Download Firefox 18: faster JavaScript engine, Retina support

By on January 9, 2013, 1:30 PM

Continuing to adhere to its rapid release cycle, Mozilla has published the latest stable release of Firefox 18. "The Firefox of today," Mozilla VP Jonathan Nightingale believes, "is significantly better than the Firefox of a year ago in every way". That sounds like a reasonable claim: Firefox 18 makes the browser faster and more feature-filled than ever.

Download Firefox 18 (stable release)
Windows | Mac OS X | Linux | Release Notes

Download Firefox 19b1 (beta)

Amongst the biggest changes 18 brings is a brand new JavaScript engine. Named IonMonkey, this Just-In-Time compiler speeds up JavaScript performance by creating an optimized, intermediate representation of the script before run time. Next, the compiler translates that optimized IR into machine code, making for speedier JavaScript execution. According to Mozilla, FF18 offers a 7-28 percent bump in performance over FF17. It'll be interesting to see how IonMonkey stacks up against Chrome, IE10 and others in some comparative benchmarks.

Some Mac users will be glad to hear that Firefox 18 also brings "Retina" support, meaning Firefox is now designed to look sharp and crisp on high-PPI screens. Although such displays theoretically offer 3-4 times the sharpness of traditional screens, software makers must design their UIs to take advantage of those extra pixels or the result is an unfortunate, blurry appearance

Although FF18 proudly touts Retina support, one bug may continue to dampen the high-res experience of Windows users fortunate enough to own high-PPI displays.

In addition to FF18 for the desktop, Mozilla has also updated its mobile version of Firefox for Android. Version 18 introduces many of the improvements found in the desktop version, but one handheld-specific change is the inclusion of a new anti-malware / anti-phishing filter customized specifically for mobile platforms.

User Comments: 6

Got something to say? Post a comment
tonylukac said:

Seems like the linux version downloaded from mozilla doesn't work. I don't see a linux version 19 beta. Gives "Couldn't load XRE functions" and terminates. Other people are having this problem too. Will try this Techspot's download and will notify you if it works, but I doubt it.

Guest said:

I installed FF 18 and it seems faster on Ubuntu 12.10 and Win 7.

Guest said:

I might actually check this out.

I am currently on firefox 13, because 14 and 15 kept crashing on me.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Still no TLS 1.2 I see

Duckula22 Duckula22 said:

I tried Firefox 18 these last couple of days, but I didn't like its performance. Initially it seems faster than Chrome 23, but Firefox kept eating up memory, so after a few minutes or session, FF gets pretty darn sluggish. I don't like Chrome much, but it performs better on my laptop.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Why does everyone keep saying that non-retina-optimised apps looks blurry? They look just fine and display as normal, as they do on non-retina displays.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.