What Mozilla has planned for Firefox in 2018 (ad-filtering and more)
As a user of the web browser Firefox or someone who is interested in trying it out, you probably would like to know more about what Mozilla has planned for Firefox in 2018 (and beyond).
With Google integrating limited advertisement blocking into the Chrome browser and other nice to have features into the web browser, it is only natural to wonder what Mozilla has planned in this regard.
Good news for users interested in Firefox is that Mozilla has big plans for Firefox in 2018; the following paragraphs reveals new features that Firefox users will have at their disposal this year (if the schedule holds).
You can check out the full list on Mozilla's Wiki website. The list below highlights the, in my opinion, most important changes and improvements.
I reveal what I think about the announced changes after the list and would like to know what you think about the plans as well.
Firefox in 2018
The user experience is one of the key areas that Mozilla targets for improvements.
The organization plans to integrate ad-filtering, ad re-targeting protection and other features into the browser that improve the user experience:
- Firefox will block certain types of ads that impact the user experience in a negative way. Mozilla is in the research stage at this point and it is unclear if the organization will come up with its own list of problematic ad formats and types, or if it will use the list that Google uses in Google Chrome.
- Mozilla plans to integrate ad re-targeting protection into Firefox. Re-targeting "follows" users around on the Web to get them to buy a certain product they were interested in. The organization wants to block cross-domain tracking to eliminate this.
- Tracking Protection will get granular controls so that users may disable or enable specific types of trackers. Also, trackers will be blocked on page load if they affect the page load performance.
- Video autoplay toggle to block sites from playing video automatically.
- Breach Alerts highlights to a user of the browser if a site was compromised in the past (see Mozilla plans to add breach warnings to Firefox)
Mozilla engineers plan to improve Firefox's performance, speed and even the user's perception of speed further in 2018.
- Faster startup first paint to show a browser window sooner when Firefox is started.
- Out of Process Extensions on Linux and Mac.
- Storage.local implementation replacement with "something more efficient".
- Tab Warming which starts to load the content of a tab the user is likely going to switch to (see Firefox Tab Warming explained)
- TCP Fast Open is an extension to speed up the opening of successive connections between two endpoints.
- WebRender to run apps at 60 frames per second regardless of the display or what is changing on the page from frame to frame.
Personalization and customization improvements that Mozilla plans to land in Firefox in 2018 are listed below:
- Firefox Accounts Multi-factor authentication and recovery.
- Firefox UI language switching.
- Lockbox password manager integration with Firefox and Firefox accounts (see Firefox Lockbox alpha by Mozilla replace built-in password manager).
- Policy Manager for computer administration (see Firefox 60 ships with Windows Group Policy Support)
- New Extension APIs and improvements to existing APIs such as Tab Hiding, User Scripts, Toolbars, Secure Overlays or Session Management.
- Theme improvements by unlocking new areas of the browser that may be changed by themes and new theme APIs.
My take on the roadmap
Mozilla has big plans for Firefox in 2018 and that is exactly what the browser needs. Firefox is in a situation currently that makes it seem as if it is one-step behind Chrome in many areas; Google, the largest advertisement company on the planet introduced ad-blocking already in 2018 but Firefox has not.
Tracking Protection was a good start but the feature got no love at all since its introduction in 2014. Mozilla found out in 2015 that Tracking Protection reduced page load time by 44% on average, but has not acted upon that at all. I think that the organization missed a big opportunity back then to take the lead and attract users.
I'm looking forward to many of the features that Mozilla plans to integrate in Firefox in 2018. Ad-filtering, the blocking of re-targeting ads, improved tracking protection functionality and an easy option to block autoplaying video content on the Web are all welcome additions.
Mozilla could use different criteria than Google to determine acceptable and unacceptable ads. One example: Chrome won't block autoplaying videos without sound but Mozilla could add the format to Firefox to block it.
While some of those are already available through extensions, native integration in Firefox benefits all users of the browser, even the more than 40% that don't run any extensions.
Support for additional APIs and other usability improvements as well as speed and performance improvements are welcome additions and changes all in all.
I'm a bit worried about some of the personalization features, especially the Contextual Feature Recommender which "proactively delivers personalized Firefox feature and extension recommendations to users based on their behavior" but I don't know enough about the feature or its implementation to make a final call at this point.
Now You: What's your take on the Firefox roadmap for 2018?Advertisement