Mozilla announced a new version of Firefox that comes with WebAssembly support. The version number, now bumped to 52, will now support a binary code format that is developed by Mozilla, Apple, Google and Microsoft. WebAssembly will soon come to Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. It allows even complicated apps to run inside the browser, as if it is a native desktop app.
Near Native Performance in the Browser
The apps that we use outside the browser, like text editors, image editors, or 3D designing tools are always faster than their online counterparts because they are compiled into a binary package that is loaded into the memory and then it is run.
WebAssembly try to fill in this gap between normal desktop applications and web applications. Web apps that use WebAssembly launch much faster, perform similar to desktop apps.
This is the first version of Firefox to implement this technology. Already, we are seeing almost 2 times improved performance. With further optimizations, the more performance can be gained. We can now play immersive 3D games, have scientific visualizations and have even rich VR content in the future.
Captive portal detection and insecure login notifications
Often in hotels, you can connect to the WiFi, but you cannot access the internet because the you need to log in to the hotel’s network or portal to gain internet access. This is called a “captive portal”. Often the operating system does not detect this page because it is hard to find. The new release of Firefox makes it easier to detect such captive portals and makes signing in to WiFi hotspots much easier.
Another much needed feature that was added in insecure login notification. Firefox will warn users whenever they provide passwords or other sensitive data to a website that is not encrypted with HTTPS.
Source: Mozilla Blog