Firefox is back in the browser game with its latest update – Firefox 49 for desktop and mobile.
For the desktop version, there are a few special additions to Reader Mode. Users can now change the font on the page and also adjust the width and the line spacing. The theme can also be changed from light to dark, and a narrator has been added to read the text aloud. These accessibility features will be a great help for users with reading disabilities.
The release for the latest update was originally scheduled for some time last week, but got pushed due to compatibility issues with GIPHY integration. They’ve also said goodbye to Firefox Hello. The company has now made multi-processing a feature in their new update, which has been given a complete bug-fixing, claiming a now successful 400 percent improvement. Mozilla still recommends using alternate video chatting options instead of Hello, but it appears they don’t want to personally make any effort into directly integrating that feature into the browser, which is a smart choice, as not many users could be using it on the browser anyway.
For mobile, Firefox has added similar new features, including offline loading of webpages in the absence of an internet connection. “On Android, we’re now making it possible to access some previously viewed pages when you’re offline or have an unstable connection. This means you can interact with much of your previously viewed content when you don’t have a connection. The feature works with many pages, though it is dependent on your specific device specs,” Nick Nguyen, Vice President of Firefox Product, wrote in a blog post.
Chrome and Opera have quickly taken off to establish their own eco-systems and exclusive features. Firefox, well, has just browsing to its name right now.
Apart from extension support and other neat interface changes, it’s surprising that Firefox hasn’t come out with its own VPN support baked into its browser like Opera has. Being a company that is all about security and keeping the internet free and open for everyone, the company should probably head in that direction. These new features are still welcome additions, but don’t necessarily make the browsing experience any richer than it already was. Let’s hope Firefox 50 is a slam dunk.