Firefox 95 arrives with enhanced security, macOS improvements, and much more

Firefox 95 arrives with enhanced security, macOS improvements, and much more

Firefox is one of the few remaining web browsers with a fully custom rendering engine, giving Mozilla the ability to try out new web features and low-level performance changes in a way that most Chromium-based browsers can’t (without essentially becoming a fork, anyway). Firefox version 95 is now rolling out, and it has several important changes on desktop and mobile platforms.

The best improvement in this update (via Techdows) might be RLBox, which Mozilla developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Texas. RLBox is now enabled on both desktop and mobile platforms, and uses WebAssembly to isolate potentially-buggy code. This should cut down on potential future vulnerabilities in the browser.

Firefox 95 on the desktop also includes reduced CPU usage on macOS, reduced power usage for decoded video on macOS, and a user agent override for Slack’s web app (so you get access to more features). Firefox’s Site Isolation security feature is also fully rolled out for everyone now.

Firefox 95 Desktop Changelog

New features

  • RLBox — a new technology that hardens Firefox against potential security vulnerabilities in third-party libraries — is now enabled on all platforms.
  • We’ve reduced CPU usage on macOS in Firefox and WindowServer during event processing.
  • We’ve also reduced the power usage of software decoded video on macOS, especially in fullscreen. This includes streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
  • You can now move the Picture-in-Picture toggle button to the opposite side of the video. Simply look for the new context menu option Move Picture-in-Picture Toggle to Left (Right) Side.
  • To better protect Firefox users against side-channel attacks such as Spectre, Site Isolation is now enabled for all Firefox 95 users.

Fixes

  • After starting Firefox, users of the JAWS screen reader and ZoomText magnifier will no longer need to switch applications in order to access Firefox.
  • You’ll find the state of controls using the ARIA switch role is now correctly reported by Mac OS VoiceOver.
  • You’ll see a faster content process startup on macOS.
  • We’ve also made memory allocator improvements.
  • And we’ve improved page load performance by speculatively compiling JavaScript ahead of time.
  • Various security fixes

Changes

  • We’ve added a User Agent override for Slack.com, which allows Firefox users to use more Call features and have access to Huddles.

The changelog for Firefox on Android isn’t quite as exciting, but there are still a few highlights. Mozilla introduced a new homepage on mobile with last month’s release of Firefox 94, and starting with Firefox 95, there are more settings options available. When you open Firefox, you can now choose between always opening the homepage, opening the last tab, or opening the homepage only after four hours if inactivity (the last one is the default).

Firefox 95 Android Changelog

New features

  • You’ll now find the new “Homepage” section in the Settings Menu.
  • The “Jump back in” section now shows Hero Images.
  • You’ll find confirmation of snack bar “Auto-close enabled” when a user enables auto-close from the tab tray.
  • Pocket (Thought Provoking Stories section) now has support in Canada.

Fixes

  • The “Jump back in” section will now always show titles or URLs.
  • The Inactive Tabs prompt will no longer be redisplayed after dismissing the prompt.
  • The download list will now refresh properly after deleting a file.
  • We’ve also fixed the following crashes:
    • When opening a history group
    • When a selected topic under “Stories by topic” does not exist anymore)
  • Various stability and security fixes

You can download Firefox for desktop platforms from Mozilla’s website, and it’s available on the Play Store for Android devices. Mozilla also recently made Firefox available on the Microsoft Store for Windows PCs.

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About author

Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.