Firefox logo on a purple background

Firefox might not be as popular as it used to be, but it’s still an excellent alternative web browser, especially if privacy is your number one priority. As of May 3, 2022, Firefox 100 is now rolling out across all platforms with a few new features.

Firefox on the desktop has supported Picture-in-Picture for several years now, which allows you to pop out video players into their own small floating windows — you can even have multiple Picture-in-Picture windows at once, which Chrome doesn’t support. Firefox 100 on desktop platforms adds the ability to view subtitles and captions in PiP windows, but they won’t appear everywhere.

Picture-in-Picture on Firefox, running on Windows
Picture-in-Picture on Firefox

Mozilla says video from YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix will have captions, as well as any sites using the Web Video Text Tracks Format (WebVTT). If a website uses a different method of showing captions or subtitles, they might not appear in the Picture-in-Picture popup. Firefox has actually beaten Chrome to the punch here — Chrome doesn’t show captions or subtitles in Picture-in-Picture yet.

Firefox for iPhone and Android also has a few new features. Mozilla rolled out wallpaper support on mobile back in March, allowing people to pick between a few different backgrounds for the Firefox start page, and two more options have been added: ‘Beach vibes’ and ‘Twilight hills’. Firefox for Android now has an HTTPS-only mode, which first appeared in the Firefox Focus browser and blocks all connections that aren’t encrypted.

New browser wallpapers
New wallpapers for Firefox on Android and iOS

The mobile browsers also now have ‘clutter-free history’ and ‘clutter-free tabs.’ Clutter-free history organizes your browser history based on the original item in a group (a bit like the ‘Journeys’ feature that arrived in Chrome earlier this year) and removes duplicate entries. Clutter-free tabs shows your most recent tabs more prominently, instead of sorting them in order of when they were created. That functionality arrived in Android last year, but now it’s available on iOS, too.

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There are many other new features and changes in both the desktop and mobile versions of Firefox 100. The full release notes are below.

Firefox 100 Desktop Release Notes

  • We now support captions/subtitles display on YouTube, Prime Video, and Netflix videos you watch in Picture-in-Picture. Just turn on the subtitles on the in-page video player, and they will appear in PiP.
  • Picture-in-Picture now also supports video captions on websites that use WebVTT (Web Video Text Track) format, like Coursera.org, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and many more.
  • On the first run after install, Firefox detects when its language does not match the operating system language and offers the user a choice between the two languages.
  • Firefox spell checking now checks spelling in multiple languages. To enable additional languages, select them in the text field’s context menu.
  • HDR video is now supported in Firefox on Mac—starting with YouTube! Firefox users on macOS 11+ (with HDR-compatible screens) can enjoy higher-fidelity video content. No need to manually flip any preferences to turn HDR video support on—just make sure battery preferences are NOT set to “optimize video streaming while on battery”.
  • Hardware accelerated AV1 video decoding is enabled on Windows with supported GPUs (Intel Gen 11+, AMD RDNA 2 Excluding Navi 24, GeForce 30). Installing the AV1 Video Extension from the Microsoft Store may also be required.
  • Video overlay is enabled on Windows for Intel GPUs, reducing power usage during video playback.
  • Improved fairness between painting and handling other events. This noticeably improves the performance of the volume slider on Twitch.
  • Scrollbars on Linux and Windows 11 won’t take space by default. On Linux, users can change this in Settings. On Windows, Firefox follows the system setting (System Settings > Accessibility > Visual Effects > Always show scrollbars).
  • Firefox now supports credit card autofill and capture in the United Kingdom.
  • Firefox now ignores less restricted referrer policies—including unsafe-url, no-referrer-when-downgrade, and origin-when-cross-origin—for cross-site subresource/iframe requests to prevent privacy leaks from the referrer.
  • Users can now choose preferred color schemes for websites. Theme authors can now make better decisions about which color scheme Firefox uses for menus. Web content appearance can now be changed in Settings.
  • Beginning in this release, the Firefox installer for Windows is signed with a SHA-256 digest, rather than SHA-1. Update KB4474419 is required for successful installation on a computer running Microsoft Windows 7. For more details about this update, visit the Microsoft Technical Support website.
  • In macOS 11+ we now only rasterize the fonts once per window. This means that opening a new tab is fast, and switching tabs in the same window is also fast. (There’s still work to do to share fonts across windows, or to reduce the time it takes to initialize these fonts.)
  • The performance of deeply-nested display: grid elements is greatly improved.
  • Support for profiling multiple java threads has been added.
  • Soft-reloading a web page will no longer cause revalidation for all resources.
  • Non-vsync tasks are given more time to run, which improves behavior on Google docs and Twitch.
  • Geckoview APIs have been added to control the start/stop time of capturing a profile.
  • Various security fixes.

 

Firefox 100 Android Release Notes

  • Two new wallpapers now available for your homepage background.
  • History has been updated to reduce clutter and help find pages you previously looked at:
    • History search is now available
    • Similar searches are now grouped together in your history for a more organized view
    • There’s a new section on your homepage that shows highlights from your history
  • Bookmark search is now available.
  • You can now turn on HTTPS-only mode, which will request a secure version of all websites you visit and warn you if one is unavailable.
  • The system clipboard is now a valid share target for text and URLs.
  • Code for migrating Firefox 68 or older profiles has been removed.
  • Various security fixes.

Firefox 100 is slowly rolling out to Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android — if you don’t have it yet, you should get it soon. You can download Firefox from Mozilla’s official website, the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store.

Source: Firefox (1, 2)

Profile Photo for Corbin Davenport Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
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