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.
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.
If you're going to stick it to the man and avoid the Chromium browser engine, then supporting Firefox is a no-brainer.
Firefox 120 is now in the stable channel. Improvements/changes include:
- Firefox View now includes more content
- If the relevant Windows mouse properties system setting is enabled, the mouse pointer will disappear while typing.
- Firefox is now available in the Santali (sat) language.
- If you're migrating your data from Chrome, Firefox now offers the ability to import some of your extensions as well.
- Media sniffing is now disabled for top-level documents served as type application/octet-stream. Allowing these files to be downloaded instead of attempting playback.
- The visibility of fonts to websites has been restricted to system fonts and language pack fonts in ETP strict mode to mitigate font fingerprinting.
- As part of total cookie protection, Firefox now supports the partitioning of Blob URLs, this mitigates a potential tracking vector that third party agents could have used to track an individual.
- Recently closed tabs now persist between sessions that don't have automatic session restore enabled. Manually restoring a previous session will continue to reopen any previously open tabs or windows.
- Firefox now supports editing PDFs by adding images, in addition to adding text and drawing. The ability to add Alt Text is also supported while adding images to a PDF document.
- Encrypted Client Hello (ECH) is now available to Firefox users, delivering a more private browsing experience. ECH extends the encryption used in TLS connections to cover more of the handshake and better protect sensitive fields.
- Read more about the launch of ECH on Mozilla Distilled.