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Tor Browser 13.5 revamps Android connection experience, introduces 'Betterboxing' feature

21 June 2024, Nick Peers

The Tor Project has announced the release of Tor Browser 13.5 for Windows (both 32-bit and 64-bit), Mac, Linux, and Android. The browser gives users the ability to browse the internet through the open Tor network to increase personal privacy.

Tor Browser 13.5 focusses on some changes to the Android browser’s connection experience ahead of a planned implementation of 'Connection Assist'. It also aims to make its letterboxing feature – a means of resizing the browser window without being fingerprinted – more user-friendly.

Tor for Android’s connection experience has been revamped to mirror that found in the desktop version.

The latest Android build of Tor – available for direct download now, and rolling out to Google Play and F-Droid – introduces a redesigned connection experience. It’s been updated to replicate that found in the desktop build for consistency across platforms, but also represents a necessary first step ahead of the Tor Project’s plans to bring 'Connection Assist' – designed to circumvent censorship of the Tor browser – to the Android platform. The feature rolled out on desktop builds in Tor 11.5 in July 2022.

There’s also a new Connection Settings section added to Tor’s Settings menu, providing a permanent home for Tor logs, which can be used to aid in troubleshooting – these logs contain no personally identifiable information.

Tor’s letterboxing feature gains its own section under Settings to help boost the feature’s visibility.

Desktop users get an improved letterboxing experience dubbed 'Betterboxing'. Letterboxing is designed to mask fingerprinting when users resize their browser windows by placing a grey border around the window. Now users will find a dedicated section for letterboxing under Settings > General.

Elsewhere, the bridge settings under Connection gain some refinements – more compact cards, pre-labelled with the bridge’s source, along with the ability to share up to three bridge cards at once with others. There’s also a new 'Find more bridges' section should Tor’s own built-in tools fail to make the grade.

One final tweak of note is the simplification of onion site error messages. For a complete list of changes – including dozens of bug fixes – see the Tor Project blog. Users should also note that Tor Browser 13.5 will be the last to support older versions of Windows (8.1 and older) and macOS (10.14 and older).

Tor Browser 13.5 is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows 64-bit, Windows 32-bit, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Tor Browser 13.5.1 (64-bit)

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