Many of us are already enjoying all the goodies implemented by Mozilla in the latest Firefox 51.0 update of the popular open-source web browser for Linux, Windows, and Mac, but the company is now working on the next major release.
Firefox 52 is already in the Beta channel for early adopters, web developers, and everyone else who wants to discover its new features. According to Mozilla's rapid release calendar for the Firefox web browser, it would appear that Firefox 52 will be the next ESR (Extended Support Release).
As for the new features, at least those that have been already revealed by Mozilla in the preliminary release notes, it looks like Firefox 52 will update the Firefox Sync technology to allow us to send and open tabs from one device to another, as well as to implement the Strict Secure Cookies specification.
"Implemented the Strict Secure Cookies spec which forbids insecure (http:) sites from setting cookies with the 'secure' attribute, and in some cases prevents an insecure site from setting a cookie with the same name as an existing 'secure' cookie from the same base domain," explains Mozilla.
Apart from the usual security improvements that will make Firefox 52 the next ESR version, the upcoming web browser is also improving the downloads experience by presenting users with toolbar notification when a download fails, larger buttons for restarting or canceling a download, and access to five most recent downloads, not three as the current Firefox releases offer.
Security has always been a strong point of Firefox, and the next major release will warn users of web pages containing non-secure password fields through a new warning that will be implemented directly within the username and password fields. Other than that, Firefox 52 is improving text input on Windows for various third-party keyboard layouts.
Among other changes, Firefox 52 promises to reduce fingerprinting of users by trackers by removing the Battery Status API and deprecate Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) support for plugins like Microsoft's Silverlight, Oracle's Java, and Adobe's Acrobat, which are no longer supported.
For web developers, Firefox 52 should enable CSS Grid Layout support, redesign the Responsive Design Mode, which has been enhanced with features like network throttling and device selection among many others, as well as display a preview on screen sharing, which looks like it will no longer require whitelisted domains to work.
The final release of Firefox 52 is hitting the streets on March 7, 2017, but you can download the latest Beta versions for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems right now from our website. Please try to keep in mind, though, that these are pre-release versions and they aren't suitable for production use.