Mozilla released Firefox 106 Stable and Firefox 102.4 ESR. The new Firefox 106 Stable release introduces support for Firefox View, PDF editing, text recognition and extraction on macOS, and new Colorways themes.
All Firefox development editions are updated to new versions as well. Firefox Beta and Firefox Development move to version 107, and Firefox Nightly moves to version 108. Firefox for Android follows the versioning scheme of Firefox for desktop; it too moves to Firefox 106.0.
- Firefox 106 Stable and Firefox 102.4 ESR address security issues.
- Mozilla fixed six unique vulnerabilities in Firefox 106 and 4 unique vulnerabilities in Firefox 102.4 ESR.
Firefox 106 download and update
Firefox 106.0 and Firefox 102.4 ESR downloads are available already. Most Firefox installations will receive the updates automatically, thanks to the browser’s built-in updating functionality. Users who want to speed up the updating process may do so in two ways: run a manual check for updates or download Firefox from the official Mozilla website and install the new version manually.
Do the following to check for updates in Firefox.
- Select Menu > Help > About Firefox.
Firefox displays the installed version and runs a check for updates. It will download and install any new version that it discovers during that check.
Direct downloads are also available, follow the links below to Mozilla’s download website, to download the new version of the browser.
Firefox 106.0 new features and improvements
Firefox View is one of the main new features of this release. It improves access to previously opened tabs in the web browser and optionally other Firefox browsers on desktop or on Android. A new pinned icon on the tab bar of Firefox activates the feature. Firefox displays a short onboarding experience that explains Firefox View.
The Firefox View page is divided into the three main sections Tab pickup, Recently closed, and Independent voices. Tab pickup requires a Firefox account, as Mozilla uses Firefox Sync to display recently viewed pages on other devices in that section. It is designed as a way to continue reading or accessing content viewed on other devices.
The recently closed section displays the last closed tabs of the current browsing window. It is a bit limiting in this regard. Independent voices, finally, promotes Colorway themes.
You may check out Ashwin’s in-depth review of Firefox View here for an even clearer picture on the functionality that it provides. Mozilla has a support page up as well in case you are interested.
Firefox View may improve the experience for users who use Firefox on different devices and are signed in to a Firefox Account in all of them. Users who don’t get little out of the feature.
Thankfully, it is easy enough to remove the Firefox View icon from the main Firefox toolbar. Just right-click on the icon and select the “Remove from Toolbar” option to get rid of it. Another option that is provided is to move the Firefox View icon to another location, e.g., next to the Firefox Menu on the right.
Basic PDF Editing
Firefox’s built-in PDf Viewer supports basic PDF editing in the new release. Mozilla notes that it has integrated options to write text, draw and add signatures to PDF documents open in Firefox.
The final version of Firefox displayed text and draw options in the main toolbar, but no signature option. Maybe it is being added later or there is another prerequisite that Mozilla did not mention in the official release notes.
Other changes and fixes
- Windows users who use the Firefox web browser may pin a shortcut to the private browsing mode on the taskbar of the operating system. The option to do so is displayed on the private browsing startpage.
- Windows users who set Firefox as the default web browser make it the default PDF application now on the system.
- Linux users may now use swipe-to-navigate to go back or forward in history on Wayland.
- Text recognition and extraction is now supported on macOS 10.15 or higher systems. The feature supports English only at the time in macOS 10.15, and more languages on macOS 11.0 or higher.
- New Colorway themes are now available. The 18 new themes remain available through January 16th, 2023.
- WebRTC platform upgrade; libwebrtc library was updated from version 86 to 103 in the release. The upgrade introduces several improvements, including better screen sharing on Windows and Linux Wayland, lower CPU usage and more fps during screen capture on macOS, RTP performance and reliability improvements, and compatibility improvements.
- The ability to set the “background” manifest key property “persistent” to false for Manifest V2 (to make a background page non-persistent) is now available by default.
- The object-src directive in the “content-security-policy” manifest key is now optional (bug 1766881).
Security updates / fixes
Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here after release.
Firefox 106 comes with 6 fixed security vulnerabilities. Firefox 102.4 ESR fixes 4 unique vulnerabilities. The maximum severity rating of the vulnerabilities is high.
Firefox 107 Stable is expected on November 11, 2022.
Image Source: PREMIO STOCK / Shutterstock