Firefox 85.0 is now available as the first major release of the popular open source web browser in 2021, including several new features, including a much awaited privacy enhancing (opens in new tab) behind-the-scenes functionality called Network Partitioning (opens in new tab).
The release is also significant as it comes shortly after Google decided to cut off API access (opens in new tab) to various Google services for all browsers based on the open source Chromium core.
Google’s move strips away various useful features from the open source Chromium browser, who will now gravitate towards this latest Firefox release.
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One of the headline features of Firefox 85 is the browser’s new anti-tracking feature, which will help improve user privacy. When enabled, the feature essentially stores data like website caches, CSS files, images, and TLS client certificates on a per-website basis.
Firefox 85 becomes the first open source browser to include this ability, which has until now only been available on proprietary browsers, namely Apple Safari and Google Chrome. Besides this, there are several other minor improvements such as the ability to remove all saved logins with a single click from the browser’s inbuilt password manager.
The browser also features several enhancements for web developers, including tweaks to the Page Inspector tool. Also, Firefox 85 is also the first browser to ship without support for Adobe’s now-deprecated Flash Player plugin (opens in new tab).
Firefox 85 is available for download from the browser’s FTP directory (opens in new tab), ahead of its official launch later today.
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