This week Mozilla fans will be glad to learn that there is a brand new version 42 of the much celebrated Firefox web browser for Windows, Linux, Mac as well as Android OS.
Just as you’d expect, the browser makes its official debut with some notable additions, among them tracking protection, background opening of links on Android as well as tab audio indicators. Those using this web browser on desktops can get Firefox 42 from Firefox.com. However, if you have already been using it, you will get an automatic upgrade to the new version. For Android users, the update will slowly be rolled out via the Google Play Store.
Mozilla usually keeps most of its figures close to its chest; however, the company can still confirm that at least 500 million people across the globe make use of this browser. This means that web developers still consider Firefox as a major platform, even though mobile apps are the current order of the day.
New features in the latest Firefox 42
As mentioned earlier, new apps come in with new features and functionalities. This is just what Mozilla has done with the latest Firefox 42.
There is a new private browsing mode that does more than just bypass saving of your browsing history. The additional tracking protection which means that this browser will now block web elements that are capable of tracking you when browsing the web, for instance, analytics trackers, ads or even share buttons. This update is available on all platforms. In case of an ad that doesn’t track you, it will not be blocked by this tracking protection feature.
According to Mozilla, “there is no browser that has a private browsing mode that protects like Firefox 42; whether Chrome, Safari, Edge or even Internet Explorer”.
There is also something you will definitely like in the new private browsing mode – a Control Center. Here is where you will find all security and privacy controls of the browser. Some web pages will look like they are broken whenever elements that are meant for tracking behavior are blocked. This is where the Control Center comes in; letting you turn the Tracking Protection feature off on any site you want.
How to use Tracking Protection feature in Firefox 42
The newly added feature in private browsing is really easy and fun to use. Simply launch the newly upgraded browser and then click on the menu button. Click on the New Private Window icon to enable Private Browsing mode and you will immediately see a screen with a confirmation message that Tracking Protection is turned on. You can now go on and browse as usual on your desktop or laptop.
In case of an Android device, simply tap on the menu button of the browser and then follow this by tapping on New Private Tab.
Back in August, Firefox Developer Edition for all three major desktop operating systems received this feature on an experimental basis. The same experimental feature was also added to Firefox Aurora channel for Android devices. The following month, the feature was added to the beta channel and now it has finally been released to all users.
Firefox 42 Desktop
Other than the privacy features that Firefox 42 has come with for all platforms; there is something else for those using the desktop version. A new tab audio indicator has been introduced where the users will now be able to see a speaker icon on a tab that happens to be producing sound. A single click on this icon will mute or unmute the sound coming from the given tab. The good thing is that you don’t need to leave the current tab in order to mute the sound coming from another tab.
This ability has in the past been possible with the help of extensions and add-ons, but it is now available as a built-in feature. While this feature might be new on Firefox, it has been on Chrome for more than a year. However, it is only until last month that the Google browser received the ability to mute tabs easily.
Firefox for Android
Firefox 42 for Android also got an update, but the rolling out process is taking place gradually. So, don’t fret just in case you haven’t received the latest version of this browser in your local Play Store.
Since the rolling out is gradual, Mozilla will use this opportunity to further improve the app. As of now, the most notable addition for Android users apart from the new tracking protection option is probably the ability to open links from apps right in their background. Once you open Firefox, you will be able to access all of the links in the queue.