Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Mozilla rolls out major updates to Firefox every four weeks, giving the browser a steady stream of new features and bug fixes. Firefox 117 arrived at the end of August with new settings, better clipboard support on Android, and fixes for YouTube, and Firefox 118 will start rolling out today. The headline feature this time is built-in web translation, which runs entirely locally on your computer, unlike the cloud-based solution used by Google Chrome.

This release marks the arrival of Firefox Fullpage Translation, a new feature that can translate pages automatically into your preferred language. When you visit a page in a supported language, the translation panel will open on its own, or you can click the new translate button on the right side of the address bar. It should be familiar to anyone who has used the page translation feature in Google Chrome, except Firefox’s solution doesn’t rely on sending page contents to external servers.

The technology has been in testing for years as an add-on, developed in collaboration with Bergamot with funding from the European Union. The fullpage translation feature was available in Firefox 117 Beta, but Mozilla waited until now to roll it out to all Firefox users. Since it’s using a localized translation model, it might not be quite as accurate as Google Translate, and some languages require a one-time download in Firefox.

Firefox 118 has a few other useful improvements worth highlighting. On Android, Firefox now supports printing page content from the browser or share menu. There are two updates to the desktop browser intended to reduce fingerprinting: websites can no longer access installed fonts outside of regular system fonts, and Web Audio uses a new DFLIBM math library.

How to Update Firefox

Firefox will automatically install the update on your computer, phone, or tablet when it’s available. To immediately check for and install any available updates, click the menu icon at the top-right of the browser toolbar and select “About Firefox.”

You can download Firefox from Mozilla’s official website, the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store.

Source: Firefox Release Notes, Firefox Support

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By John P.

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