The Mozilla Firefox 118 web browser is now available for download ahead of its official release on September 26th, when it will be rolling out to various of the supported platforms.
I consider Firefox 118 a major release because it finally brings the built-in translation feature for websites. Previously planned for Firefox 117, the new translation feature will let you automatically translate websites from one of the supported languages to another.
The translation feature can be accessed from a new “Translate page” menu entry in the application menu (the hamburger menu on the far right side of the window). When clicked, a pop-up dialog will open in place to let you choose the languages you want to translate from and to.
The built-in site translation feature is accompanied by a settings panel that you can access either from the pop-up dialog or from Settings. There, you can set the default languages for the automatic translation, as well as to install more languages or remove the ones that have already been installed by default.
The translation feature is based on the Bergamot project, which provides a privacy-aware translation engine where the translation is done locally using machine learning. Translations are never sent to a third party and are optimized for consumer hardware, according to Mozilla.
For Linux users, Firefox 118 ships with support for fractional scaling on Wayland. This feature tells Firefox the optimal fractional scale to use with the already existing fractional scaling settings for your Linux system when using the Wayland session.
However, this feature is disabled by default and you will have to manually enable it by setting the
widget.wayland.fractional-scale.enabled option in about:config from
true with a double click.
Among other changes, Firefox 118 switches to the FDLIBM math library for web audio on all supported systems to improve anonymity with Fingerprint Protection and restricts the visibility of fonts to websites to system fonts and language pack fonts, thus mitigating font fingerprinting in Private Browsing windows.
On top of that, Firefox 118 brings support for video effects and background blur on Google Meet and allows Firefox Suggest users in the US to see browser add-on suggestions in the address bar based on their keywords.
For Android users, Firefox 118 adds support for printing page content from the browser or the share menu, the ability to open pinned user shortcuts in an existing tab if it already has the same URL, as well as the ability to clear website data from the “Cookies and site data” menu item.
Last but not least, web developers get support for ten new CSS math functions, including round, mod, rem, pow, sqrt, hypot, log, exp, abs, and sign, as well as OpaqueResponseBlocking support by default.
As mentioned before, Mozilla will officially announce Firefox 118 tomorrow, September 26th, 2023. Until then, you can download the final release right now from the official download server or from the stable software repositories for your favorite GNU/Linux distribution.
Update 26/09/23: Firefox 118 has been officially released today and we’ve updated the story with the rest of the changes added in this version. Also check out the release notes for more details.
Last updated 2 months ago