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.
Firefox 68 is now in the stable channel. Improvements/changes include:
- Dark mode in reader view expands so that windows are also dark on the controls, sidebars and toolbars
- New reporting feature in about:addons allows you to report security and performance issues with extensions and themes.
- Redesigned extensions dashboard in about:addons provides easy access to information about your extensions, including data and settings access required by each extension.
- Find high quality, secure extensions via the Recommended Extensions program in about:addons, which now displays user count and ratings for each extension. "Recommended” badges for these extensions also appear on AMO. More extensions will be added over time.
- Cryptomining and fingerprinting protections are added to strict content blocking settings in Privacy & Security preferences.
- WebRender will roll out to Windows 10 users with AMD graphics cards.
- Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) update download support, which allows Firefox update downloads to continue when Firefox is closed.
- Access your Firefox Account settings from the hamburger menu
- Added a Firefox shortcut in the Windows 10 taskbar for new installations
- In addition to providing color contrast information for individual elements of a page, Firefox now offers a full page color contrast audit that identifies all element on a page that fail color contrast checks.