Firefox 18 now available for download

Firefox is steamrolling ahead with its browser updates and Firefox 18 has just hit the shelves for Mozilla. This update does bring a couple of new features to the browser including Retina display support on OS X and a first crack at support for WebRTC.

Mozilla has been feverishly climbing through the build numbers and not everyone seems to enjoy the new direction. While Google also participates in this build number race, Microsoft has stuck to the traditional platform updates.

Download: Firefox 18 for Windows | OS X or browse all options here

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Update:

Actually scrolling stutters/jitters like hell, with or without smooth scrolling enabled.

Downgrading to FF17, Mozilla folks please get a grib, scrolling is probably the most frequently used "function" while surfing.

Sigh. Fullscreen is still broken here. If I minimise the browser out of fullscreen mode and then return to fullscreen the Windows 7 superbar stays visible on the bottom of the screen.

I mentioned this when it first broke in FF 17 and someone replied that they didn't have the issue. But I've had it here ever since. Even with a reboot, fresh profile etc. No idea what the cause is.

I figured running with a fresh profile should have taken care of any addon issues. For video, I'm always on the latest nvidia drivers. Never had this issue until FF17.

NEW - Faster JavaScript performance via IonMonkey compiler
NEW - Support for Retina Display on OS X 10.7 and up
NEW - Preliminary support for WebRTC
CHANGED - Experience better image quality with our new HTML scaling algorithm
CHANGED - Performance improvements around tab switching
DEVELOPER - Support for new DOM property window.devicePixelRatio
DEVELOPER - Improvement in startup time through smart handling of signed extension certificates
HTML5 - Support for W3C touch events implemented, taking the place of MozTouch events
FIXED - Disable insecure content loading on HTTPS pages (62178)
FIXED - Improved responsiveness for users on proxies (769764)

What's the rush to install it? i'll just wait till it is officially on the site. Early adopters(who want the latest and greatest) can deal with the initial bugs and report them to be fixed.

Might do a fresh install of 18. FF has been slow and non-responsive for me for awhile. I have been using Chrome and it seems to be much quicker with no "not responding" messages.

Do we know when they plan to catch up to Chrome's version number. Firefox is now at 18 and Chrome at 24. Maybe once they do they'll spend more time making a better browser instead of worrying about pointless version numbers?
(I was a Firefox user since Mozilla M16 up to the Firefox 3.6 release. Switched to Chrome right after that and never looked back since.)

a0me said,
Do we know when they plan to catch up to Chrome's version number. Firefox is now at 18 and Chrome at 24. Maybe once they do they'll spend more time making a better browser instead of worrying about pointless version numbers?
(I was a Firefox user since Mozilla M16 up to the Firefox 3.6 release. Switched to Chrome right after that and never looked back since.)

How about you and everyone else stop worrying about the version numbers. Mozilla is making a better browser, most of those changes are under the hood.

Maybe you should tell that to the Firefox devs. They're the ones who got obsessed over version numbers. Firebird 1 through Firefox 3.x were doing just fine releasing a new numbered version every 2 years, and it all went downhill from FF4.

As far as I can tell, Firefox still hasn't gotten to implement process separation, silent auto-updates, sync across devices sucks (Firefox even dropped support for iOS), startup time is still slower and the whole UI is still a big mess in terms of user friendliness and responsiveness.

No, they are not 'obsessed' about version numbers. The plan, which has been constant since Firefox 5, is that there's a new release every 6 weeks.

The reason *why* they're doing is because previous updates took a bloody age to appear, getting pushed back again and again. It took 14 months to go from Firefox 3.6 to Firefox 4.

Firefox 4 was when they snapped, and it was evident that rapid releases was working for Chrome. So they're doing it, and it's working. Just because your pet features aren't in it doesn't mean they would have been if any other release approach had been taken, or that they're the most important things to get done.

They would be "pet features" if it was 2008.
In this day and age, multi-process separation (= better stability, performance) silent auto-updates (=better security) and synchronization across devices are basic features for a web browser.

Good thing silent updates and sync are already in? I mean, I'm using both right now - I get silent updates every day on my Aurora, and I have my desktop synced with my Android phone.

Multi-process separation is not a 'basic feature', and has drawbacks as well as advantages. I'm not saying it wouldn't be good to have ... but it's not much of a reason for an end-user to not use a browser.

Kirkburn said,
Multi-process separation is not a 'basic feature', and has drawbacks as well as advantages. I'm not saying it wouldn't be good to have ... but it's not much of a reason for an end-user to not use a browser.

Indeed; Firefox already does this with plugins like Flash, at worst it can crash the container but not the browser, haven't seen an addon actually crash the browser itself since like version 4. On the downside the multiple processes with Chromium takes a hell of a lot longer to start up with a similar number of addons, never mind absurd resource usage. And as mentioned above, it already does silent updates and synchronization.. Firefox syncs across multiple desktop and Android tablet installations just fine. The only time I felt Chromium was stronger was benchmark sites, and that's starting to get close too with the latest nightlies.

