Firefox/Roadmap/Updates

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2017-08-14

  • Firefox 56, currently in Beta, will be released on September 26th.
    • Major features coming in Firefox 56 include Preferences searching in an all new Preferences organization, paused auto-play in background tabs, out of process web extensions on Windows, Quantum features and fixes, and a smaller and more secure update download.
  • Firefox 57, currently in Nightly ships to release on November 14th.
    • The major front end changes in 57 are the Photon UI refresh and Activity Stream. You can see progress on both in the latest nightly builds. Other changes coming to 57 include performance enhancing Quantum features and bug fixes, and the sun-setting of legacy extensions.

2017-08-07

  • Firefox 55 ships to release tomorrow!
    • Firefox Screenshots is the major front end feature shipping in Firefox 55. It's going to be a gradual roll-out so not everyone will see it on release day.
    • WebVR is the big platform feature shipping in Firefox 55. Firefox users with an HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift can experience VR content on the Web.
    • Other Firefox 55 features include a dramatic performance improvement in session restore with large numbers of tabs, an option to fine-tune browser performance with e10s multi settings, a click to activate Flash Player, search suggestions in the Awesomebar enabled by default, a modernized update system, and a streamlined Windows stub installer that installs Firefox 64 bit by default for users on 64 bit systems.
  • Firefox 56 ships to release on September 26th.
    • Major features coming in Firefox 56 include searching in an all new Preferences organization, paused auto-play in background tabs, out of process web extensions, Quantum features and fixes, and a smaller and more secure update download.
  • Firefox 57 ships to release on November 14th. This is the big one.
    • The major front end change in 57 is the Photon UI refresh. You can see Photon progress in the latest nightly builds. Other changes coming to 57 include performance enhancing Quantum features and bug fixes, and the sun-setting of legacy extensions.

2017-07-31

  • Firefox 55, now in Beta, ships to release on August 8th, a week from tomorrow.
    • Firefox Screenshots is the major front end feature shipping with 55. It's going to be a gradual roll-out so not everyone will see it on release day. Firefox Screenshots lets you take, save, and share screenshots without leaving Firefox. With Firefox Screenshots, you can easily capture an element on screen, an arbitrary region, the visible page, or the complete page including parts scrolled off screen.
    • WebVR is the major platform feature shipping in Firefox 55. Firefox users with an HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift headset will be able to experience VR content on the Web and can explore some exciting demos at vrlist.io.
  • Firefox 56, now in Nightly, ships to release on September 26.
    • Major features coming in Firefox 56 include a new Preferences organization with searching, out of process extensions on Windows, and a new New Tab page powered by Activity Stream.

2017-07-24

  • Firefox 55, now in Beta, ships to Release on August 8th -- just about two weeks away.
    • Firefox Screenshots is active for 20% of Beta users and will be gradually rolled out to Release users to ensure our servers and processes are keeping up.
    • Firefox 55 also includes a streamlined Installer that ensures 64-bit Firefox gets delivered to 64-bit Windows users. Also in 55 are Web VR, Search Suggestions enabled by default in the Awesomebar, Ask to Activate Flash, and blazing fast Session Restore. (Check out Dietrich's post on Session Restore for the many tabs use case.)
  • Firefox 56, now in Nightly, ships to Release on September 26.
    • While there are a lot of changes happening on Nightly during the 56 cycle, many of them are part of the Photon interface update and those won't ship in 56 -- we're holding them for the big 57 release. Features that we believe will ride the trains to Release are the new Preferences reorganization including Preference Searching and migrating 64-bit capable Windows users to a 64-bit Firefox.
    • Other changes in Nightly that are worth your attention are out of process extensions for Windows users and a new New Tab Page powered by Activity Stream.

2017-07-10

  • Firefox 54.0.1 is our currently released version. The dot release was primarily to fix Netflix for Linux Firefox users.
  • Firefox 55, now in beta, ships to release on August 8th.
    • The major front end feature of 55 is Firefox Screenshots. Screenshots will be gradually rolled out so not all users will see it on the day 55 ships. This is because we need to gauge usage and ensure our servers and processes are keeping up. Right now, Screenshots are enabled for 10% of Beta users.
    • Other Firefox 55 front end features include a radically streamlined stub installer that makes installing Firefox a breeze and ensures 64-bit Windows users get a 64-bit Firefox. We also have search suggestions in the Awesomebar enabled by default for ease of use, ask to activate Flash for security and performance improvements, and session restore performance improvements that make restoring lots of tabs blazing fast.
    • The major web platform feature for Firefox 55 is WebVR.
  • Firefox 56, now in nightly, ships to release on September 26.
    • The major front end changes in 56 are for the Photon UI in preparation for Firefox 57. Most of these Photon features will *not* ship in 56 though you can test them there now.
    • Other nightly features include a new preferences organization, search in preferences, small tiles on the New Tab Page in preparation for Activity Stream, form auto-fill, background tab throttling, paused media in background tabs, on-boarding tours, web extensions in their own process, and migration of 64-bit capable users to 64-bit Firefox.

