Latest beta release of the Brave web browser brings major changes

Image via Brave

The team behind the Brave web browser has announced the first beta version of the upcoming Brave 1.0 release. The new beta release includes several big changes, they are: private browsing with Tor support, widevine support on Windows and macOS with Linux support on the way, and new design elements and UI differentiations from Chromium, which it is based upon.

The announcement also stated that beta testers will also get a sneak peek at Brave Rewards which replace Brave Payments. If you’ve not been following Brave closely, it includes a wallet which users can top up in order to pay content creators depending on how long they visit the site for. It’s an interesting proposal in a world that is increasingly looking for ways to make online publishing financially sustainable.

With regards to Tor support in private browsing sessions, the feature has been described as being an early implementation that is still undergoing leak proofing, for this reason the firm states that users shouldn’t use it for important tasks just yet. Once the feature is ready, it will add an extra layer of protection for users who want to keep their browsing habits more private.

With regards to UI changes, the Brave Shields menu is now in the URL bar on the right-hand side, the URL bar is centred in a similar to the way it’s positioned in Firefox and it’s also smaller, the tabs have been altered from how they look in Chromium, the light theme is different, and a dark theme is optional.

Brave is also different from Chromium in a few other ways too; first of all, Google Accounts and syncing have been stripped from the browser. The team said that users expect to be able to sync desktop and mobile and that although this isn’t in the beta build, it is preparing it for the developer channel. Additionally, Chrome-specific telemetry and data reporting has been stripped out, PDF.js is used for viewing in-browser PDF files instead of PDFium which suffers from frequent security problems in Chrome. Search term autocompletion provided by Google Suggest has been turned off by default too, and instead, Alexa top sites is used as the data source.

You can download the latest beta build from the Brave website now.

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