Firefox 83 introduces HTTPS only mode

Firefox 83 introduces HTTPS only mode

Mozilla has released Firefox 83.0. It includes a new “HTTPS only” mode, improved performance of the SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine, and introduced compatibility with the new Apple Macs on M1 chips.

Users were promised faster page loading (up to 15% faster than Firefox 82) and reduced memory usage (up to 8%). The Warp update for SpiderMonkey JavaScript provides performance improvements through JiT compiler changes. The JiT optimization was provided by the simple linear CacheIR bytecode format, specifically the CacheIR data collected by the base layers. Looking ahead, it is planned to remove old code and architecture, probably already in Firefox 85. As a result, performance and memory usage will improve.

The update also includes security and service improvements. HTTPS only mode assumes that websites that only offer insecure connections can no longer load, and users will see warnings. The function can be enabled in the “Privacy and Security Settings” either for all windows or for individual windows.

On the settings page, under General> View, you can now enable control of video and other media using keyboard, headset, or virtual interfaces. Introduced support for touch zoom function. New keyboard shortcuts for picture-in-picture video allow you to fast forward and rewind 15 seconds, and adjust the volume.

The PDF viewer in Firefox adds support for AcroForm, allowing users to fill out, print, and save supported PDF forms.

Users of Windows (7 and 8) and macOS (10.12 through 10.15) are getting support for WebRender, a feature that has been introduced in subsequent Firefox builds to provide faster page rendering and therefore smoother page loading.

A mobile version of Firefox 83.0 for Android is expected soon, with support for additional add-ons including Bitwarden, AdGuard, AdBlocker and Ghostery.

Also, the next version of Firefox 84 will be the last to support the NPAPI plugin. This was confirmed by Jim Mathis, senior development manager at Mozilla.

Mozilla dropped support for all NPAPI plugins except for Adobe Flash when Firefox 52 was released. NPAPI allowed the browser to integrate plugins to add support for content such as Silverlight or Java.

When Adobe announced that it would end support for Adobe Flash at the end of 2020, it became clear that Mozilla would not only disable support for Adobe Flash in Firefox, but also remove the NPAPI codebase from the browser entirely.

Mozilla will remove support for Adobe Flash in Firefox 84 and 85, and will begin removing NPAPI in Firefox 85.

Firefox 84 will be released on December 15, 2020, and Firefox 85 on January 26, 2021.

The next major release is Firefox 91.0 ESR, which is slated for July 2021. ESR is slated to continue supporting Adobe Flash until July 2021, until the next version is released.