Mozilla has announced the release of Firefox 72. While the update doesn’t introduce any huge features it does bring some changes to enhance the user experience including fingerprint blocking being enabled by default, automatic notification request pop-ups have been removed, and picture-in-picture video is now supported on Mac and Linux.
With Firefox 72, the Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) now blocks fingerprinting scripts by default for all users. Before this update, fingerprint blocking was only available if you chose the Strict setting in the ETP settings. The firm has called its decision to make it a default option a “bold step in the fight for our users’ privacy.” Fingerprinting is bad because it can be used to track users for months even if browser storage is cleared and even if private browsing mode is used; with Firefox 72, users will be protected from this increasingly used tracking method.
At some point in the last several years, web browsers began supporting notifications and a lot of websites started nagging users to allow alerts to be displayed. In order to reduce frustration, Mozilla has replaced the notification request pop-ups with a small speech bubble in the address bar which appears when you interact with the website. With this change, users who don’t care about notifications will no longer have to see the pop-up.
Finally, picture-in-picture video support has arrived on Mac and Linux. The feature already landed on Windows in Firefox 71. The browser now displays a blue icon in the right edge of a video; clicking it will allow you to keep the video in a floating window so you can keep watching while working in other tabs and apps.
If you already use Firefox, it should silently install in the background. If you’re on Linux, keep an eye on your update manager for any available updates. If you’re using a different browser but want to try out the new features, head on over to the Firefox homepage and install a fresh copy.