Mozilla final week raised the Firefox model depend to 86, including a number of picture-in-picture video viewing and bolstering the browser’s anti-tracking defenses by isolating all cookies in the websites that create them.
Security engineers additionally patched 12 vulnerabilities, 5 of which have been pegged as “High,” Firefox’s second-most-serious label.
Firefox 86 might be downloaded for Windows, macOS and Linux from Mozilla’s web site. Because Firefox updates in the background, most customers can simply relaunch the browser to get the latest model. To manually replace on Windows, pull up the menu beneath the three horizontal bars at the higher proper, then click on the assist icon (the query mark inside a circle). Choose “About Firefox.” (On macOS, “About Firefox” might be discovered beneath the “Firefox” menu.) The ensuing web page or pop-up exhibits that the browser is both updated or shows the refresh course of.
Mozilla upgrades Firefox each 4 weeks; the final refresh was on Jan. 26.
Firefox’s picture-in-picture mode debuted early in 2020 in Firefox 72 (some received the characteristic at the finish of 2019, in Firefox 71), letting customers deposit a body on the desktop, video inside, from most — however not all — in-tab movies. The body could possibly be moved and resized at will, and was impartial of the tab.
Firefox 86 presents the identical, however in spades: Users can crank out a number of frames, every displaying a special video, every in a position to be positioned wherever on the desktop. As lengthy as the originating tab stays open, the video will proceed taking part in.
Applications of this can be harder to give you than one would possibly suppose, however a number of frames could be nice for following a number of networks’ protection of a serious occasion, say with the audio off on all however one, or for watching — or simply protecting observe of — a number of play-off video games concurrently.
More crackdowns on monitoring
The different addition to Firefox 86 that Mozilla trumpeted was what it referred to as “Total Cookie Protection.”
“Total Cookie Protection confines cookies to the web site the place they have been created, which prevents monitoring firms from utilizing these cookies to trace your shopping from web site to web site,” wrote Tim Huang, Johann Hofmann and Arthur Edelstein — senior software program engineering, Firefox developer and senior product supervisor respectively — in a Feb. 23 put up to an organization weblog.
The final improve earlier than this — January’s Firefox 85 — locked up so-called “supercookies,” identifiers that really aren’t cookies however trackers primarily based on sometimes-obscure components in a browser, comparable to HSTS flags. Firefox 86 expanded on its predecessor’s efforts by siloing all cookies.
(Note: There are exceptions, notably cross-site cookies not used for monitoring functions, like these “utilized by fashionable third-party login suppliers,” as Mozilla put it.)
Together, the earlier supercookie isolation and the newer, more inclusive cookie quarantining, mentioned Mozilla, block websites “from with the ability to ‘tag’ your browser, thereby eliminating the most pervasive cross-site monitoring method.”
The characteristic wasn’t enabled by default in Firefox 86. Instead, customers should steer to Preferences’ “Privacy & Security” part and choose the Strict choice beneath “Enhanced Tracking Protection.”
More technical details about Total Cookie Protection might be discovered on Mozilla Hacks and on the MDN Web Docs web site.
Elsewhere, Mozilla mentioned that Firefox 86 cleaned up the design of the browser’s Print interface.
The subsequent model, Firefox 87, will likely be launched March 23.