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Firefox 45: Find out what is new

Firefox 45 has been released on March 8, 2016 to the stable channel. The release overview lists all major changes of the release for Firefox desktop and mobile versions.

All Firefox channels get updated at the same time which means that Beta, Developer Edition, Nightly and Firefox ESR releases are also updated on the same day.

This moves Firefox Beta to version 46, the Developer Edition to version 47, Nightly to version 48, and Firefox ESR to 45.0 (with 38.7 offered as well).

The new version marks the beginning of a new Firefox Extended Release Cycle giving companies and individuals 12 weeks to upgrade from version 38.x to the new 45.x branch before version 38.8 is retired.

Executive Summary

  1. Firefox ESR 45.0 is available. Firefox Hello and Service Workers are both disabled in Firefox ESR 45.0.
  2. Tab Groups are removed in Firefox 45. We recommend the Tab Groups add-on to keep on using the feature in Firefox 45 and beyond.
  3. Add-on signing is enforced in Firefox 45 Stable, but it can be disabled in this version but that preference is to be removed with Firefox 46.

Firefox 45 download and update

firefox 45.0

Firefox 45 has been released and is currently distributed to systems running older versions of the web browser if update checks and automatic updates are enabled on those systems.

You can run a manual check for updates in the following way to speed things up:

  1. Tap on the Alt-key on your keyboard, and select Help > About Firefox.
  2. This opens information about Firefox and will run a check for updates automatically.
  3. If the Firefox 45 update is found, it is either downloaded and installed automatically or on user request.

You may download Firefox directly from Mozilla to install the new version on a system or upgrade existing versions to Firefox 45 or in the case of other Firefox channels their new versions respectively.

  1. Firefox Stable download
  2. Firefox Beta download
  3. Firefox Developer download
  4. Nightly download
  5. Firefox ESR download

Firefox 45 Changes

Firefox 45 ships with only a few visible changes. Add-on signing is still enforced in the stable version, but it can still be disabled.

Tab Groups removed

Mozilla removed the Tab Groups / Panorama feature from Firefox. It allowed you to create group of tabs and switch between them.

Firefox users who have used the feature may want to check out one of the following extensions for the browser that brings back the feature:

  1. Optimal Access for Firefox
  2. Simplified Tab Groups
  3. Tab Groups

Tab Groups is closest to the original functionality while Optimal Access re-envisions the feature.

Firefox Hello

firefox hello tab sharing

The decision to change Firefox Hello from a chat service supporting anonymous audio, video and text chat with contacts to one that puts a focus on tab-sharing has been made in December 2015.

Contacts have been removed from Firefox Hello, and tab sharing is enabled by default. What this means is that you share the active tab with others when you use Firefox Hello.

While you can disable the tab sharing, there does not appear to be an option currently in the settings or about:config to disable tab sharing by default.

Synced Tabs

synced tabs

Mozilla added a new Synced Tabs icon to Firefox 45 which you can use to display tabs open on other devices running the browser.

If the button is not displayed by default, click on the Firefox menu button and select customize from the context menu that opens up.

Locate the Synced Tabs button and drag and drop it to the Firefox toolbar.

In addition, Synced Tabs are shown automatically in the list of suggestions when you type in Firefox’s address bar.

Other changes

  • Fixed a bug that caused audio playback to stutter “due to duration time rounding errors”. (see bug 1222866 for additional information)
  • A preference has been added to Firefox to block .onion resources at the DNS level. To disable the blocking, set network.dns.blockDotOnion to false.

Developer Changes

  • jar protocol support to directly link to files in ZIP archives has been disabled by default. It can be re-enabled by setting the value network.jar.block-remote-files to false on about:config. (see 1215235 for additional information)
  • EV certs valid for more than 27 months will be treated as DV certs. The previous period was 39 months. (see 1222903 for more information)
  • Page Inspector supports full-text search (document and iframes). (see Page Inspector documentation)
  • WebGL implementation extended with support for programs, shaders, uniforms and attributes, Framebuffer and Renderbuffer. (see bugs 1048743, 1048745, 1048732 and 1048733)
  • Web Speech Synthesis API implemented for Firefox on desktop. (see bug 1003439 for additional information)

Firefox for Android

firefox android 45

The following list of changes are unique to Firefox for Android. Most changes are shared with the desktop version of Firefox.

