Mozilla is shutting down Firefox’s Aurora channel. Under that heading, releases of Firefox were released that were past the first nightly stage, but had not yet reached the beta channel. Stopping the intermediate step should accelerate the arrival of new functions.
According to Mozilla, the change could shorten the cycle from nightly to release by six to eight weeks. To do that, the team will be making more bug fixes during the nightly stage. At the current release schedule, about 400 to 600 patches will be implemented in the Aurora phase.
From now on, new features will be transferred directly from the nightly’s to the beta releases. Mozilla emphasizes that this will only be done if the function has been sufficiently tested. Beta versions will also be released in phases from now on, just as is the case with the final release. If a beta contains a major issue, the phased release will not affect all users.
The Aurora releases were meant to be a stabilizing phase between nightlys and betas. The idea was that the user base of the Aurora builds would be about ten times larger than that of the first nightlys. However, that target was never achieved. Due to the release schedule change, Firefox 55 will now stay longer in the nightly channel. The latest version of the browser will go directly from nightly to beta on June 13.
Firefox users who follow the releases of the Aurora channel on PCs will be transferred to the beta channel. Android users are moved from Aurora to nightly because it is not possible to migrate the group of users to the Firefox beta app. Eventually, Mozilla will replace the current Firefox Aurora app with a Firefox Nightly variant.