Mozilla has released the latest version of Firefox, which it says will allow complex apps to run much faster in the browser.
Firefox 52 adds support for WebAssembly, which Mozilla said allows for “near-native performance for games and apps”.
Other additions include making it easier to log into some Wi-Fi hotspots, by making it simpler for the browser to detect ‘captive portals’ – login pages for services like hotel Wi-Fi. Firefox 52 automatically detects captive portals and notifies the user that they need to login to access the internet.
On security, Firefox now displays a “This connection is not secure” message when users click in the username and password fields on pages that don’t use HTTPS.
Firefox has also disabled all plugins that use the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI) besides Flash. “Silverlight, Java, Acrobat and the like are no longer supported,” said the release notes. Mozilla said later this year “we’ll further improve Firefox”, so that Flash content is only activated with user consent.
But dropping these plug-ins will cause problems for Google Hangout users. “If you use Hangouts, you will have issues with audio and video calls, but chat will still work. This is a temporary issue while Google develops a way to make Hangouts work without plugins,” Mozilla warned.
For its part Google said it is “actively working” to develop a fix that will allow Hangouts to work in Firefox without a plugin.
“Using chat on Hangouts will continue to work for Firefox users; however, if you need to make phone or video calls from Hangouts, we encourage you and your employees to temporarily switch to one of the supported browsers,” it said, which means shifting to Firefox Extended Support Release, Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari.