Firefox 52 is Out – Here’s What’s New

Firefox users are in for a treat as the latest version of Mozilla’s web browser has gotten a new build in the form of Firefox 52. As with every other major builds, Firefox 52 comes with new features and more. Here are the three main features and changes that you’ll see with Firefox 52.

WebAssembly support is now available on Firefox 52

Back in 2015, Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and Apple teamed up to develop an efficient bytecode that can be run effectively by JavaScript virtual machines. Said bytecode is called WebAssembly (Wasm) and it is now making its debut on Firefox 52.

So what can you expect from Wasm? For starters, this new bytecode will allow complex applications and games to run in a browser at near-native performance without the need for plug-ins.

Games and apps are just the first step for Wasm of course, as the folks at Mozilla envision that the bytecode will soon be utilised on productivity apps and JavaScript frameworks, leading to reduced load times and improved performance.

Firefox 52 will begin flagging websites that use HTTP as insecure

In Firefox 51, the browser notifies users of non-secure HTTP websites with a simple icon found in the address bar. With Firefox 52, Mozilla is getting more aggressive in its "anti-HTTP" stance by displaying warning messages whenever a user clicks on the username and password fields on non-HTTPS pages.

On top of that, Firefox 52 will also support a policy called "Strict Secure Cookies". This policy forbids HTTP websites from setting cookies that have the "secure" attribute.

strict security cookies
Firefox 52 will discontinue NPAPI plugin support

Google has done it, Microsoft has done it, now Mozilla will also be discontinuing support for almost all Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plugins. The only exception to this is Flash, as Mozilla still considers its to be widely used by many. Nevertheless, the company does plan to make Flash operate on an "on-demand" basis later this year.

Besides the new features and changes, Firefox 52 will also be the last version of the browser that will support Windows XP and Windows Vista. Those looking for a full changelog for Firefox 52 can find it here.