Starting from today, the latest version of the Mozilla Firefox browser – Firefox 55 – will be loaded with an array of exciting new features which might make you think about switching back from Google Chrome, even if momentarily. The same applies to switching from Microsoft Edge also, but to be honest, we don’t really know of anybody using Microsoft Edge. The biggest addition to the latest Firefox update is finally adding the support for WebVR.
To simplify things, WebVR support means you won’t have to download an individual app for each website so you can get your web-based Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality experience on with little problem. So counting the major browsers, only Safari will be left out in the regular reality as Firefox joins Edge and Chrome with built-in WebVR support. With the update rolling out today, Firefox browser will support WebVR 1.1 which means no more add-ons, developer switches or wondering how you even lived before web-based VR. It should be noted that the WebVR release on Firefox is a general user focused release and not exclusively on the dev end like Chrome and Edge.
In addition to WebVR and finally giving anyone using Microsoft Edge a reason to no longer do so, Firefox 55 comes with some other neat features. Neat because finally Mozilla is using the term “fast” a lot, in association with its new update. Now, there is faster search, similar to Google Chrome auto-fill. The new 64-bit Windows update is much less prone to running out of memory and crashing, which is good news if you haven’t bookmarked your forty tabs of already opened content. Speaking about tab hoarding, the Quantum Flow project from Mozilla has improved performance when restoring Firefox tabs from a previous session.
Apart from the WebVR and enhanced speed, there is also the Performance Panel, where you can adjust (among many things) the number of content processors that Firefox uses. The default is four, but if you are running anything more than that you can adjust that number to improve browser speed. If you are using Google Chrome as your day-to-day browser, it’s probably because it generally is the faster browser. Though there is a lot of contention to that point.
On a basic eight processor laptop, Chrome is the better option. While on a gaming PC, Firefox tends to take up less memory. But frankly speaking, it might take quite a while for Mozilla to get users to make it their default browser. So, we have really got something to keep a watch on and see if the new ‘Firefox’ is as fast and hot as it claims to be.
You can read more about the Firefox 55 here, and for more VR related news keep coming back, because we are where VR is!