Firefox 72 Released

Firefox 72 has dropped over the today, and while not a huge release, it comes with some nice features including some specifically for Mac and Linux.

First as always, Firefox comes with its usual round of bug and security fixes.  This also includes an adjustment to its privacy settings.  It you are running the “Standard” mode of Enhanced Tracking Protection, then Firefox will now be blocking some common known fingerprinting tools and services, used to track you around the web and particular determine who you are for advertising purposes.

Firefox will also be adjusting their website notification feature.  If you’ve ever gone to a website only for the browser to pop up a box saying “Would you like this site to send you notifications?”, this is for you.  You can still allow notifications to come from websites, say if you have a particular news site or prefer the web version over using a desktop app for your email.  The difference is now Firefox won’t throw up that box asking to allow notifications for every notification.  Rather you’ll have to click the URL bar where the notification/message symbol is to receive the prompt.  If you don’t interact with that part of the URL bar, then you won’t get notifications or be prompted about them.

Gif of the new notification interaction
Demonstration of the new notification interaction, courtesy of Firefox https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2019/11/04/restricting-notification-permission-prompts-in-firefox/

Finally, macOS and Linux users will now have access to Firefox’s Picture in Picture Function for video, much like Safari, this allows you to pop-out video and having it playing in a smaller window outside of the main browser window.  Prior to version 70, this was a test feature you had to manually enable, then it was added as a right click option for Firefox in Windows.  With Firefox 72, now Mac and Linux users can access this.  To use it, you should be able to hover over a video playing in Firefox and have a pop up box appear labeled “Picture in Picture” that you can click on to activate.  In the event that you don’t see this (I have trouble on Youtube with this).  You should be able to right click on the video until you get Firefox’s context menu, and select the “Picture in Picture” option in the dropdown menu.

2019-11-30-14-41-29-b5e7d9
Firefox PiP pop up demo, courtesy of Firefox

Firefox has been on a roll in the last couple of years overhauling their browser, making it a great competitor with Chrome for power and Safari for privacy.  It’s personally become my browser of choice, but we want to hear what you all think!  Let us know on social and in the comments.

To update your instance of Firefox on your Mac, click on “Firefox” in the menubar, and hit “about Firefox”.  A window will pop up with the header “Firefox Browser”, and the version number below it.  It should check for updates, download and install, and prompt you to restart Firefox.  You can also download it at firefox.com

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