Firefox 47 is now available to download — but don’t expect too much excitement.

As with most releases since the switch the a rapid release schedule the latest release of Mozilla Firefox brings a modest collection of iterative changes.

Tweaks and fixes that you won’t leave you sitting in a damp patch of giddy abandon, but will help keep your web surfing — hello, 1997 — running smoothly.

New Features in Firefox 47

firefox logo

firefox iconsSince you’re nosey (like us) you want to know exactly what’s changed. We can help you out there.

Firefox 47 can play old YouTube video embeds in HTML5 when Flash is not installed.

Don’t misunderstand this change; I know you’ve watched HTML5 YouTube embeds in Firefox for a long time.

This change is specifically that Firefox is now able to “convert” ye-olde YouTube Flash embeds to HTML5 ones so that you can view them.

(If you have Flash installed, it won’t).

On the topic of HTML5, Windows and Mac users can now watch HTML5 video content wrapped in DRM thanks to Firefox adding support for Google’s Widevine CDM. This allows sites like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix to stream DRM-protected video using HTML5 and not a third-party plugin (die, Silverlight, die).

‘Why not Linux?’, you ask. And on that I’m not too sure on.

Google Chrome (not Chromium) for Linux support comes with Google Widevine CDM built-in, which is how you can watch Netflix on Linux using Chrome but not Chromium.

The way Firefox hooks into the Google Widevine CDM could be limited to interfaces/APIs that are only exposed through the binary Windows and Mac versions. It could be that Linux support for Google’s CDM is to follow in future. It could be that you’re better at researching this specific implementation than I am and so you can shed some light on it in the comments.

Other notable changes in Firefox 47 include:

  • VP9 video codec on capable machines
  • Allow no-cache on back/forward navigations for https resources
  • View and search open tabs from your smartphone in a sidebar
  • User-agent spoofing in responsive mode
  • Service workers and Push API debugging
  • Security & bug fixes

See the official release notes for Firefox 47 for further details on the changes present.

Get Firefox 47.0

If you’re using Ubuntu 14.04, 15.10 or 16.04 LTS you don’t have to do anything special to receive this update. Firefox 47 will find its way to you through the Software Updater tool, so keep an eye out.

If you’re using Firefox on the Bq M10 Ubuntu Tablet note that you will not get this update. Ubuntu Touch is based on Ubuntu 15.04, and Firefox 44 is the most recently supported version for that release.

When the mobile OS transitions to Snappy and/or Ubuntu 16.04 the issue of which release it is based on becomes irrelevant, but right now the platform is still ‘.click’ based.

If you’re reading this on a distribution which doesn’t handle Firefox updates directly you can download an installer for the browser from the official website:

Download Firefox from the Official Website

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