Mozilla is currently preparing to upgrade all versions of the Firefox web browser starting with the stable version of it tomorrow. Firefox 21 will be upgraded to version 22 on Tuesday, while Beta, Aurora and Nightly users of the browser will have to wait a day or so longer before their version of the browser is updated as well.
Mozilla is currently preparing to distribute the newest version of Firefox to its ftp server and from there to its mirror distribution system. Once that is out of the way, the official release announcement will be made on the website.
Firefox users can use the automatic update feature of the browser to upgrade to Firefox 22, or download the latest version of the browser from the Mozilla website instead and install it from there.
The official release notes have not been made available yet which is why I rely on the beta change log as the main source of information. You find all sources that I have used at the bottom of the article.
Mozilla may pull features from the final version of the browser. If that is the case, I'll update the article with the additional information as soon as the official change log goes live.
Operating system specific
Firefox on Windows is now following display scaling options which may render text larger on high resolution displays. Some users may notice that web pages and the browser UI appear magnified in Firefox 22.
The layout.css.devPixelsPerPx preference handles this and lets you fine tune the size of all fonts and other elements in the browser. To reduce the font size, use values between 0.05 and 1.0, to increase the size of fonts, use values greater than 1.0.
The default value of the preference is -1.0.
To modify it do the following:
Mac users who work with Firefox will now see the progress of downloads in the Dock icon.
WebRTC is now enabled by default
Web Real-Time Communication support has been integrated partially in previous versions of the Firefox web browser. The first component that was integrated into Firefox was getUserMedia, a component that allowed the capturing of camera and microphone streams.
Now, PeerConnection and DataChannels are turned on by default as well paving the way for real-time audio and video calls as well as the sharing of data and reduced latency in real-time communications and applications.
HTML5 Audio and Video Playback Speed modifications
Firefox 22 users can modify the playback speed of HTML5 audio or video contents. This only works if the native player is used, and not if the website is using its own media player.
This means that it won't work on YouTube even if you signed up for the HTML5 beta as Google is using its own player. YouTube on the other hand makes this option available as well in its player.
H.264, Mp3 and AAC support on Windows Vista
Windows Vista users can now play media files using the H.264, Mp3 and AAC codecs without third party plugins. Mozilla implemented the feature first in Firefox 21 for Windows 7 and 8, and has not enabled it for Vista. Linux will receive it in Firefox 24 when everything goes as planned.
Starting with Firefox 23, hardware acceleration will be supported as well for the playback of supported media files.
Performance is always a hot topic. Firefox 22 should give users of the browser a nice performance boost thanks to the integration of asm.js in that version of the browser.
That's however not the only performance improvement in Firefox 22. The WebGL rendering performance has been improved thanks to asynchronous canvas updates. So, instead of having to wait for sync transactions, this is now handled asynchronously speeding up the process. Check out this bug report if you are interested in finding out more.
Management of social services implemented in the browser's add-ons manager. Firefox notifies you about the possibility when you first install a new service in the browser.
You can open the add-ons manager and select Services here to disable or remove any service that you have installed in the browser.
Firefox Developer Tools
Additional information / sources
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.