Firefox 121 Arrives With Windows and Linux Enhancements

Mozilla Firefox receives major updates roughly every four weeks, giving the web browser a steady stream of bug fixes, new features, and security enhancements. Firefox 121 will start rolling out today with new performance enhancements, usability improvements on macOS and Linux, and more.

Firefox 121 has a few changes designed to integrate better with desktop platforms. On Windows, Firefox will now prompt you to install the Microsoft AV1 Extension to enable hardware decoding for AV1 video. Firefox has already supported AV1 video on Windows for a while (since version 100), but it wasn’t clear to most people that they needed the extension downloaded from the Microsoft Store. On Mac, Firefox now supports Voice Control commands.

The new version on Linux now uses the Wayland compositor by default, instead of XWayland. This allows touchpad and screen gestures, swipe-to-nav, per-monitor DPI settings, and better graphics performance when used on a desktop Linux distribution with Wayland. It’s been a long road getting from there to here—the first Firefox builds with Wayland rolled out in 2018, and Mozilla has been slowly improving the mode over time. The transition won’t affect desktop Linux distributions that are still using X11 instead of Wayland, such as older versions of Ubuntu.

There are some other smaller usability improvements too, such as an option for force-underline links for websites (Mozilla says that’s help for people with achromatopsia). There’s also now a floating button to delete drawings, text, and images added in PDFs.

Firefox 121 adds a few new web features, such as support for lazy loading iframes, which are commonly used for embedded videos and advertisements. That should speed up performance on sites designed around lazy loading, which has become more common after Chrome added support for the same feature in 2018 (with the release of Chrome 77).

How to Update Firefox

Firefox will automatically install the update on your computer, phone, or tablet when it’s available. To immediately check for and install any available updates, click the menu icon at the top-right of the browser toolbar and select “About Firefox.”

You can download Firefox from Mozilla’s official website, the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store.

Source: Firefox Release Notes


Leave a Comment