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Firefox 83 Enters Beta with HTTPS-Only Mode, WebRender Support for Intel Gen12 GPUs

Firefox 83 beta


While you’re waiting for the just released Firefox 82 web browser to arrive in your distro’s repositories, Mozilla has pushed the upcoming release, Firefox 83, into the beta channel.

Scheduled for release next month on November 17th, the Firefox 83 web browser comes with a new security feature that was supposed to land in a previous version. It’s called HTTPS-Only Mode and will be available in the Privacy & Security tab under Preferences.

The HTTPS-Only Mode provides a secure and encrypted connection between your web browser and the websites you visit, even if they don’t use HTTPS. While most websites already support HTTPS, when HTTPS-Only Mode is enabled Firefox will upgrade all connections to use HTTPS.

The HTTPS-Only Mode can be used in normal and private windows alike, but it’s disabled by default.

Firefox 83 also extends the WebRender feature, a GPU-based 2D rendering engine written in Rust, to support Intel laptops with older drivers, as well as Intel Gen12 GPUs.

Among other changes, Firefox 83 promises to bring a “Print selection” context menu item, add new VPN card and banner in the Protections Dashboard, add a new shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+B) for the Bookmarks toolbar, enable tab-to-search, and add a new setting under Preferences for disabling the Sponsored Top Sites option in the Top Sites feature.

Image credits Dão Gottwald

Moreover, Firefox 83 promises to make HTTP authentication prompt dialogs tab-modal rather than window-modal, adds support for CSS conic gradients, and lets web developers toggle highlighting of the overflow by clicking on the “scroll” badge for scrollable elements.

Under the hood, Firefox 83 will ship with Warp, which is a major update to Mozilla’s SpiderMonkey JavaScript Engine that introduces a new MIR builder based on compiling CacheIR to MIR. This will help Firefox developers improve the performance, security, memory usage and maintainability of the SpiderMonkey engine.

For users, Warp will make Firefox faster under certain situations. For example, it will load Google Docs up to 20% faster. However, for now, Warp is considered an experimental feature and it can be enabled in the Experimental Features section under Preferences.

If you want to give Firefox 83 a try, you can download the beta release right now from the official website. Please keep in mind though that this is a pre-release version and may contain incomplete features or even unpatched flaws, so don’t use it for production work.

Last updated 1 month ago

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