Mozilla Releases Firefox 57 'Quantum' Web Browser

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Mozilla on Tuesday officially announced Firefox 57, the new "Quantum" version of its flagship desktop web browser for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Aside from a redesigned interface and a slew of new UI features, Mozilla says Quantum offers speeds twice as fast as Firefox 52 and a new engine that uses 30 percent less memory than Google Chrome.


    The performance advantages are said to be down to Firefox's "just right" multi-process architecture, which uses separate processes to run its user interface and tabbed web page content. These additional processes are able to run across multiple CPU cores, making it much less likely for open web pages to negatively impact each other or the performance of the web browser in general.

    While both Firefox and Chrome now run using multiple processes, Mozilla claims to have done things differently to avoid using up precious working memory. Chrome creates a separate content process for each open tab, and each tab typically consumes hundreds of megabytes of RAM, which has earned the browser a reputation as a resource hog.


    Where Quantum differs, claims Mozilla, is in its more conservative approach to using multiple processes. By default, Firefox now creates up to four separate processes for web page content, so the first four tabs each use those four processes, and additional tabs run using threads within those processes. This leads to multiple tabs within a process sharing the browser engine that already exists in memory, instead of each one creating their own.

    In addition to the under-the-hood improvements, the redesigned "Photon" user interface offers a less cluttered, more minimalist environment for browsing the web and aims to look better on modern high DPI displays. It also adds several new features including a built-in tool to take screenshots, and a new library for putting things like browsing history, bookmarks, Pocket lists, and synced tabs in one convenient place.

    Firefox 57 also includes support for WebVR, which enables websites to take full advantage of VR headsets like the HTC Vive, while Mozilla's Pocket service is now more integrated in the browser and displays trending articles on the new tab page. Last but not least, a new feature called Tracking Protection blocks extensive requests for online user tracking. It works by default in the Private browsing window and Mozilla reckons it reduces the average page loading time by around 44 percent.


    With all the changes, Firefox has had to lose support for many existing extensions written in XUL. Firefox Quantum only supports WebExtensions, which have more limitations, similar to Chrome extensions. Existing users can check the status of their extensions by navigating to Menu -> Add-Ons. Compatible ones are shown under "Extensions", while deactivated browser extensions appear under "Legacy Extensions" alongside an option to find the closest equivalent replacement available.

    If you're already a Firefox user, you should receive an automatic upgrade to Quantum after restarting the browser. For everyone else, Firefox Quantum is available for macOS as a free download directly from the Mozilla website.

    Article Link: Mozilla Releases Firefox 57 'Quantum' Web Browser
  2. Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    This is hot stuff. They're on fire!

    Is that what the fox said?

    I'm done.
  3. Ayemerica macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2011
    Atlantis but in space
    It still won't be Able to offer seamless use between devices like chrome / safari.
  4. Telos101 macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2016
    How come? Mozilla syncs your stuff across devices. They released Quantum for iOS the other day as well.
  5. Ayemerica macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2011
    Atlantis but in space
    I understand the tech is there, the server load and reliability isn't for me as Mozilla as a company. YMMV.
  6. kguay macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2012
    I've been using the beta for a few weeks and am very pleased with the performance and UI. I've used Chrome for years because I couldn't stand the old Firefox UI - now I'm a happy camper.
  7. Sasparilla macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2012
    I like it, not throwing it over the side at this point. I definitely liked the old UI better, but it seems to work well with the new release (performance seems quite good).

    The splash page is configurable (thank goodness) - turned pocket / advertising off immediately. Unfortunately your old top sites don't fill out the page like it used to (just the first row)...although based on their screenshot it looks like that can be built back up again.

    Firefox (single thread) used to be very thrifty in memory usage compared to Chromium based browsers, now that it has multiple threads it eats up memory faster as well (seems less than Chrome, but not like it used to be).

