On Tuesday, Mozilla announced Firefox’s latest update brings native support for Macs that run on Apple’s Arm-based silicon. Mozilla claims that native Apple silicon support brings significant performance improvements to Apples & Mac. The browser apparently launches 2.5 times faster, and web apps are twice as responsive as they were on the previous version of Firefox. It wasn’t native to Apple’s chips.
Mozilla says that if you are already running Firefox on your Mac and want to make sure that you are running the native build. You will need to update to the newest version, Firefox 84, and then quit and restart Firefox. Firefox’s support of Apple’s Arm-based processors follows Chrome, which added support for Apple’s new chips. Shortly after, the M1-equipped MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini were released in November. Firefox 84 is also the last release to support Adobe Flash, which got its final scheduled update last week.
Despite 2020 being a year like no other, Mozilla managed to stick to its monthly release. As it schedules for Firefox and Firefox 84 is now available to download. No doubt Firefox 83 features a number of security improvements. But the highlight of the latest release is native support for macOS devices such as the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini that all run on Apple’s M1 chip.
What does Mozilla say with regards to Apples & Mac?
According to Mozilla, Firefox 84 launches over two and a half times faster, and web apps are also now twice as responsive. If you are planning to upgrade to an M1 Mac, you will need to fully exit and restart Firefox before upgrading to Firefox 84+. It is essential for the browser to run on the new architecture. It’s worth noting that you can confirm whether or not you’re using the Apple Silicon version of Firefox by entering “about: support” in the address bar.
What is Firefox 84?
In addition to supporting Apple & Mac Silicon, Firefox 84 is also rolling out WebRender, which makes rendering smoother. Also, it allows apps to run at 60 fps to MacOS Big Sur. Firefox also runs on Windows devices with Intel Gen 6 GPUs and Intel laptops running Windows 7 and 8.
Firefox for Linux is also getting some upgrades, as Mozilla announces. It will include an improved version for rendering pipeline for Linux, GNOME, and X11 users for the first time ever. At the same time, though, Firefox now uses modern techniques for allocating shared memory on Linux. And this helps improve performance and increase compatibility with Docker.
Finally, Firefox 84 is the browser’s final release that will support Adobe Flash, as official support for Flash will end on December 31 of this year. The latest version of Firefox also includes a number of security and bug fixes. But Mac users with devices running Apple Silicon will see the most significant performance increases by far.
Made for M1:
Easily at the top of Firefox 84’s changelog was its native support for Apple’s home-grown silicon. The M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC) relies on the same ARM architecture. Firefox, like Chrome and Safari before it, now comes in a native-to-M1 version. You don’t need to translate it by the Rosetta 2 technology baked into macOS 11, aka Big Sur.
According to Mozilla, the native version of Firefox boasts superior performance on the newest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. The comparison was to November’s Firefox 83, which is an Intel-based application.
Last call to flash:
Firefox 84 will also be the last of its kind to support Flash to Apples & Mac. Adobe will disable Flash Player on January 12, 2021, when the software will refuse to run content. Mozilla will sync Firefox with that schedule, more or less. Firefox 85, slated to ship January 26, 2021, will send without support for Flash of any kind.
Flash Player, if it’s on one’s personal computer, will remain even after Adobe and Firefox halt support. However, Microsoft plans to delete the plug-in from Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 in 2021.
Reasons to use Firefox:
Firefox Is Faster and Leaner Than Chrome-
Everything changed with the release of Firefox 57, also known as Firefox Quantum. But these improvements come with one big drawback.
Firefox Embraces the Open-Source Mindset:
Technically, one could say that Chrome is somewhat open-source since it’s based on the Chromium browser, which itself has spawned many Chrome-like browsers. But the open-source mentality is more than just letting others use your code. Firefox has a complete public roadmap that’s influenced by contributors and community members.
Firefox Allows More Customization:
The degree of customization is the most significant difference between Firefox and Chrome. Every Chrome browser looks nearly identical, even across operating systems and devices. Firefox can do more. In addition to moving things around and skinning the general appearance, you can install complete themes to change the browser’s look-and-feel.
Firefox Boasts Unique Extensions:
Chrome has a vastly more extensive collection of extensions, but Firefox has several unique extensions that aren’t available to Chrome users. This extension turns the tab bar into a sidebar and lets you organize tabs into a tree-based hierarchy that can be shifted around at will.
Firefox Can Do What Chrome Can:
At the end of the day, the differences between Firefox and Chrome are mostly minor. One might be the slightly faster or useless battery, but they are both excellent in terms of usability. In other words, anything you can do in Chrome can probably be done in Firefox too.
Should you switch to Firefox?
The future of Firefox looks good. Give it a shot and have an open mind. Firefox 84.0 and Firefox 78.6 ESR upgrades are available via the automatic updating system and as standalone downloads. Starting in Firefox 84, users may now manage optional permissions on about: addons. These permissions can be revoked directly from there.