading, it is still something of a resource hog when streaming TV.  It is Mad Marchness, so I am watching lots of hoops.   2 games in Firefox cranks up the fan in my laptop (i7 with 16GB), and uses 35% CPU.  2 games in IE (of all things) barely registers 8% CPU usage and no fan noise.   Granted, this could be an issue with Adobe Flash, but its still worth noting.