Oct 11, 2023

Firefox 116: Now With a Better Sidebar, Improved Picture

Firefox's 116 update makes it easier to use its sidebar, adds a volume slide for picture-in-picture mode, runs better on Raspberry Pi, and more.

Navigating through your browser features needs to be as streamlined as possible, and that is something that the latest Firefox update brings. Once you open your Mozilla Firefox browser and let it update to version 116, you'll notice several quality-of-life improvements.

Mozilla released Firefox 116 on August 1st, 2023, making it the first Firefox version that doesn't support Windows 7 and Windows 8 or Apple macOS 10.12, 10.13, and 10.14.

The most noticeable improvement is brought to sidebar accessibility and management. However, this latest update also has other neat features, such as easier transfers between your operating system and browser and additional features to Picture-in-Picture mode.

Before patch 116, users could access the sidebar via keyboard commands, thus gaining access to the Bookmarks, History, and Synced Tabs panels. However, navigating between panels and changing sidebar positioning was fairly tricky, especially for those who preferred keyboard shortcuts.

That is why the latest update introduces the sidebar switcher. The sidebar now allows users to open the sidebar using Shift+Tab, navigate through the menus and panels using the arrow keys, and access a particular panel or menu using Enter. As of now, all sidebars fully support this feature.

Before patch 116, Mozilla had issues with video decoding on Raspberry Pi 4 devices, causing massive CPU usage. Simply put, viewing HD or high-frame-rate videos on Raspberry devices usually results in stuttering, lagging, and skipped frames.

The Raspberry Pi 4 supports hardware-accelerated video decoding and encoding. This, in turn, requires a Linux kernel API called V4L2-M2M (Video4Linux Memory-to-Memory), which Firefox lacked.

This made Firefox developers focus on introducing support for V4L2-M2M to Firefox's ARM build. According to Firefox's own bug reports, these changes have finally been made possible with patch 116.

Firefox introduced enhanced Picture-in-Picture back in patch 113, allowing users to rewind videos and check video duration. With patch 116, Firefox's Picture-in-Picture mode also comes with a volume slider.

Another great addition that can significantly boost productivity is the ability to copy any file from your operating system and paste it into Firefox.

Lastly, one noteworthy change that many users have been asking for is about reopening closed tabs. With patch 116, pressing Ctrl+Shift+T on Windows and Linux or Command+Shift+T on Mac will now reopen the last closed tab or window in the order they were closed.

If there are no eligible tabs or windows to open up, Firefox will simply restore the last session you closed.

All the changes mentioned above serve to more or less improve the workflow of anyone using Firefox and should become active as soon as you update your web browser.

Whether you're trying to quickly navigate through the bookmarks in your sidebar or adjust the volume of a Picture-in-Picture video without switching tabs, patch 116 has tweaks and changes that benefit everyone.

Given Firefox's recent shift of focus on speed and productivity, we believe it's more than enough reason to make Firefox your default browser.

I think of myself as a passionate individual with an unwavering curiosity for the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things digital, I have emerged as a dedicated explorer of the ever-evolving technological landscape and decided to help others along the way.

BookmarksHistorySynced TabsShift+TabEnterCtrl+Shift+TCommand+Shift+T