Firefox 16.0 What's New

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 8, 2012
Updated • Sep 19, 2018

Mozilla is in the process of updating all Firefox channels in the coming ways. Firefox 15.0.1 will be updated tomorrow to version 16.0, followed by updates for the browser's beta, aurora and nightly channels bringing the respective versions of the browser to 17, 18 and 19.

We have looked at the changes that Mozilla implemented in Firefox 16 when the Aurora channel was updated to the version, and it is a good idea to read through the article as it highlights the majority of changes of Firefox 16. The release notes for the beta version of Firefox 16 reveal the major changes in the new stable version of the browser. Probably most interesting from a user perspective is the incremental garbage collection that Mozilla integrated into Firefox 16.

This feature improves the browser's responsiveness by dividing the work of the garbage collector into smaller pieces. Instead of running the garbage collector for hundreds of milliseconds at a time, the new technology runs it in ten millisecond intervals which do not affect the browser's responsiveness anymore. If you have noticed lag when moving the mouse for instance from time to time, you may now experience a smoother experience thanks to the incremental nature of the garbage control algorithm.

The remaining features may appeal to a smaller part of the browser's audience, but are for the most part not that interesting:

  • Firefox on Mac OS X now has preliminary VoiceOver support turned on by default
  • Initial web app support (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Acholi localization added
  • New Developer Toolbar with buttons for quick access to tools, error count for the Web Console, and a new command line for quick keyboard access
  • CSS3 Animations, Transitions, Transforms and Gradients unprefixed in Firefox 16
  • Recently opened files list in Scratchpad implemented
  • Debugger breakpoints do not catch on page reload (783393)
  • No longer supporting MD5 as a hash algorithm in digital signatures (650355)
  • Opus support by default (772341)
  • Reverse animation direction has been implemented (655920)
  • Per tab reporting in about:memory (687724)
  • User Agent strings for pre-release Firefox versions now show only major version (728831)

Firefox 16 stable has not been moved to the ftp directory yet. It is likely that this is going to happen in the next 24 hour period. Firefox Beta users can check out our Firefox 17 what's new guide to find out what new features they will find in the browser after the update to the new version.

Some features that were expected to land in Firefox 16 have not made it into the browser. This includes the panel based downloader which has been moved to Firefox 18, and the speedy session restore feature.

Firefox 16.0 What's New
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Firefox 16.0 What's New
The article offers information on the changes and new features that Mozilla implemented in version 16.0 of the Firefox web browser.
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  1. DonnieG said on October 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Does anyone think high temps using Ubuntu 12 / FF when running flash content will ever be solved?

  2. Grantwhy said on October 11, 2012 at 6:02 am

    There is a security vulnerability in Firefox 16

    Mozilla are recommending downgrading to15.0.1 until a fix is released tomorrow

    the vulnerability is: “The vulnerability could allow a malicious site to potentially determine which websites users have visited and have access to the URL or URL parameters. At this time we have no indication that this vulnerability is currently being exploited in the wild.”

  3. Ken Saunders said on October 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Happy Release Day!

  4. Johnny Flash said on October 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Hope the resource hog thing will get fixed. It continues to eat resources until my PC freezes for several minutes, sometimes 20-30 minutes.

  5. John Drinkwater said on October 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Opus support not interesting? :o
    It’s the future audio codec of everything, voip, streaming music, gaming!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      While that is great, it is not really something that you can make use of right now.

  6. Midnight said on October 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    There was a problem with the Nightly (18.0a1) update on Saturday, which caused some Font errors in various areas of the Browser and I switched to to the Aurora (17.0a2) until the issue gets resolved.
    The Add ons update wasn’t working, so that was a deciding factor to downgrade to Aurora!

    The UX version hasn’t been updated since August, so I have no idea what’s going on with that!
    Seems that some Developers at Mozilla are snoozing on the job!

    1. Zlip said on October 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      UX Branch is updating now if I am not wrong, last merge on it with mozilla-central was on 7th October.
      Also chrome UI Font bug fix is landed in mozilla-inbound, it will be in tomorrow’s nightly so you can switch back to Nightly tomorrow if you OK.

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