Firefox 36 will be released to the public on February 24th, 2015 by Mozilla.
All Firefox channels are moved up a version on the release day which means that Firefox Stable installations are moved to version 36, Beta versions to 37, Developer versions to 38 and Nightly installations to 39.
Firefox Extended Support Release builds are also updated to version 31.5 on the day.
The easiest way to find out which version (and channel) of the browser you are running is to type about:support in the browser's address bar.
The page that is loaded displays various information about the browser including the current version and channel under application basics near the top.
All Firefox updates are already listed on Mozilla's public FTP server. The updates are made available in two different ways to the general public.
Most Firefox installations will be updated automatically thanks to the browser's built-in update feature.
To check for updates manually tap on the Alt-key on the keyboard and select Help > About Firefox from the menu that opens up.
The second option to obtain the update is to download it from Mozilla once it becomes available on the site.
While it may be tempting to download the release early from the FTP server, last minute changes may invalidate it which can lead to all kinds of issues.
Firefox 36 is a minor update in many regards but it includes several important changes under the hood that may impact functionality.
Full HTTP/2 support
This is an important addition to Firefox. HTTP/2 landed recently in its final form which needs to be integrated into web browsers so that users can benefit from it.
HTTP/2 is an update of the original HTTP protocol promising faster browsing, reduced bandwidth usage and secure connection improvements.
While Firefox 36 supports the final h2 protocol for negotiation, not all features of it are implemented in the version as Mozilla engineer Patrick McManus notes on his personal blog.
Partial Media Source Extensions (MSE) support
Partial support for MSE was added to Firefox to support native HTML5 playback on YouTube. A quick check on YouTube revealed that Flash is still used when available in Firefox 36 and that you need to request the HTML5 player if Flash is installed.
If Flash is not installed or if it is disabled, the HTML5 player is automatically used on the site. This implementation is limited to select video resolutions only. You may notice that the highest resolution available is 720p when you use the HTML Flash player on YouTube in Firefox 36.
This changes when you set the parameter media.mediasource.enabled to true.
Once done, higher resolutions become available on YouTube.
Flash's protected mode sandbox can be disabled on Windows
Protected Mode runs Flash Player as a low integrity process. While that is useful to most Firefox users, some experienced issues that they linked to protected mode.
You can disable the mode in the Firefox configuration. Mozilla plans to disable the mode completely in Firefox 37.
The procedure disables protected mode in Firefox. You can verify that this is indeed the case by monitoring Flash process in the Task Manager. If you see plugin-container.exe in the task manager when Flash contents are running it is disabled.
Add-on compatibility changes
Several changes went into Firefox 36 that may affect add-on compatibility. What this means is that some add-ons may stop working completely or partially once you update the browser to version 36 of Firefox.
You find the list of add-on compatibility affecting changes on the official Mozilla blog.
The Firefox 36 for Android update shares the majority of changes with the desktop version of the web browser.
There are only two changes unique to the Android version:
Mozilla releases information about security updates and fixes after the final version of Firefox has been available for some time. They are added as soon as they become available.
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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.