Mozilla will release the Firefox 32 final to the stable channel in the coming 24 hour period. In addition to that, the organization will also move all other channels to the next major version in line.
This results in the release of Firefox 33 Beta, Firefox 34 Aurora and Firefox 35 Nightly in the same time period.
While the update has not been released yet officially, it is expected that the update announcement will be made in the next couple of hours.
As usual, it will be made available to the bulk of users via the browser's automatic update feature.
To find out which version of Firefox you are running, type about:support in the browser's address bar and look for the value under Application Basics.
Firefox 32 Download
Several third-party download sites are already hosting Firefox 32 final downloads. In addition to that, the release can also be downloaded from the official Mozilla FTP server.
Note: While it may be tempting to upgrade early, for instance to avoid the rush or patch security issues, it is generally recommended to wait for the official release announcement as last minute changes may promote another build instead of the one that is available early.
Check out our how to download Firefox guide for further information, including how to download a full offline installer.
Firefox 32 Changes
Firefox 32 is a minor update in terms of changes that it introduces. While that is the case, it does introduce several recognizable changes.
The following list contains changes that found their way into the desktop version of Firefox. Some of these changes may have also been added to the Android version of the browser. Scroll down past the desktop changes for Android-specific changes and feature additions.
HTTP Caching (v2) enabled by default
Mozilla started to test a new cache backend for Firefox back in 2013. We reviewed the new cache back then and it was clear that work had to be done.
The goal behind the project was to improve the loading and paint time for all users of the browser along with better protection against caching related hangs, freezes and even crashes.
Mozilla did enable the new cache on the Nightly channel back in May 2014 and fixed several issues that users were experiencing on sites such as YouTube or Google Drive.
The new technology is introduced to all channels of the browser with the release of Firefox 32.
The feature introduces two new preferences that Firefox users can experiment with:
- browser.cache.disk.metadata_memory_limit sets the number of kBs that the browser reserves to keep recently loaded cache entries metadata (default value is 250).
- browser.cache.disk.preload_chunk_count defines the data that Firefox preloads to speed up the loading of large contents such as images (default value is 4). Firefox loads four chunks of data in advance by default which means 1 MB in total as each chunk is set to 256 kB)
Public Key Pinning support enabled
Public Key Pinning was a topic on this blog a couple of days ago. I suggest you read the article that I wrote it back then. Here is a short summary:
The security technique is used to protect against some forms of man in the middle attacks. It allows websites to pin certificate authorities which it considers trustworthy.
Firefox will oblige the request on the second visit as it gets the information on the first and cannot do anything about it then. Once it has the information, it will only accept to establish a connection to the site if one of the trusted certificate authorities are available.
Mozilla will built some pins right into the browser starting with Firefox 32. Over the course of the next couple of releases, it will add support for Google, Twitter, Mozilla, Dropbox and Tor properties so that they use the technique even on the first visit.
New icon row on right-click context menu
Mozilla has added a row of icons to Firefox's right-click context menu. When you right-click you get a top row now that provides you with the means to navigate back and forward, reload, stop the loading of the page, and to bookmark it.
Follow this link to read a full review of the new feature.
- Findbar highlights found item count now. When you hit F3 or Ctrl-f to search, Firefox will display the number of matches on the current website in the findbar.
- Generational Garbage Collection which helps reduce GC fragmentation. According to Nicolas Nethercote, the effect is rather small and needs tweaking.
- Performance improvements to the password manager and the add-on manager.
- The password manager displays metadata now. This includes first and last used dates, the date the data was last changed and the times it was used.
- Code completion and inline documentation added to Scratchpad. This adds autocomplete suggestions and popups with information on the current symbol in the editor.
- HiDPI support in Developer Tools UI.
- Inspector button moved to the top left.
- Hidden nodes displayed differently in the markup-view.
- New Web Audio Editor.
- Standard directory to store data now provided. In a second step, a new API will be made available that will make it easier for add-on developers to store date in that folder.
- User Agent styles in the Inspector's Rule view.
- Full page screenshot button added.
- Repeating background image causes weird text layout issue with HWA off [bug].
Firefox 32 for Android
Most of the changes that found their way into the desktop client have been integrated into the Android version of Firefox as well.
Most notable for some users is that Firefox for Android does not support Android 2.2 and ARMv6 processor chipsets any more.
Here are additional changes that only found their way into the Android version:
- Firefox users can switch between different languages, all 54 supported ones, without leaving the browser. This is done with a click on the menu button in the top right corner and the selection of Settings > Language > System Default.
- The Gamepad API has been finalized and is now enabled.
- The browsing history can now be deleted from the history control.
- URI autocompletion is now supported for composition focused keyboards such as Swype.
Security updates / fixes
All security updates will be added once they become available.
- Removed and turned off trust bit for some 1024-bit root certificates. Follow this link for all the details.
Additional information / sources
- Firefox 32 release notes
- Firefox 32 Android release notes
- Add-on compatibility for Firefox 32
- Firefox 32 for developers
- Hacks Mozilla on Firefox 32 developer changes
- Site compatibility for Firefox 32
- Firefox Security Advisories
Now Read: Firefox Release Schedule