Firefox gets huge performance boost with native Apple silicon support

What you need to know

  • Mozilla has released a new version of Firefox that has native support for Apple silicon.
  • It says the change brings “dramatic performance improvements” over the non-native build.

Mozilla has released a new version of its Firefox browser with Apple silicon support, a change it says will bring a massive performance boost.

Released Tuesday, the new 84.0 version is now available to download. From Mozilla:

Native support for macOS devices built with Apple Silicon CPUs brings dramatic performance improvements over the non-native build that was shipped in Firefox 83: Firefox launches over 2.5 times faster and web apps are now twice as responsive (per the SpeedoMeter 2.0 test). If you are on a new Apple device, follow these steps to upgrade to the latest Firefox.

Mozilla has also rolled out WebRender to macOS Big Sur and some Windows devices, and it will also be the last version to support Adobe Flash (RIP).

As noted, Mozilla says Apple silicon support brings “dramatic performance improvements”, and that it now launches 2.5 times faster and is twice as responsive.

Mozilla has also resolved an issue with Apple silicon where users encountered playback errors for encrypted content if Rosetta wasn’t installed, and has fixed an issue with Cylance antivirus.

On Tuesday, Mozilla came out in full support of planned changes to iOS 14 that will make it harder for companies and advertisers to track users across different apps. From that report:

It recently emerged that Apple likely delayed the feature to allow developers time to implement changes and adjust their software to the new protocols, rather than because of pushback over the principle of the change.

Mozilla is now calling on its users to lend their own voice in support of the move by signing an online petition, stating it needs “a massive outpouring of support for Apple’s decision to help strengthen its resolve to protect consumer privacy.”

New measures will mean users have to opt-in to tracking across apps and websites in iOS 14 from next year, a move Mozilla said was a “huge win for consumers,” many of whom don’t even know they can be tracked across their apps on a phone. Mozilla is asking its users to sign a thank you to Apple, letting the company know “consumers are eagerly anticipating anti-tracking protection on iPhone.”

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