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Firefox 96 Enters Public Beta Testing with More Performance and Security Improvements

Firefox 96 Beta

With the release of Firefox 95, Mozilla today promoted the upcoming Firefox 96 update to the beta channel for public testing, and we can now have a closer look at the new features and improvements.

Firefox 96 isn’t a major update, but it’s the first release of the open-source web browser in 2022 and it introduces several performance and security improvements to make your browsing experience more enjoyable, more reliable, and much safer.

For example, the upcoming Firefox release significantly reduces the main thread load, significantly improves noise-suppression and auto-gain-control, slightly improves echo-cancellation, and enforces the Cookie Policy: Same-Site=lax option by default to protect users against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks.

For Linux users, Firefox 96 appears to remove support for the Alt+A keyboard shortcut for the “Select All” function. In Firefox 95, both the Alt+A and Ctrl+A shortcuts work when you want to select all the text on a web page, but in Firefox 96 the Alt+A shortcut it no longer available, solving web-compat and avoiding conflict with access keys.

This should mainly affect web developers, and, according to Mozilla, users who want to keep using Emacs-like key bindings would need to change the ui.key.textcontrol.prefer_native_key_bindings_over_builtin_shortcut_key_definitions and ui.key.use_select_all_in_single_line_editor variables in the about:config page.

On top of that, Firefox 96 appears to fix various bugs, including an issue where video intermittently drops the SSRC (synchronization source) identifier, an issue where WebRTC downgrades the screen sharing resolution, and the degradation of video quality that could happen on some websites.

You can download the first Firefox 96 beta release (and future beta releases) from the official website if you want to take them for a test drive and send feedback to Mozilla about the new changes. However, please keep in mind not to use a beta release for any production work.

The final release of Firefox 96 is expected on January 11th, 2022.

Last updated 2 months ago