2017-06-19

  • Firefox 54 with E10S multi shipped last week and users are impressed.
    • "@firefox as someone who previously switched to Chrome, I'm glad to be back for the only modern independent browser on earth :) #firefox54"
    • "I am really impressed with the latest Firefox beta. Fast, multiprocess and taking less memory than Chrome, for about the same performance."
    • "If you use #Firefox as a web browser, you should update to version 54 just out today. The speed & memory usage improvements are amazing."
    • "@firefox The new version is incredibly smooth, fast, and sexy. Congrats for this amazing achievement!
  • Firefox 55, now in beta, ships to release on August 8th
    • The major front end feature of 55 is Firefox Screenshots. Also in 55 are a refreshed updater experience, default to on search suggestions, one-click search buttons in the Awesomebar, ask to activate Flash, the new form autofill, a performance preference section for tuning e10s and hardware acceleration, super-fast session restore with lots of tabs, a streamlined Windows installer, improved printing from Reader Mode, and WebVR.
  • Firefox 56, now in Nightly, ships to release on September 26th
    • In Firefox 56 nightly, but not going to release until 57, you can see the beginning of the Photon UI. I've got a few slides to show you some of that work. Photon Slides

2017-06-12

  • Firefox 54, currently in beta, releases tomorrow, June 13th.
    • The major feature shipping in 54 is E10S-multi with 4 content processes for improved responsiveness and reliability.
  • Firefox 55, currently in nightly, goes to release on August 8th.
    • Major new features and changes in nightly include Firefox Screenshots, a refreshed updater experience, an updated preferences organization, default to on search suggestions, one-click search buttons in the Awesomebar, ask to activate Flash, the new form autofill, a performance preference section for tuning e10s and hardware acceleration, super-fast session restore with lots of tabs, a streamlined Windows installer, improved printing from Reader Mode, WebVR, and significant pieces of the Photon UI have landed. Finally, all locales are now available on nightly.

2017-05-22

  • Firefox 54 goes to release on June 13th.
    • With Firefox Screenshots slipping to Firefox 55, what we have now in 54 is an upgraded sandbox, E10S-multi with 4 content processes, a downloads panel and badging redesign, and a whole gang of new WebExtension APIs including a Sidebar API, Proxy API, Privacy API, DevTools Panel API, and Protocol Handler API.
  • Firefox 55 goes to release on August 8th.
    • Major new features planned for Firefox 55 include Firefox Screenshots, a refreshed updater experience, an updated preferences organization, default to on search suggestions, one-click search buttons in the Awesomebar, and ask to activate Flash.

2017-05-15

  • Firefox 54 release is about a month away, June 13th.
    • Last week, and for several weeks I've been highlighting Firefox Screenshots as a 54 feature. That's changed and Screenshots is now targeted at Firefox 55. Still on track for 54 is E10S-muli with 4 content processes for improved reliability and responsiveness.
  • Firefox 55, now in Nightly, moves to Beta on June 13th and then to release on August 8th.
    • Major new features in Firefox 55 include Firefox Screenshots, a refreshed updater UI, an updated preferences organization, default to on search suggestions, one-click search buttons in the Awesomebar, and Flash click-to-play

2017-05-08

  • Firefox 54 release is in about 5 weeks.
    • The Major front-end feature coming with 54 is Firefox Screenshots. Screenshots will be a gradual roll-out so not everyone will get it on day one. We'll be shipping it to a subset of release users, looking at all of our quality measures, and rolling it out more broadly assuming all looks good with the metrics.
    • The major back-end change coming to 54 is E10S-muli with 4 content processes for improved reliability and responsiveness.
  • Firefox 55, now in Nightly, moves to Beta on June 13th and then to release on August 8th.
    • Major new features in Firefox 55 include a refreshed updater UI, an updated preferences organization, default to on search suggestions, one-click search buttons in the Awesomebar, and Flash click-to-play.

