Firefox 17 is out, brings new security feature to protect against outdated add-ons and Facebook integration

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  • Firefox now uses a ‘click-to-play blacklist’ feature to protect users against outdated add-ons.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 Currently outdated versions of Silverlight, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Flash are on this blacklist but Mozilla plans on expanding the list in the future.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.

Firefox homepage

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  • stefan

    Ashraf, did you notice this white, vertical advertisement window automatically narrowing the width of browser’s main window by sliding in to the right hand side of it upon opening (almost) every new web page or tab in version 17? How annoying! Any chance to disable this?

  • Seamus McSeamus

    @Sherwood Tucker:

    This still worked as of v15… haven’t tried on v17 yet.

  • Sherwood Tucker

    But Tab Mix Plus is not as yet compatible!

  • Jeanjean

    For info :
    Already under version 16.0.0 et 16.0.1, PrintWhatYouLike stopped working because these versions loaded javascript slightly differently than previous versions (Explanation of the developer). The problem was solved after some time but it seems that it reappears with version 17.