Steve February 23, 2021
firefox-86-released-with-multiple-picture-in-picture-support,-more

Small crop of new features, plus new security updates

It does feel like the gaps between each new Firefox release gets shorter every month — that, or I’m just getting older!

Anyway, Firefox 86 is the latest stable release. It’s proper released too, not just up on the Firefox FTP. The change-log isn’t nearly as full as the one for last month’s Firefox 85 release but there are a few goodies worth knowing about.

Top of the pile? The ability to watch multiple videos in picture-in-picture mode (PIP) at the same time. Perfect for gawking at the latest escapades of egregiously witty influencers, YouTubers, and TV show binges. Each pip (when focused) also supports keyboard arrow navigation to skip back/forward in 10 second increments.

Firefox 86 and multiple PIP windows

Firefox 56 also introduces Total Cookie Protection to the browser’s built-in Strict Mode. Total Cookie Protection assigns each website you visit its own separate “cookie jar,” which helps prevent cookies from one site being used to track you across different ones — similar to the network partitioning feature in Firefox 85.

You can enable Firefox Strict Mode from the Firefox using Settings > Privacy & Security panel.

Other things worth knowing:

  • Browser uses GPU process for canvas and WebGL drawing
  • Reader Mode works on local HTML pages
  • Screen Reader improvements
  • Improved link contrast in Reader View

Linux and Android users are also protected against stack clash attacks in this release.

You can download this release from the Firefox website, or through your Linux distribution’s repos. Ubuntu users get new Firefox updates automatically, just look out for it in the Software Updater.

Firefox 87 will arrive in a months time, on March 23.

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