Firefox 59 Quantum Beta The Fastest Yet With Improved Privacy And Android Assist

Mozilla has announced the launch of Firefox 59, which is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The new release builds on Firefox Quantum and is a significant update for fans of the browser. Among the performance enhancements of the new browser include faster load times for content on the Firefox Home page.


The faster page load times are thanks in part to loading from the networked cache or the cache on the user hard drive. Graphics rendering has been improved thanks to a move to Off-Main-Thread Painting (OMTP) for Mac users; this feature landed for Windows and Linux back in Firefox 58.

Users can now drag-and-drop to rearrange Top Sites on the Firefox home page and windows and tabs have new customization options. Mozilla has added new features for screenshots in this version of Firefox. Screen shots support basic annotation allowing the user to draw on and highlight saved screenshots. The viewable area of screen shots can also be changed via cropping.

Enhanced WebExtensions API is integrated allowing for improved support of decentralized protocols and the browser can now dynamically register content scripts. RTP Transceiver has been implemented giving more control over calls, features for the support of large-scale conferences are also integrated. Support for W3C pointer events and device support for mouse, pen, and touchscreen pointer input is improved. Firefox for Android has also been upgraded to support Android Assist.

A slew of security fixes were integrated including fixes for CVE-2018-5127: Buffer overflow manipulating SVG animatedPathSegList, CVE-2018-5128: Use-after-free manipulating editor selection ranges, and several others. The full list of security fixes can be found here. One of the major changes in Firefox 59 comes in private browsing mode now removing path information from referrers to prevent cross-site tracking.

Mozilla notes that there is still one issue unresolved in the new version that has to do with Windows 7 users. Mozilla wrote, “Windows 7 users using accessibility services (like the Windows On-Screen Keyboard) may observe browser crashes after the update to Firefox 59. As a workaround, affected users can prevent external apps from triggering accessibility services in Firefox.” The browser can be downloaded here.