Mozilla Firefox 96 has released and with it the first Firefox 2022 update for Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux. This article summarizes the most important new features – as always on this blog, in much greater detail than other sites.
Automatic unloading of inactive tabs also for Linux
Firefox on Windows has been able to automatically unload tabs thus freeing up RAM in situations where the available memory is running out since version 93. Firefox takes into account many factors such as the time of last use, the RAM consumption of the respective tab or active media playback, So that any tabs currently in use by the user are not unloaded if possible.
Clearing inactive tabs can reduce the possibility of so-called out of memory incidents. This type of crash is one of the most common types of Firefox crashes.
Firefox 96 brings this feature to Linux as well.
About: Compatibility Shows SmartBlock Patches
With protection from activity tracking, Firefox has a feature that blocks scripts from known trackers in order to protect users’ privacy. Positive side effects: This often results in a better speed. However, what seems simple in theory can cause compatibility problems in practice if the website code requires that the blocked scripts be loaded properly.
With Firefox 87, Mozilla introduced a so-called SmartBlock mechanism for users who had activated Strict Protection, as well as in private windows. Firefox replaces the scripts of known tracking services with some kind of alternative script, ensuring that website compatibility is not compromised while disabling actual functionality. For example, website functions that require Google Analytics can be called without actually being executed and without script errors, unlike without SmartBlock, because Google Analytics is blocked by Firefox.
Firefox 96 now also displays active SmartBlock patches in the about:compatibility page after customizing user agent and code interventions and allows them to be individually deactivated.
Web platform: a major update to WebRTC
WebRTC is a set of interfaces for video telephony, screen sharing, and more. With Firefox 96, Mozilla has made a major update to its WebRTC code, which should bring several improvements and bug fixes for services that use the WebRTC standard. Mozilla mentions, among other things, significant improvements in noise suppression and automatic adjustment of microphone sensitivity for the participant as well as minor improvements in echo suppression. Issues like low resolution when sharing screen content and video quality issues should also be a thing of the past.
More improvements to the web platform
Colors can be specified in CSS in several ways, including hexadecimal notation, as an rgb() function or as an hsl() function. Firefox 96 also supports files boost()mission.
In addition, Firefox now includes a WebP encoder, with which it is now possible for artboard elements to export content as WebP.
As always, there is an overview of all the improvements made to the web platform at MDN Web Documents.
As an additional precaution against Cross-Site Request Forgery – Attack (CSRF) Firefox will start immediately
Lax As the default value for the SameSite attribute for cookies, unless the website specifies otherwise. So far it was
None standard. Regarding the SameSite directive, the same domains on http:// and https:// will also be treated as different websites from now on.
Security: Closed Vulnerabilities
Also in Firefox 96 it was again Several security holes Closed. For security reasons only, it is highly recommended to update Firefox 96 for all users.
Other new features in Firefox 96
The function of importing data from other browsers now allows importing from the Brave browser.
With CSSpage, websites can adjust spacing for print width, among other things. If this website has been used in the past, the user will not be able to overwrite the spacing in Firefox’s print preview. This is possible from Firefox 96 onwards.
When a theme is used, the detection of whether it is light or dark is improved, which may affect the color scheme of Firefox’s internal pages.
On macOS, clicking Cmd on links in Gmail will now open them in a new tab as expected.
Changes in Firefox 95 should reduce the power consumption of software-decoded videos on macOS, especially in full screen mode. These changes have been temporarily reversed in Firefox 96, as this can lead to various problems.
The screenshot function now always saves screenshots as PNG files and no longer makes the file format depend on the image size.
after Retired Firefox Lockwise For Android and iOS, Firefox Password Manager, which can be found under about:logins, no longer displays the Firefox Lockwise logo.
WebRender for Hardware is now also activated on systems with a 6th generation Intel CPU.
Of course, there were also bug fixes and other improvements in Firefox 96.