Not everyone gets by with the default browser on their computer, and when it comes to picking an alternative, Firefox is one of the most popular out there, having clawed back support from upstart rivals like Google Chrome and Opera in recent years by switching to a rapid release cycle, ensuring major new versions of the browser are released every six weeks.

It’s true to say that individual updates often fail to deliver anything substantial, but cumulatively they roll together to produce a web browser that is radically different to the one – version 4 – that marked the start of a new era back in 2011.

Some of the landmark new features we’ve seen include a per-site Permissions Manager, enhanced Sync options, tabs on demand, silent updates and add-on enhancements. We also saw the launch of specific development branches including UX, which has led to the new Australis user interface, which sees a streamlined tab, revamped menu and customisation features.

One group particularly well served by the rapid release cycle have been developers, and a plethora of tools from Javascript Scratchpad (Firefox 6) to full-blown Developer Toolbar (Firefox 16) have worked their way into successive builds as Firefox courts this important community of users.

And underpinning this all are a constantly evolving set of performance improvements, standards support (HTML5 and CSS3 are constantly being added to, for instance) and bug fixes.

Firefox 62.0 is now in the stable channel. Improvements/changes include:

- Firefox Home (the default New Tab) now allows users to display up to 4 rows of top sites, Pocket stories, and highlights
- “Reopen in Container” tab menu option appears for users with Containers that lets them choose to reopen a tab in a different container
- In advance of removing all trust for Symantec-issued certificates in Firefox 63, a preference was added that allows users to distrust certificates issued by Symantec. To use this preference, go to about:config in the address bar and set the preference "security.pki.distrust_ca_policy" to 2.
- Added FreeBSD support for WebAuthn
- Improved graphics rendering for Windows users without accelerated hardware using Parallel-Off-Main-Thread Painting
- Support for CSS Shapes, allowing for richer web page layouts. This goes hand in hand with a brand new Shape Path Editor in the CSS inspector.
- CSS Variable Fonts (OpenType Font Variations) support, which makes it possible to create beautiful typography with a single font file

Verdict

Firefox 62 includes increased security and improved methods to clear local data.