2017-05-01

  • Firefox 54, now in Beta, ships to release June 13th. If all the testing goes well it will include two exciting new features, Firefox Screenshots and E10S-multi with 4 content processes. Screenshots is preffed off in Beta while the team works out some details around testing. E10S-multi is going through A/B testing in Beta comparing the stability of different numbers of content processes.
  • Firefox 55, now in Nightly, ships to release on August 8th. Nightly currently includes a refreshed updater UI that's modernized, less "in your face" than the big dialog, but persistent so hopefully better at keeping users up to date. Nightly also includes a new and simplified, easier to use preferences organization -- including a performance preferences section for controlling e10s multi and hardware acceleration (located at the bottom of the General section). Finally, Nightly now includes a "legacy" badge on XUL/XPCOM add-ons in the Add-ons manager. This is the start of the plan for showing users what add-ons won't make the cut for Firefox 57.

2017-04-24

  • Firefox 53 shipped last Wednesday.
  • Firefox 54, currently in Beta, is scheduled to ship to release on June 13th.
    • 54 should include Firefox Screenshots, an upgraded sandbox, 4 content processes, downloads panel redesign, a gang of new WebExtension APIs, the ability to create your own custom devices in Responsive Device Mode, and a "Mobile Bookmarks” folder for easier access to bookmarks synced from mobile devices.
  • Firefox 55, currently in Nightly, is scheduled to ship to release on August 8th.
    • 55 has a refreshed update UI, a new preferences organization, default to on search suggestions, Flash click to play, geolocation powered by Mozilla Location Service, a performance panel for controlling e10s multi, out of process WebExtensions, localizations, and more.
    • As a reminder, Firefox 55 is staying in nightly for an extra cycle as a consequence of removing the Aurora channel. You can read more about the new release process at http://release.mozilla.org/firefox/release/2017/04/17/Dawn-Project-FAQ.html
  • A quick note about these Firefox updates: if you have items you'd like me to announce, new features or changes coming to Firefox, or if you've got questions about the Firefox roadmap that you'd like addressed in a Firefox update, please let me know. I'm looking into whether we can use Moderator for this but in the mean time, you can email me at asa@mozilla.com.

2017-04-17

  • Firefox 53 ships on Wednesday, April 19th. That's a one day slip from what I told y'all last week.
    • 53 includes two new themes, a separate compositor process for stability, support for lightweight themes in private browsing mode, estimated reading time in reader mode, a 64-bit choice in the Windows installer, a visual refresh of the media controls, updated privacy and security permission prompts, better readability for page titles in tabs, support for WebM alpha, and a reduced download and update size on Mac.
  • Firefox 54 ships on June 13
    • The major front-end addition in 54 is Firefox Screenshots, the feature formerly known as pageshots from Test Pilot.
    • The major back-end change is that our security sandbox has been upgraded (to level 2)
  • Firefox 55 ships on August 8
    • The big changes coming to 55 include a refreshed preferences system, a refreshed update UI, default to on search suggestions, one-click search buttons in the Awesomebar, and Flash click-to-play.

2017-04-10

  • Firefox 53 ships next week, on April 18th.
    • The major front end change in Firefox 53 is the inclusion of two alternate themes, Compact Light and Compact Dark. These "compact" themes offer more space for the web page by shrinking the height of the Firefox toolbars. And as you can guess from the theme names, they come in a light and a dark look.
    • The most significant back end change is the addition of a compositor (GPU) process which reduces overall crashes by 4% and makes recovering from GPU crashes mostly seamless to the user.
    • Other changes in 53 include an option in the Firefox for Windows Installer to pick a 64-bit build, a visual refresh of the media controls, updated privacy and security permission prompts, estimated reading time added to Reader Mode, a dramatically reduced download and update size for Mac builds, better readability of page titles in tabs, and support for WebM alpha.

2017-03-27

  • Firefox 53, now in Beta, ships on April 18th and will include the compact dark and light themes which provide a bit more real estate for content. If you're on Beta, please give these new themes a try and let us know if you find anything not working.
  • Firefox 54 ships on June 13th and should include Firefox Screenshots -- that's the new name for the Page Shot feature that debuted in Test Pilot. Firefox Screenshots lets you capture, save, and share screenshots right in the browser.
  • Firefox 55 ships on August 8th. Right now it's in nightly and includes e10s multi. We're testing 4 content processes but we've got some bugs to get fixed before this will be uplifted to Aurora/Dev Edition.

2017-03-20

  • Firefox 52.0.1 shipped on Friday to fix a security issue that was reported through the Pwn2Own security contest. The fix, in both mainline and ESR, on both Desktop and Mobile, was release less than 24 hours from disclosure.
  • Firefox 53, coming up in about a month, includes the light and dark compact themes and a separate compositor process to gracefully recover from GPU crashes. 53 will see AMO policy updated to only accept Web Extensions for new extensions. Updates to classic extensions will still be accepted. And last but not least, 53 will have compact tabs and tab re-ordering on Android.

