Changes To Look Forward To With Firefox 52

Written by Michael Larabel in Mozilla on 3 February 2017 at 06:36 AM EST. 81 Comments
Firefox 51 was released last week and like clock work there was a new Firefox beta for the next release issued shortly thereafter.

Busy with all of January's excitement, I finally now spent more time looking at the Firefox 52 Beta. Some of the feature additions to Firefox 52 include the ability to send/open a tab from one device to another with Firefox Sync, pages with insecure password fields are now clearly marked as insecure, NPAPI support has been removed for Firefox plugins except for Adobe Flash, an implementation of the Strict Secure Cookies specification, an improved file downloading experience, changes to the responsive design mode, and enabling of the CSS Grid Layout.

There are some pleasant end-user features with Firefox 52, and many will be happy about the removal of NPAPI support for non-Flash plugins, including Silverlight, Java, Acrobat, and others. Some more of the details via the beta release notes.

The Firefox 52 beta also has merged WebAssembly support, there is automatic captive portal detection, the battery status API has been dropped, and many internal changes. There is also the developer changes for interested web developers. Great to see the CSS grid layout support coming to Firefox at the same time as it is in Chrome, Firefox 52 also adds new async functionality for JavaScript, some ES2017 additions, dropping of some Firefox OS APIs, TLS 1.3 has been enabled by default, and an array of other work for building a better and more modern web.

The other Firefox news this week is that Mozilla Corp is laying off around 50 people as they abandon hope for Firefox OS as a platform for connected IoT devices, which they were pursuing after their Firefox OS smartphone ambitions failed to gain ground.

Firefox 52.0 is expected for release on 7 March.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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