The new Firefox 23 web browser is out now, if you use Firefox and are not aware of it being updated in the last day or so check the >About Firefox menu to update now. The new browser, with update for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android has a number of updates which may be important or useful to users including; a new share button, a mixed content blocking option, a network monitor and a new logo.
Starting with the most important change first, the new logo, this was actually revealed at the end of June but this is the first Firefox release to feature this less glossy and smaller size enhanced logo. You can read and see more about the new design on the Mozilla blog. If you’ve already updated Firefox you can see the new icon on your taskbar or at a larger size in the about dialogue box.
Sharing web pages you have found while browsing has been madewith the new Firefox Share button, Mozilla dedicates a full blog post on this new feature. The Mozilla blog explains the importance of the new feature; “Social sites and services are a key part of online life and we develop Firefox for how you use the Web. Over the last year, we’ve been working on ways to integrate social sites and services directly into Firefox to quickly and easily connect you with your friends and family.”
The share feature currently requires/works with Facebook Messenger for Firefox and Cliqz so if you don’t use these services don’t be puzzled with regard to where your new share button is hiding.
Mixed content blocking
Mixed content blocking has been seen before in the Firefox beta version and has now graduated to prime-time. Now if web pages read their data from a mixture of both secure HTTPS and also load data from regular HTTP sources the browser will alert users and block scripts from the unsecure domain being run. The hope is that this new blocking strategy will prevent man-in-the-middle and eavesdropping attacks.
The Network monitor is another feature that has graduated from the beta test version of Firefox. This lets you watch the network use of individual parts of a web page; you can see how long each webpage component takes to load, for example.
The blog post about the Network monitor implementation when it was launched with the beta says “As Firefox loads the page you’ll see each individual request get added as a row, much as you would expect from other tools. In particular it is now very easy to visualize not just how quickly parts of the page load and in what order, but also where problems are: missing assets, slow web servers, buggy apis.” So this could indeed be a useful tool to some. To see it in action once you’ve updated to Firefox 23 press CONTROL-SHIFT-Q and (re)load a webpage.
You can read the official list of changes to the desktop version of Firefox here. If you are a Firefox for Android user you can read the specific changes and updates for the Firefox browser on your mobile OS of choice here.