Yesterday Mozilla released Firefox 70. The newest version of the most-popular fully open source browser expands on the Enhanced Tracking Protection we saw as an option in Firefox 69 and turns that protection on by default for all users. We already saw most of these new features in our Firefox 70 beta coverage, but since then, the features have been expanded upon and fine-tuned, and major new features have appeared or have been added in the Lockwise online password manager for users who have a Firefox cloud account.
In addition to automatically generating pseudorandom passwords for you, saving them, and automatically filling out login forms with them, Lockwise continuously scans the Internet for password and database dumps that might contain leaked copies of your credentials. Lockwise does this by comparing a hash of each of your passwords to hashes of the passwords in the dumps and leaks—so you don’t have to worry about Mozilla itself, or its employees, “knowing” your password.
We really like David Murphy of Lifehacker’s idea of setting Firefox’s homepage to about:protections. That way, the Privacy Report becomes the content of any new tab created before you actually head to a website. This makes it that much more likely you’ll actually see the information and notice everything from changes to how sites are tracking you to whether your credentials have been leaked somewhere.
Firefox 70 also brings serious improvements in battery life for Mac users. The handy chart above pretty much says it all; if you’re a Mac user and Firefox has been a no-go for you until now due to the toll taken on your battery, it’s time to give it another try.
Some, but not all users will also see improvements in performance due to partial compositing and other graphics improvements.
According to Mozilla:
Firefox uses partial compositing on some platforms and GPU combinations, but not on all of them. Notably, partial compositing is enabled in Firefox on Windows for non-WebRender, non-Nvidia systems on reasonably recent versions of Windows, and on all systems where hardware acceleration is off. Firefox currently does not use partial compositing on Linux or Android.
The full list of new features, fixes, and changes is available in Mozilla’s Release Notes, and new users can download the browser here. If you’re already using Firefox, you can force an update now by going from the hamburger menu to Help —> About Firefox, at which point it should begin the new download automatically and immediately.