Firefox 50.0 arrives for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, adds new features

The open-source browser adds a smattering of new features as it hits the half-century of releases.

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The Firefox 50.0 browser is ready to download from Mozilla.org.

Image: ZDNet

The latest release of Firefox for PCs and Android devices brings a number of new features and updates as the browser reaches its fiftieth release.

Mozilla, the browser's maker, said that Firefox 50.0 for PC supports video playback on more sites without plugins with WebM EME Support for Widevine on Windows and Mac. Performance is improved for SDK extensions or extensions using the SDK module loader, and download protection has been added for a large number of executable file types on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Other updates include increased availability of WebGL to more than 98 percent of users on Windows 7 and newer, and an option to allow users to limit 'Find in page' search to whole words only.

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There's also an update to the keyboard shortcuts, allowing you to set Ctrl+Tab to cycle through tabs in recently used order, while users can view a page in Reader Mode by using Ctrl+Alt+R (command+alt+r on Mac). Mozilla has also added a built-in Emoji set for operating systems without native Emoji fonts (Windows 8.0 and lower and Linux).

The Android release sees fewer additions, adding support for HLS videos via player overlay and simplifying the user interface by combining the Recent Tabs and History panels.

The open-source browser made its debut in November 2004, so it has taken 12 years for Firefox to reach its half century.

Although Firefox promises better privacy features than some other browsers, its market share has slid in recent years: according to figures from NetMarketShare, Firefox currently has about an 11 percent of the browser market, behind Internet Explorer (23 percent) and Chrome (55 percent).

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