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 74 is now in the stable channel. Improvements/changes include:
- Your login management has improved with the ability to reverse alpha sort (Name Z-A) in Lockwise, which you can access under Logins and Passwords.
- Firefox now makes importing your bookmarks and history from the new Microsoft Edge browser on Windows and Mac simple.
- Add-ons installed by external applications can now be removed using the Add-ons Manager (about:addons). Going forward, only users can install add-ons; they cannot be installed by an application.
- Facebook Container prevents Facebook from tracking you around the web - Facebook logins, likes, and comments are automatically blocked on non-Facebook sites. But when we need an exception, you can now create one by adding custom sites to the Facebook Container.
- Firefox now provides better privacy for your web voice and video calls through support for mDNS ICE by cloaking your computer’s IP address with a random ID in certain WebRTC scenarios.
Firefox 74 will now import Edge bookmarks and improves tracking.