    I have to sync across PC's (work and home) and a work Android phone as well - is really pretty awesome.
  8. bennyf macrumors regular


    Mar 29, 2011
    Does apple allow access to the keychain? I'd use Firefox a lot more if I didn't have to store login credentials in multiple places.
  9. Eorlas macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2010
    For those who think it's funny that firefox is trying to stay in the game, I've been using the beta across multiple machines and it's super fast. Much faster that Chrome in my experience.
  10. Mike.Kane macrumors newbie


    Nov 9, 2017
    I do enjoy the browser speed, just might keep me around. One thing I'm not thrilled about is the Pocket integration, happily sticking with Bookmark OS
  11. samden macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2015
    You could always use a service such as LastPass. Since I have Windows machines and a Mac I needed something that would work across ecosystems and I couldn't be happier with it!
  12. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    I was a fan and user of Firefox since it was Firebird, and I love its bookmark+password syncing feature. But when webkit is becoming the de-facto engine, Firefox seems to be slow and fluttering around, to the point it got into the stupid version number race with Chrome.

    Now, I just use Safari, and occasionally Chrome for sites with Flash. iCloud and keychain+1Password take care of the bookmark and password syncing. On the PC, I just use Edge, and Chrome as well for Flash content.
  13. whyamihere macrumors 6502


    Jun 30, 2008
    Was very excited about this, so I restarted to install the update. Prior to the update my tabs were using 550MB of RAM. After the update with the same exact tabs, now using 937MB of RAM. And I lost some add-on compatibility. Thanks, Firefox! :(
  14. trusso macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2003
    I'm quite happy with Safari for now, but if that changes, Firefox will be my first alternative.

    That said, what's up with tech companies co-opting scientific terms for branding purposes? Retina, Quantum, Photon, Neural Engine... I mean, I'm not gonna be protesting in the streets, but from a linguistic perspective this is certainly something to keep an eye on.
  15. rezwits macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    Las Vegas
  16. bunnyhero macrumors newbie


    Nov 4, 2008
    i was using the betas of quantum. impressed with the speed, but it was a HUGE battery hog. haven't tested the final though, hope they've fixed that.
  17. Illest macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bay Area, California.
  18. hamiltonrwatch, Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017

    hamiltonrwatch macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2014
    slightly right of left
    My understanding was Quantum, at least in its beta form, did not support AdBlockPlus. That's a deal-breaker for me, no matter how "fast" it is.:rolleyes:
  19. adrianlondon, Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017

    adrianlondon macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2013
    It doesn't use the keychain, "text replacements" don't work and pinch to zoom doesn't work.

    On the plus side, in forums such as this one (and especially which is painful to use in Safari) I can back out of reading a thread and not have to wait a few seconds while the forum list shows, locks up, decides to redraw, and then action all the scrolling I'd done thinking it was ready. I really detest that "feature" of Safari so it's a balance of positives and negatives to me. It's also noticeably faster when bouncing around Facebook. I'm going to stick with FF for a while and see how it goes.

    Edit: Someone above posted about ad blocking. I'm using uBlock Origin, and installing that on Quantum made me realise that the Safari version I have is out of date. So much for the auto-update feature of Extensions.

    Edit2: I've not used Firefox for years. I forgot about "about:config". Enabled pinch to zoom. It's not smooth but it's working.
  20. rezenclowd3 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2004
    Undoing the work of Priuses: burning gas & rubber
    Not impressed so far. Just @ RAM usage for Chrome is ~450MB and FF Q is ~780MB. No extensions enabled on either.
  21. man3ster macrumors member

    May 12, 2009
  22. skiabox macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Larisa, Greece
    This browser is incredibly fast but it has problems while watching youtube videos with resolution from 720p and above.
    Trying to see what is wrong I've visited and I got this page:


    I must state here that chrome is working fine with youtube and all these boxes are ticked in chrome.
  23. adrianlondon macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2013
    Could you give a random example of a video not working for you? Full screeen or standard window? I just checked one of my video links that's 1080p and it works fine. I get the same "5 out of 6" browser supported features as you do.
  24. RightMACatU macrumors 65816


    Jul 12, 2012
    Are we done with the "AI enabled" everything marketing spiel? Now it's "Quantum" enabled everyhting? :rolleyes:

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