Firefox 42 tightens privacy with Tracking Protection, revamps Control Center
Both builds implement a new Tracking Protection feature to tighten web privacy, while the desktop version adds a new Control Center. Android users also gain a number of new features, including a login manager and the ability to queue up links from other apps.
Firefox 42 opens with its headline Tracking Protection feature, which has been added to its Private Browsing tool and is enabled by default. It’s designed to prevent user browser data being collected across multiple sites.
The feature is shown to be working on offending websites via a Shield icon in the Address bar, and is accompanied in the desktop build by a new Control Center, which is accessed by clicking the padlock or globe icon next to a web address.
The new dialog has been streamlined, providing basic information about a site’s content in terms of its security, plus informing the user if Tracking Protection is enabled for the site in question.
Users now click the > next to the security information to view certificate information (if applicable) and access the More Information dialog with site-specific controls.
Other new features in Firefox 42 see various improvements to the Login Manager, including improved heuristics when saving usernames and passwords, the ability to edit and show all logins in line, with support for copy and paste via the context menu. Finally, the migration tool can now import passwords from Windows, Chrome and IE — users can access the feature from about:logins and import at any time.
A number of WebRTC improvements have also been implemented including IPV6 support, and an indicator has been added to tables that play audio along with one-click muting, echoing similar moves in other browsers.
The new Android release adds a number of new features: users can now open external URLs from Android apps in the background, effectively allowing them to queue up links without having to switch back and forth between applications.
Firefox 42 for Android also allows users to scan URLs from a QR code directly from the search panel, and offers family friendly browsing to those users who create restricted profiles on tablets.
Scrollable tabs have been implemented for panel navigation and there’s now support for searching using direct voice input from the URL bar.
One final new feature sees a new login manager — accessed via about:logins — make its bow, allowing users to view, edit and delete all saved logins.
Developer gains in version 42 include the ability to perform remote website debugging over Wi-Fi. Desktop developers can now also view a page’s HTML source in its own tab, and access a configurable Firefox OS simulator in WebIDE mode.