A few days ago one of the most popular internet browsers – Mozilla Firefox, had its latest update made publicly available. In the next lines, we will go over the main changes that have been added to Firefox with this new update.
The primary direction of the changes that come with Firefox 56 is towards interface improvements and addition of a couple of new features that would add a more modern feel to the browser. Additionally, a number of security improvements and fixes will also be introduced with this version of the browser. However, internal modifications and optimization is said to be left for the next version of Firefox – 57, set to be released in the middle of November.
The overall interface of Firefox remains the same, however, its settings panel is now different. Currently, instead of eight, there are eight main settings buttons: General, Search, Privacy and Security and Firefox Account. Supposedly, this would make it easier to navigate and reach the needed option as well as make the overall look of the settings panel of Firefox more stylish and clean.
One other neat addition to the settings panel is a search box. Using this utility, the user can quickly and easily find the setting that they are looking for by typing it its name in the box instead of manually exploring each button which could take quite some time. However, here we should note that this feature isn’t anything new – many other browsers such as Chrome and Opera have already introduced it, even some lesser known browsing programs like Slimjet also have this feature. Adding this to Mozilla Firefox was a needed change that would make the browser more up-to-date with the latest trends.
Firefox 57, the upcoming version of Firefox is set to further add changes to the program’s interface such as a new UI for the settings panel as well as for the whole browser.
Another new feature that has been introduced with Firefox 56 is a utility that enables the user to take screenshots from the browser. It works similarly to the built-in Windows utility, Snipping Tool and can be accessed directly from the Toolbar of Firefox – a new button for the Screenshot tool is added at the top-right corner of the browser. Technically, this feature was available with the previous version of the browser but the access to it was limited, whereas now it has been released for mass use.
The utility is really easy to use and apart from allowing you to manually crop different areas of the screen, it also automatically detects certain segments of a page and offers to take a screenshot of them. For example, the tool will detect a paragraph of text and with a single click on it, you’d be able to take an image of the paragraph.
However, similarly to the settings search feature that comes with Firefox 56, the Screenshot utility isn’t anything new or innovative. A number of other browsers have had a similar option prior to Firefox. Two examples are lesser known browsers such as Maxthon and Slimjet.
Blocking media on background tabs
The third main change that comes with 56 is the blocking of auto-played media on newly-opened background tabs. This means that pages which have auto-playing sound would be silenced if they get opened in the background . A clever decision on the part of Mozilla as it can be extremely unpleasant and, in some cases, even embarrassing to have a sound start playing from a newly-opened page that you did not expect.
Google are set to introduce a similar trait to their browser but the update that would add this change will not be released up until January, next year.