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Firefox 87 Enters Beta with AVIF Support Enabled by Default

Firefox 87 beta

Now that Firefox 86 is out, it’s time for Mozilla’s developers to focus their efforts on the next major release, Firefox 87, which is now available for public beta testing.

The biggest new feature in Firefox 87 appears to be the enablement of AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) support by default, a feature that was supposed to land in Firefox 86. AVIF is a powerful, royalty-free and open-source image file format designed to encode AV1 bitstreams in the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) container.

However, only basic AVIF support is offered, which means that advanced features like animated images and colorspace support aren’t supported. I can confirm that AVIF support is enabled by default in Firefox 87 beta.

Firefox 87 will apparently also be the first update to the popular web browser to disable the Backspace key from working as a “Back” button on Windows and macOS, which can be useful when you want to navigate back in history to the previous page you visited.

This is another change that was supposed to land in the Firefox 86 release, but, for some reason unknown to me, it didn’t happen, and it looks like Mozilla delayed it for Firefox 87. Mozilla recommends that you use the Alt + Left arrow keyboard shortcut instead.

However, the Backspace key is disabled by default on Linux for many years now, and if you want to re-enable it all you have to do is set the browser.backspace_action option in about:config from 2 to 0.

Among other noteworthy changes, Firefox 87 looks to improve the “Find in page” functionality to also display marks next to the scrollbar corresponding to the positions of your search’s matches, simplifies the Help menu by reducing the number of redundant items and items that can be accessed via the Get Help option, and greatly simplifies the Web Developer menu.

Lastly, the upcoming Firefox 87 release appears to remove various items from the Library button that Mozilla considers useless or that can be accessed from other parts of the browser.

If you want to get the Firefox 87 web browser for a test drive, you can download the beta release for 32-bit or 64-bit Linux systems right now from the official website. But please try to keep in mind that this is still a pre-release version that may contain bugs or unfinished features, so don’t use it on a production machine!

Last updated 2 months ago