Mozilla’s Firefox web browser wraps up 2023 with a bang as it unveils its final major release of the year – Firefox 121.0. This latest instalment has significant enhancements, addressing user experience, performance, and security concerns. Let’s dissect the key features and improvements that make Firefox 121 a noteworthy update.
Firefox 121: Key highlights
AV1 Hardware Decoding on Windows
One of the standout features of Firefox 121 is its support for AV1 hardware decoding on Windows. This is made possible through Microsoft’s AV1 extension, which substantially boosts graphics performance by offloading decoding tasks from the processor. Users can activate this feature by installing the extension from the Microsoft Store, reducing the strain on the CPU and potentially enhancing overall browsing speed.
Wayland on Linux
Linux users will notice a major shift as Firefox switches to Wayland as the default compositor. This move, detailed in Mozilla’s release notes, introduces a slew of improvements, including touchpad and touchscreen gestures, per-monitor DPI settings, and enhanced graphics performance. However, it’s important to note a limitation where Picture-in-Picture windows require an additional click or adjustment, as discussed on Bugzilla.
Voice Commands Arrive on macOS
For users on macOS, Firefox 121 introduces native voice command support, allowing users to interact with their computers hands-free. Commands like “scroll down” or “click done” provide a new level of accessibility and convenience. Apple’s support page offers additional information about this feature, adding a touch of innovation to the browsing experience.
Full Extensions Support on Firefox for Android
A significant stride for mobile users, Firefox Stable for Android now supports a wide array of extensions, breaking free from the limitations of a curated selection. Developers can create extensions tailored for the mobile version, potentially broadening Firefox’s appeal as the only major mobile browser supporting extensions.
Other Changes and Fixes
- macOS users can now interact with their computers using voice commands.
- A new “always underline links” option is introduced, enhancing link visibility.
- The PDF viewer gets a floating button for deleting elements from documents.
Firefox 121 also brings several updates catering to developers, including support for lazy loading of iframes, enhancements to the text-wrap property, and expanded capabilities for the
Promise.withResolvers() method and
Data.parse(). Developers can explore these improvements to streamline and optimize their web development processes.
With Firefox 121, Mozilla reinforces its commitment to delivering a robust and feature-rich browsing experience. Integrating AV1 hardware decoding, Wayland as the default on Linux, and native voice commands on macOS showcases the browser’s dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation. As we bid farewell to 2023, Firefox users can look forward to a more secure, efficient, and user-friendly web browsing experience.
How to Get Firefox 121
To enjoy these fantastic updates, visit the official Mozilla website for a fresh installation or download the pre-compiled binaries using the below link. If you’re already using Firefox, keep an eye out for the update in your Linux distribution’s repositories – it should arrive in the next few days.
Via release notes
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