2017-03-13

  • Firefox 53, now in Beta, ships to release on April 18th
    • The most visible change coming to Firefox 53, and available for you to test in Beta, Aurora, and Nightly, is the addition of two new themes. The themes are called "Compact Light" and "Compact Dark" and offer as you'd expect, a light and a dark theme that use less space for the UI giving you more space for content.
  • Firefox 54, now in Aurora, ships to release on June 13th
    • 54 should include a level 2 (of 3) sandbox for browsing security. It will also enable E10s for Windows accessibility users. 54 gets a handful of new WebExtension APIs including a sidebar API, custom protocol handlers API, privacy API, DevTools panel API, and about:home/about:newtab overrides. Also in 54 we hope to see the Page Shots feature shipping.
  • Firefox 55, now in Nightly, ships to release on August 8th.
    • If all goes well, we'll be enabling e10s multi with four content processes for this release. We'll be shipping a stub installer that will install 64-bit Firefox for users with 64-bit Windows systems. We'll have a new Themeing API. Flash will become click to play. WebExtensions will run in their own process. And, last but definitely not least, we'll launch Activity Stream on desktop.

2017-03-06

  • Firefox 52 releases tomorrow, March 7th.
    • 52 includes Captive Portal Detection, insecure password warnings in-form, and send tab/link/page to another device using push. 52 is the vehicle for CSS Grid and Web Assembly, two of the hottest platform features anyone has shipped in a long time. 52 also brings e10s to Windows users with touchscreens, and all extension users except those with extensions labeled as mpc=false. 52 is the release that Vista and XP users will be transitioned to the ESR channel. It's also the release we disable all plug-ins except Flash.

2017-02-27

  • Firefox 52 ships to release on March 7th, a week from tomorrow.
    • Visible front end changes include captive portal detection, disabling of all NPAPI plugins except Flash, and an in-content warning when submitting login information over an insecure connection.
    • The major Web platform changes for Firefox 52 are Web Assembly and CSS Grid. Along with the CSS grid platform capabilities, we're also shipping Grid Inspector with the Firefox developer tools.

2017-02-06

  • Firefox 52, accompanied by Firefox 52 ESR, will be released in about a month. A major change coming to mainline Firefox 52 is the deprecation the plug-ins API which will disable all plug-ins except Flash. NPAPI Plug-ins will continue to work in the ESR release. Firefox 52 will be the release where Windows XP and Vista users are transferred from mainline Firefox to ESR. The Firefox web platform, on both desktop and mobile, will see the addition of Web Assembly and CSS Grid
  • Firefox 53, now in Aurora / Dev Edition, will be shipping to release on April 18th. The major visible change in 53 is the addition of two new "compact" themes. The Dev Edition themes are riding the trains to release! Firefox 53 also marks the end of AMO accepting old-API extensions. From here on out it's all Web Extensions all of the time.

2017-01-30

  • Firefox 51 shipped last Tuesday. Yay! with broken geolocation on Windows. Boo!. 51.0.1 shipped the following day to fix this.
  • Firefox Focus 3 shipped last week with changeable search engines, 27 languages, and more. If you haven't given it a try on your iDevice, head over to the App Store and get it today.
  • Firefox 52, now in Beta, will be released March 7th. Firefox 52 will include a bunch of great new features like CSS Grid, Web Assembly, captive portal detection, and more users getting multi-process Firefox. 52 will also see Windows XP/Vista transition to the ESR train.

2017-01-23

  • Firefox 51 ships to release tomorrow, January 24th.
    • Visible front end changes include an insecure password warning in the addressbar on a login pages that do not have a secure connection, a toggle to view passwords from the prompt before saving them, and a zoom level indicator in the addressbar.
    • The major Web platform change for Firefox 51 is WebGL2.
    • On the reliability and responsiveness front, even more users will be getting multi-process Firefox as it's enabled for another large group of extensions and our users in Russia who had seen it disabled because of a top crash.

2017-01-09

  • Firefox 51, now in Beta, ships to release on January 24th and will include some nice improvements. First is a feature that will warn users when they're on pages that submit passwords insecurely. Second, WebGL 2! Firefox for android will be shipping various security fixes.
  • Firefox 52, now in Dev Edition / Aurora, releases on March 9th and should include captive portal detection, our first OS X sandbox, multi-process enabled for Windows touchscreens, WebAssembly and CSS Grid support! Android Firefox will be seeing improvements to Sync and a 5+mb reduction in APK size. Firefox 52 will also see us transition our Windows XP and Vista users over to our Extended Support Release. Finally, with 52, Firefox will stop supporting all NPAPI plug-ins except Flash.
  • Firefox 53, the nightly channel, ships to release on April 18th and will hopefully include a new site permission interface, E10s multi, the compositor process, and an installer update that will help 64-bit windows users get the 64-bit Firefox version.