It's not broken. They added an option to disable the extremely annoying warning.

Turn this to "false" in "about:config" -- browser.tabs.warnOnCloseOtherTabs

Now we have another annoying warning, if you turn on the "Click-to-Play" plugins, but that's an other story.

I run Cooliris or at least I have but they have not updated for Firefox in about 5-6 updates... its a great add-on but wth!?

Will it run under Windows-7 64-bit without the usual crashing that started with version 12? That was a solid version, with each later version being "twitchy."

Well, since web browser development is such a trivial thing we can all expect a new 'Boyd Peterson' browser tomorrow -- feature rich, using only 3 MB of memory, and will update itself even when the user doesn't have an online connection. Oooh, we can't wait.
But really, if you're so unhappy with Firefox just migrate to something more suitable for your needs. We all have Mozilla to thank for kicking off a new browser war just a few years ago and now there's a lot of competition again. Minor details aside, you can bounce from Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or IE or Safari, and there isn't really bad option to pick from.
(As for your Win7 problems, Firefox on my home Slackware, WinXP, and Win7 boxes has been pretty trouble-free, as has Firefox on several WinXP and Win7 systems at various clients I work with.)

TsarNikky said,
It used be solid under Windows-7 64-bit. Now...one get the frequent crashes--even with fewer addons than under version 12.

It's working fine for me.

It has never crashed for me. I suspect it is one of those "fewer" addons you mentioned causing the problem for you. After all it only takes one.

3.5 was great.

Become more chrome-like, dumbed down (hiding advanced options) and feature bloated ever since v4. Also, the new version numbering is absolutely stupid.

You can make it look exactly like 3.5 if you want to. It's completely customizable. As for the advanced options type about:config and have fun. The numbering version to me really doesn't matter, what difference does it make to the end user if they call it Firefox 18 or Firefox 5.04.1?

Walrush said,
Oooooo. A couple of new features. Outstanding!

Honestly do these releases even merit a news item anymore.

A couple of new features? You know that every single version has actually THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of changes/fixes? The changelog they publish is an extremely reduced version. You can see here the real, full changelog with all the behind-the-scenes changes: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/f...0/releasenotes/buglist.html

Walrush said,
Oooooo. A couple of new features. Outstanding!

Honestly do these releases even merit a news item anymore.

Why even read the article if you don't care about software?

francescob said,

A couple of new features? You know that every single version has actually THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of changes/fixes? The changelog they publish is an extremely reduced version. You can see here the real, full changelog with all the behind-the-scenes changes: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/f...0/releasenotes/buglist.html


The sad part is that this user probably won't even read your posts.

It's kind of the profile for these guys. :-/

Northgrove said,

The sad part is that this user probably won't even read your posts.

It's kind of the profile for these guys. :-/

Indeed, he won't read the replies, but it doesn't matter. From non-sense comments by dudes who pretend the repeaters, we some times get useful info as reply-comments by other, brave dudes who respond and don't ignore them.

More optimization in Ion Monkey and WebIDL and no to forget several off the main thread and async optimization which enhanced snappiness tenfold.

Dot Matrix said,
Where's Australis?
It's already been implanted for a while, however it's not done. The borderless buttons are part of Australis.

Australis is taking a while because it incorporates more than the look & feel. The new download panel is part of the Australis "experience" for example.

It'll probably be released incrementally? I guess most mean "Australis" when thinking about the new tabs though.

not true, firefox receives cupcakes for each new version, they used to receive a massive cake before they changed their release strategy. Microsoft is given a massive cake when they release a new version too.

To be clear, Mozilla hasn't accelerated the release pace since Firefox 5. It's actually 100% predictable since it's now calendar-based rather than feature based (so that some releases aren't falling behind due to waiting for some feature X to be done, which would be bad especially for users who don't care for that feature X): one new release every six weeks.

trag3dy said,
Why does Firefox 18 require a reboot?

Because you installed the new version before ensuring it wasn't still running first?

Uh...no. I've installed it like all previous versions of Firefox, this is the first time it's ever asked me to reboot. And it wouldn't just start after the install finished either.

Not a bit deal, just different.

trag3dy said,
Uh...no. I've installed it like all previous versions of Firefox, this is the first time it's ever asked me to reboot. And it wouldn't just start after the install finished either.

Not a bit deal, just different.

The setup will ask for a reboot if it finds some file that can't be replaced, it could be that the firefox process was still running or that an antivirus or some other program was locking one of the firefox files. Better always check with the task manager first.

Has anyone here experienced a problem copying/pasting txt using firefox 17.01/18 on Neowin? Spellcheck doesn't work half the time, either. Chrome seems fine in all areas of Neowin.

html5test.com regularly changes it's algorithms and some features are standardised or proposed then removed etc, so just ignore the lower score.

They're about 65% done with the Metro option, now. A lot of new code was added today for it. IIRC, it should be ready by March.