Firefox 122 Enters Public Beta Testing with Improved Built-In Translation Feature

The upcoming Firefox release also promises some new privacy features, as well as a bunch of goodies for Android users.
Firefox 122 Beta

Now that Firefox 121 has landed in the stable software repositories of various GNU/Linux distributions, those who want to take the next major release for a test drive, Firefox 122, can download the latest beta version.

Firefox 122 looks like a small update to the popular open-source web browser used by default on numerous GNU/Linux distributions. It only promises to improve the quality of the new built-in translation feature introduced in Firefox 118, offering more stable translations that no longer break interactive widgets on some websites and reduce the risk of content disappearing when translated.

Firefox 122 also promises to improve web browser compatibility for line breaking by matching the line-breaking rules to the Unicode Standard, as well as to display images and descriptions for search suggestions when provided by the search engine. Also, for East Asian and South East Asian users, it promises proper support for language-aware word selection when double-clicking on text.

Moreover, starting with Firefox 122, scripts will be able to store the cacheAPI data in Private Browsing mode. And, to further protect user privacy, Firefox 122 will taint filters that use currentColor as an input.

“Since color can be set by the :visited pseudo selector, it potentially contains privacy-sensitive information and therefore these primitives must be marked as tainted. This means that if you use such a filter you won’t be able to read the filter output from canvas,” said Mozilla.

I’ve also noticed that Firefox 122 no longer offers the Snippets option in Settings > Home which provided users with tips and news from Mozilla and Firefox, nor the Search Bar settings in Settings > Search that allowed you to choose between using the address bar for search and navigation or add the search bar in toolbar.

Firefox for Android received quite some attention during this release bringing the ability to report the OS version as “Android 10” in Firefox Android’s User-Agent string to reduce user fingerprinting information and improve compatibility with some websites.

In addition, Firefox for Android users will be able to set the web browser as the default PDF reader and enable the Global Privacy Control feature that informs websites not to sell or share their browsing data. This can be enabled from Settings > Enhanced Tracking Protection > Tell websites not to share & sell data.

For web developers, Firefox 122 promises support for animating the SVG viewBox attribute using SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language), support for the LargestContentfulPaint API, support for the showPicker method on <select> elements, as well as support for ray() on the offset-path CSS property.

In addition, Firefox 122 will add support for basic-shape and coord-box for the offset-path CSS property, support for rect() and xywh() basic shapes on the clip-path and offset-path CSS properties, support for the Screen Wake Lock API, support for <hr>-in-<select>, and the ability to recognize the “webauthn” autocomplete token.

Last but not least, Firefox 122 promises to change the fallback URL parser for unknown schemes to DefaultURI in an attempt to improve specification adherence and web compatibility, as well as to enable the ArrayBuffer.prototype.transfer proposal methods, which enable ownership transferring of ArrayBuffer data.

Mozilla plans to release Firefox 122 on January 23rd, 2024. Until then, you can take the latest beta version of Firefox 122 for a test drive by downloading the binaries from Mozilla’s download server, but keep in mind not to use this pre-release version for production work.

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