Firefox is one of the few remaining browsers with its own rendering engine, as Opera, Brave, Edge, and others now utilize Google’s Chromium engine. That means Mozilla can try out new improvements and rendering changes that Google might not be interested in, and as more of the browser is rewritten in the Rust programming language, Firefox becomes faster and faster. Mozilla is now rolling out version 90 of the Firefox browser on both desktop and Android platforms with some helpful improvements.
Firefox 90 on the desktop adds the ability to save, manage, and auto-fill credit card information, which has admittedly been available on Chrome and Safari for many years at this point. The update also rolls out WebRender (also known as Quantum Render), the faster page compositor written in Rust, to most PCs. WebRender is already available on all Android devices except for Chromebooks and phones/tablets with chipsets using PowerVR and Adreno 4 (Snapdragon 808, Snapdragon 415, etc.) graphics. FTP support has also been removed in Firefox 90, which happened in Chrome earlier this year.
Firefox 90 Desktop Changelog
- On Windows, updates can now be applied in the background while Firefox is not running.
- Firefox for Windows now offers a new page about:third-party to help identify compatibility issues caused by third-party applications
- Exceptions to HTTPS-Only mode can be managed in about:preferences#privacy
- Print to PDF now produces working hyperlinks
- The “Open Image in New Tab” context menu item now opens images and media in a background tab by default
- Most users without hardware accelerated WebRender will now be using software WebRender.
- Improved software WebRender performance
- FTP support has been removed
- Version 2 of Firefox’s SmartBlock feature further improves private browsing. Third-party Facebook scripts are blocked to prevent you from being tracked, but are now automatically loaded “just in time” if you decide to “Log in with Facebook” on any website.
- Support for Private Fields (TC39 proposal, stage 3) is available in DevTools. The support includes: object inspection, autocompletion, expression evaluation, variable tooltips, and pretty printing (bug)
- Support for Fetch Metadata Request Headers, which allows web applications to better protect themselves and their users against various cross-origin threats.
- Added the ability to use client authentication certificates stored in hardware tokens or in Operating System storage.
- The Network panel shows a preview of HTTP requests for fonts in the Response tab (bug)
- Various security fixes
Firefox 90 Android Changelog
- Firefox can now save, manage, and auto-fill credit card information for you, making shopping on Firefox more convenient.
- Back/Forward Cache (aka BFCache) is now enabled for webpages that use unload event listeners, making the back and forward navigations faster on these pages.
- Users that need to import user Android certificates can do so through the secret settings
- Various stability and security fixes
Meanwhile, the Android version of Firefox is receiving the same credit card auto-fill support. Mozilla is also rolling out Back/Forward Cache (BFCache) for some pages, which appeared in Chrome for Android last year (Google is still testing it on the desktop browser). Unfortunately, Firefox 90 for Android doesn’t include the long-awaited return of general extensions support — you still have to choose from the handful available from the app settings.