Firefox 61 improves tab switching, load times and more

Firefox app icon on iOS

Firefox has received an update that adds new features to the browser, including improved tab switching, local storage and accessibility tools.

The update bumps the browser up to version 61.0 and brings with it a number of changes.

Most interesting is the new ‘Tab Warming’ feature that helps speed up switching. Warming detects when you’re hovering over a tab and begins loading the tab before you click.

Firefox can also improve loading speed by saving frequently accessed content. The browser saves the content locally to the computer so it won’t have to reload the content next time you visit the page. This should make loading sites a snap.

Firefox 61 also includes a new Accessibility Tools Inspector. The inspector can help developers to easily make websites for users with accessibility requirements. It will be interesting to see what comes of this new tool. A more accessible web is better for everyone.

On top of that, Mozilla adds some smaller changes too. Users can add custom search engines more easily. For example, users can add IMDB as a search engine and then search the movie database directly from the location bar.

The browser now allows WebExtensions — Mozilla’s cross-platform browser extension API — to hide tabs. Additionally WebExtensions can manage how the browser opens and closes tabs. This opens up some exciting avenues for developers to build useful new tools they couldn’t before. Already devs have built an extension to hide tabs.

There’s also an extension that gives users control over where a new tab is opened. For example, it can be set to open to the left of the current tab instead of the right — and what happens when a tab is closed.

For the Mac users out there, Firefox has made it easier to share links. You can share a link from the active tab from the page actions menu in the address bar.

Finally, Firefox 61 brings improvements to security, the dark theme and bookmark syncing.

A full breakdown can be seen here.