The official release date of Firefox 53.0 is April 19th, 2017. Mozilla will release Firefox 53 on that day on its website, and through Firefox's automatic update system.
The new Firefox 53.0 release is important for a number of reasons. First, because it does not support a number of operating systems anymore. Second, because of the dropping of Firefox Aurora from the release cycle. You find details about these changes below.
Only Firefox Stable and Beta systems are updated on this release day. Firefox Stable is updated to 53, and Firefox Beta to 54. Aurora is not updated and removed soon, and Nightly is not updated to stay on version 55 to fill the gap that the removal of Aurora left. Firefox ESR 52.1 and 45.9 are also available.
Firefox is configured to check for and download updates automatically. You can run manual checks for updates with a tap on the Alt-key on your keyboard, and the selection of Help > About Firefox from the menu bar.
The About Mozilla Firefox window checks for updates, and either downloads and installs any update it finds automatically, or on user request.
Direct download links for Firefox installation files:
We talked about the end of Firefox Aurora already here on Ghacks. Mozilla decided to remove the Aurora channel from the release cycle. The organization plans to migrate existing Aurora users to Beta eventually, and move features from Nightly to Beta directly in the future.
A special Developer Edition will be made available, based on Beta but with the same tweaks that the current Developer Edition ships with.
You can read more about the change by following the link above, or by visiting the FAQ page on the Mozilla website.
Firefox 53 won't support the following operating systems anymore:
Mozilla plans to support the last working version for XP and Vista for some time going forward though. Users are migrated automatically to Firefox ESR, the Extended Support Release version of Firefox.
Mozilla plans to support XP and Vista versions of Firefox at least until September 2017. The organization plans to reveal the date supports end at the time, and will base it on the number of users who are still using XP or Vista.
Mozilla Firefox 53.0 ships with a new GPU Process (Quantum Compositor) on supported Windows devices which reduces driver related crashes by 17%, Direct3D related crashes by 22%, and Direct3D accelerated video crashes by 11%.
Machines need to match the following requirements:
That's about 25% of users according to Mozilla. To find out whether that is the case for your device, do the following:
Firefox 53.0 ships with two new themes that resemble those found in the Developer Edition. Compact Dark and Compact Light are available under Appearance on the about:addons page.
Simply click on the enable button next to one of the themes to activate it. The themes do away with the curved tabs, and change a couple of other interface elements on top of that. Also, Firefox has an official dark theme now that it ships with.
Firefox users may set the default Referrer-Policy in Firefox by editing the network.http.referer.userControlPolicy preference. Basically, what the policy does is determine which referrer information should be included in the Referer header.
The default is used whenever sites don't specify a Referrer-Policy. (see Bug 1304623)
The design of permission notifications that Firefox displays when websites request access to features such as the location has changed.
The dialog wont go away automatically anymore when you click somewhere on the page or switch tabs.
Firefox 53.0 and newer versions of the Firefox browser for Android will handle media decoding out-of-process for improved performance on multi-core systems. (See Bug 1333323)
Firefox 53.0.2 was released on May 5th, 2017 to the stable channel. It features the following fixes and changes:
Firefox 53.0.3 was released on May 19th, 2017 to the stable channel. The new version of Firefox ships with two fixes and one change:
Security fixes are published after the release of Firefox 53. We will update the article once Mozilla publishes the update.
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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.