Mozilla is rolling Firefox 69 out to all platforms as we speak. Despite the somewhat awkward numbering, it contains a number of useful features and improvements, including an end to auto-playing videos.
As of Firefox’s latest version, videos won’t start playing when you visit a page. This is an improvement over previous versions, which would just mute such media by default. The change means websites should use fewer system resources while not interrupting whatever else you’re listening to.
On top of this, the browser will block cryptominers and third-party trackers by default, removing the need for performance sucking addons. It’s also doing a lot to address battery complains on macOS, while general Windows 10 performance should be improved.
As well as trackers, Mozilla’s upgrade to Enhanced Tracking Protection will mean it blocks fingerprinters by default. This should increase privacy for users who don’t want websites to know their operating system, resolution, fonts, language, and other identifying information.
Interestingly, Mozilla is also supporting the Web Authentication HmacSecret extension via Windows Hello. This should let users forgo passwords on more sites, ultimately increasing their security.
In less positive news, Firefox is integrating more content from one of its sponsors, Pocket. US users will now see its promoted content on the New Tab page, surfacing relevant articles. As always, you’re able to replace the New Tab page via the use of an extension.
As Firefox 69 rolls out, Mozilla is hard at work on 70, which will include a password manager, hack alert, and more. The next major release is set to launch on October 22.