Firefox 118 released with local translation engine enabled by default

Firefox 118 is now available in the stable branch with several new features. The most anticipated one is a new translator, known as Project Bergamot. For video services like Google Meet the browser supports for background blur and other video effects. Besides version 118, the long-term support branch has received an update to version 115.3.0. Firefox 119 is now in beta testing, the release of which is scheduled for October 24.

What's new in Firefox 118

  • The locally running (offline) machine translation engine is now available to everyone. It works without connecting to external cloud services.Under the hood of the feature is the open source Bergamot engine, which is a wrapper on top of the Marian machine translation framework. The latter  uses a recurrent neural network (RNN) and transformer-based language models. Models are provided for English, Bulgarian, Danish, German, French, Spanish, Polish, Italian and Portuguese.
  • The implementation of the Web Audio API now uses the mathematical library FDLIBM that comes with protection against user tracking.
  • For extra user tracking protection in private browsing mode, the fonts available for use on sites are limited to system fonts and fonts from standard language sets.
  • In Google Meet, Firefox now supports visual effects and background blur.
  • Firefox now shows browser add-on recommendation to the user, based on the entered keywords. The feature is currently only available for US users.

In addition to innovations and bug fixes, Firefox 118 has fixed 16 vulnerabilities . The 13 vulnerabilities (8 combined under CVE-2023-5176) that are marked as dangerous are caused by memory problems, such as buffer overflows and access to already freed memory areas. Potentially, these problems can lead to the execution of an attacker's code when opening specially designed pages.

Download Firefox 118

You can update to the latest version of Firefox by going to the About Firefox section of the browser's menu.

Linux users should use the OS' package manager to get the latest version available for the distro. E.g. in Ubuntu/Mint with the official mozillateam PPA connected, you can run the apt update && apt install firefox command in a root terminal.

Alternatively, you can download the installers here:  There, pick the browser that matches your operating system, language and platform. Files in there are organized into subfolders by a platform, UI language, and include full (offline) installers. The official release notes are here:

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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