Image loading control

Firefox for Android 45 features a new option to control when images get loaded in the browser. Set to always load images by default, it can be set to only load images over Wi-Fi, or never.

To configure the preference do the following:

  1. Tap on the three-dots menu at the top and select Settings from the menu.
  2. Select Advanced on the main Settings page.
  3. Tap on “show images”, and select one of the three options: always, only over Wi-Fi, blocked.

The feature can be used to reduce data usage while using the browser which can be useful especially if you are on a tight data plan, or in an area with bad reception.

Camera & Microphone setting for Family accounts

Firefox for Android supports family-friendly profiles on systems running the mobile operating system. It allows an admin to define features that restricted family members have access to. A new addition in Firefox 45 is a control to allow or block the use of camera or microphone on websites that allow real-time communication.

Other Firefox 45 for Android changes

  • The url is no longer included when selected text on web pages is shared.
  • Super Toasts have been replaced with Snackbar, the latter supporting actions in notifications.
  • The app settings were optimized and re-organized.

Firefox 45.0.1

firefox 45.0.1

Mozilla released Firefox 45.0.1 on March 16, 2016.It is considered a bug fix release. The browser update made the following changes or fixes:

  • Fix a regression causing search engine settings to be lost in some context (1254694)
  • Bring back non-standard jar: URIs to fix a regression in IBM iNotes (1255139)
  • XSLTProcessor.importStylesheet was failing when was used (1249572)
  • Fix an issue which could cause the list of search provider to be empty (1255605)
  • Fix a regression when using the location bar (1254503)
  • Fix some loading issues when Accept third-party cookies: was set to Never (1254856)
  • Disabled Graphite font shaping library

Firefox 45.0.2

firefox 45.0.2

Mozilla released Firefox 45.0.2 on April 11, 2016 to the stable channel. The company announced earlier that it would postpone the release of Firefox 46 by a week, and push out this bug fix release instead to fix several bugs in older versions of the browser.

  • Fix an issue impacting the cookie header when third-party cookies are blocked (1257861)
  • Fix a web compatibility regression impacting the srcset attribute of the image tag (1259482)
  • Fix a crash impacting the video playback with Media Source Extension (1258562)
  • Fix a regression impacting some specific uploads (1255735)
  • Fix a regression with the copy and paste with some old versions of some Gecko applications like Thunderbird (1254980)

Security updates / fixes

Security updates are disclosed after the official release. We update the article as soon as they become available.

2016-38 Out-of-bounds write with malicious font in Graphite 2
2016-37 Font vulnerabilities in the Graphite 2 library
2016-36 Use-after-free during processing of DER encoded keys in NSS
2016-35 Buffer overflow during ASN.1 decoding in NSS
2016-34 Out-of-bounds read in HTML parser following a failed allocation
2016-33 Use-after-free in GetStaticInstance in WebRTC
2016-32 WebRTC and LibVPX vulnerabilities found through code inspection
2016-31 Memory corruption with malicious NPAPI plugin
2016-30 Buffer overflow in Brotli decompression
2016-29 Same-origin policy violation using performance.getEntries and history navigation with session restore
2016-28 Addressbar spoofing though history navigation and Location protocol property
2016-27 Use-after-free during XML transformations
2016-26 Memory corruption when modifying a file being read by FileReader
2016-25 Use-after-free when using multiple WebRTC data channels
2016-24 Use-after-free in SetBody
2016-23 Use-after-free in HTML5 string parser
2016-22 Service Worker Manager out-of-bounds read in Service Worker Manager
2016-21 Displayed page address can be overridden
2016-20 Memory leak in libstagefright when deleting an array during MP4 processing
2016-19 Linux video memory DOS with Intel drivers
2016-18 CSP reports fail to strip location information for embedded iframe pages
2016-17 Local file overwriting and potential privilege escalation through CSP reports
2016-16 Miscellaneous memory safety hazards (rv:45.0 / rv:38.7)
2016-13 Same-origin-policy violation using Service Workers with plugins (Fixed in Firefox 44.0.2)

Additional information / sources

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