Mozilla continues to chug along the Firefox road with the release of Firefox 17. (Now I’m so used to writing this same line every few weeks, I cannot even think of something clever to say.)
As is typical of Firefox releases, most of the major changes/modifications are under-the-hood changes and developer-related such as performance tweaks. However, there are four major changes in Firefox 17 (for desktop) that affect the end user:
- Firefox now uses a ‘click-to-play blacklist’ feature to protect users against outdated add-ons. What happens where is Firefox has a blacklist which contains a list of add-ons that need to be updated or are vulnerable. Firefox automatically disables the add-ons on the blacklist but, instead of totally preventing users from using the add-ons, allows users to manually enable the add-ons on a site-by-site basis. Currently outdated versions of Silverlight, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Flash are on this blacklist but Mozilla plans on expanding the list in the future.
- Firefox 17 brings the first iteration of Mozilla’s attempt to make Firefox “more social” — Facebook integration. All Firefox and Facebook users have the ability to use Facebook Messenger from within Firefox without the need of a third-party add-on. This, of course, is optional so don’t freak out if you hate Facebook. In the future you can except Mozilla to integrate more social networks into what it is calling the “Social API sidebar”.
- The ‘Awesome Bar’ (the address bar) has been modified to show suggestions with bigger text, bigger icons, and more space between each suggestion.
- Firefox took away tab animations in an earlier version of Firefox. (The animation of re-ordering tabs.) This animation has been added back.
Firefox 17 is now rolling out to everyone. If you have automatic updates enabled in Firefox, you should see an update automatically pushed to you. If not, you can manually grab Firefox 17 from the link below.