Firefox today released the latest update to the popular browser, with a big upgrade for Mac users. Recent purchasers of the new MacBook Air, 13″ MacBook Pro, or Mac Mini had the option of Apple’s first in-house silicon processor, the Apple M1. The latest version of Firefox, version 84, brings native support for macOS devices built with Apple Silicon CPUs. Supposedly, according to Mozilla, Firefox launches over 2.5 times faster and web apps are now twice as responsive. Firefox v84 will also bring better battery life and is the final version to support Adobe Flash, as well as bringing various security fixes to the browser.
You can update your Firefox version by doing the following:
Click the menu button, help and then ‘About Firefox’
The ‘About Mozilla Firefox’ window will open, and Firefox will check for updates and download them automatically
When the download is complete, click the ‘Restart to update Firefox’ button
If you’ve done the above, you can ensure you’re using the Native Apple Silicon version of Firefox by quitting Firefox and then reopening the program. You can also check to see if you’re already on the Native M1 version by entering ‘about:support’ in the address bar and checking if ‘Rosetta Translated’ is showing up as ‘false’.
Firefox was previously running on Apple M1 devices using Apple’s translation environment, Rosetta 2. Rosetta 2 is a translation process that allows users to run non-native x86 applications on Apple Silicon, giving developers time to create a ‘universal binary’ – read: application compatible with all Macs – and allowing consumers to run their favourite applications in the meantime. Rosetta works surprisingly well, with applications running just as well or in some cases even better than on their Intel counterparts, and when applications are modified for M1, they promise immense speed gains and much-improved battery consumption.