The latest version of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser is now available for PC (v58) and Android (v58) devices. The list of new features is small on the PC version, as the company mostly focused on improving the software’s overall performance. According to the company, Firefox now uses a method called off-main-thread painting that relies on a new, dedicated CPU thread to provide fast, smoother page loads.
Firefox Quantum performs these four stages in two processes or threads. The first “main” thread consists of the display list, layer assignments, and rasterization. This thread pushes its results to a second thread for composition and then restarts its three-stage process. But with Mozilla’s new method, the browser relies on a third “paint” thread to rasterize every element of the web page.
“In Firefox 58, rasterization will consume less of the frame budget on average,” Mozilla says. “Similarly, in Firefox 57, rasterization is a significant slice — 50 percent of the paint cycle or more — 21 percent of the time. In Firefox 58, that scenario occurs only four percent of the time!”
As for the latest Firefox browser for Android, Mozilla revised the bookmarking feature with a full screen to better view and organize your favorites and folders. The Android version also now provides better support for Progressive Web Apps, which are essentially websites that work like an app within any browser on any device, whether they’re used on a desktop PC or Android-based phone. You can now access these “apps” directly from your home screen outside Firefox.
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