Firefox 37 has been released by Mozilla, the latest stable release.
As one of the world’s most popular pieces of open source software each new version is welcomed, however small the changes within may be.
If you’re an Ubuntu user on a supported release you will automatically receive this update through Software Updater, Ubuntu’s built-in software updating utility. You do not need to download packages or install a PPA to receive it.
What’s New in Firefox 37
The headline feature of this stable release is the introduction of a new Heartbeat User Feedback System.
This info bar pop up will show itself to a random number of Firefox users’ browsers each day and ask them to rate the browser (‘getting the pulse’ of users, hence the heartbeat motif).
After rating the browser ‘an engagement page may open in a background tab’, explains the wiki doc for the features. This is used to “increase engagement with high-rating users by offering a set of links that can help make Firefox even more awesome”, such as buttons for sharing on social networking sites, joining a mailing list, etc.
Those rating the browser lowly will be shown links to help them “improve their experience and find support when needed”.
Since this info bar pop-up is not going to find favor with everyone Firefox is making it optional (albeit as an opt-out). To disable the Firefox Heatbeat user rating system:
- Open about:config in a new tab
- Search for and set browser.selfsupport.url to “”
Other changes include:
- HTTPS for secure searching on Bing
- Improved protection against site impersonation
- Support for encryption traffic over HTTP/2 AltSvc
- Media Source Extensions (MSE) API to allow native HTML5 playback on YouTube
- User availability improvements in Hello chat
An issues that caused mp4-encoded YouTube & Vimeo videos to appear entirely black on Linux machines has also been fixed. Kitties rejoice!
Developers will find host of incremental improvements, including a new security panel in the Network Panel.
For additional details and a link to downloads head over to the official release notes.