Mozilla will release updates for Firefox on all channels and platforms later today that increase the version of the browser by one.
This means that stable users of the browser will get updated to version 31 automatically, while beta, aurora and nightly users are moved to Firefox 32, 33 and 34 respectively.
The update has not been released at the time of writing, but several third-party download sites and Mozilla's official FTP server are already listing it.
It is however recommended to wait until the update is officially released by Mozilla as last minute changes may make the non-profit organization pull what you have downloaded.
You can find out which version of Firefox you are running by loading about:support in the browser. There you find the version value listed under Application Basics.
Check out our download guide for Firefox if you need assistance with that.
Feature-wise, Firefox 31 is a minor update just like Firefox 30 was. Below are the most important changes in this release:
The browser.tabs.closeButtons preference has been removed
Firefox supported several placements for close buttons on the tab bar of the browser. The default setting displayed close buttons next to each tab but you could modify the browser.tabs.closeButtons preference to modify that so that the close button was only displayed on the active tab, at the end of the tab bar, or not at all.
This preference is no longer functional and Mozilla suggests to users to use add-ons instead to change the tab closing behavior.
If you have modified it in the past, you will notice that Firefox has modified it automatically to the default again (which is one close button for each tab).
Add-ons such as Classic Theme Restorer provide you with the means to change that behavior.
Additional information about the change are available here.
Search Field on New Tab Page
One of the few changes in Firefox 31 that users will notice. Mozilla has added a new search field to the browser's New Tab Page that is displayed directly above the thumbnail grid.
The default search engine of the browser is used for this, and searches conducted here are loaded in the same tab.
There is no built-in option to turn it off. The next best thing you can do is install an add-on such as New Tab Tools that comes without a search option.
New default certificate verifier
Mozilla has developed the new certificate verification library mozilla::pkix! which replaces NSS in Firefox 31.The new implementation offers several advantages over the old:
Generational Garbage Collection
This is another under the hood change that most users may not notice at all. The implementation improves performance of Firefox, at least in some benchmarks.
Compacting Garbage Collection is the next big project in this regard. Mozilla hopes that it will reduce memory use significantly when it lands.
Ogg and PDF files handling on Windows
If no program is associated with ogg or pdf files on Windows, Firefox will handle these types of files directly. Firefox will use its internal pdf reader and the HTML5 media player for ogg files if that is the case.
WebVTT is a text-based format that can be used to display text tracks using the <text> element. Its primary use is the display of subtitles when <video> elements are loaded.
fill()method fills all the elements of an array from a start index to an end index with a static value. - [MDN article on Array.prototype.fill()]
Object.setPrototype()method sets the prototype (i.e., the internal
[[Prototype]]property ) of a specified object to another object or
null. - [MDN article on Object.setPrototypeOf()]
"%c"format specifier to style console messages.
Existing Panels on about:home can now be reordered
A panel displays information when you open a new tab page or the about:home page in Firefox on Android.Default panels that Firefox ships with display the history, top sites, bookmarks, and the reading list.
While it was possible previously to enable or disable panels, there was not yet an option to reorder them. This has changed now:
Other mobile changes
Security updates / fixes
The security updates are
Additional information / sources
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