Firefox 98 launches with better features to download files

Mozilla has updated its Firefox web browser across all available platforms to version 98, with a refreshed look for iOS and Android, and an easier way to download files.

Since its refreshed look in 2021 called Proton, Firefox has been busy working on smaller refinements to improve the overall experience of its web browser across desktop and mobile devices.

But this also applies to Firefox on iOS and Android, where its appearance has been inspired by Apple's efforts to refine its Safari browser. That's right, the Firefox mobile browser address bar is now at the bottom of the interface, alongside being able to set a wallpaper to the main page.

Version 98 is available for everyone on the web, while you can download or update the web browser from the App Store or Google Play Store.

How are Downloads improved in Firefox 98?

Clearly, this is a release focused on how and where you download files. It's something many of us do almost every time we use a web browser. Back in the days of Internet Explorer, you could only download one file at a time, with a window that displayed the progress on a dial-up modem.

Thankfully the web has moved on since then, but Mozilla has improved download management further with Firefox 98:

  • Go To Download Page: Locates the download reference page even after leaving the site or closing the tab.
  • Copy Download Link: Copies the download link to let you share it or save it.
  • Show In Folder: Opens the folder that contains your downloaded files.
  • Remove From History: Removes a file from your list of downloaded files.
  • Clear Preview Panel: Clears the list of downloaded items in the preview panel that opens when you start a download.
  • Always Open Similar Files: Makes Firefox automatically open downloaded files of the same type with the system default application.

These improvements will help if you download multiple files frequently. If you're a designer or a researcher, having Firefox know which app to open for certain file types will cut down the steps from downloading a file to opening it in the app of your choice.

As we approach version 100 in the coming months, we may see more refinements to Mozilla's web browser to mark the big number. But even if we don't, better management of your downloaded files is still a big win for your workflow.

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Opera’s gaming browser is available to download on the Epic Games Store

Opera has announced that the gaming variant of its web browser, Opera GX, will also be available to download directly from the Epic Games Store, from today (January 27).

You can download the browser through this link, with this being the first web browser that's available to download on Epic's storefront.

Opera GX is similar to how the regular Opera browser works, but with exclusive features that are tailored to gamers. GX Control can limit the amount of RAM that the browser can use, alongside similar features for Wi-FI or CPU speeds.

Downloading the web browser from Epic Games will be useful if you have a PC that's just for gaming and nothing else, but it also raises the question of whether other gaming browsers are coming to help fill this need as well.

Analysis: it was always heading to this

Having Opera GX and your previously-purchased games, ready to download in one will be a great help for many, especially if you have had to wipe your Gaming PC, and you want to quickly re-download what you had installed before.

It was inevitable that we'd eventually see Opera's gaming browser on a gaming storefront, and it could lead to features from Epic appearing on Opera GX in time, such as downloading games or chatting to your friends through an Epic Games messenger client.

Annette de Freitas, Head of Business Development at Opera Gaming, explained, “At Opera, our mission is to create superior products that people choose to use and install.” Freitas continues. “This mission has led to the development of Opera GX, the browser of choice for gamers, who decide to make it default for its superior features, look and feel. Opera GX is the perfect fit for the Epic Games Store because of this shared passion to create choice and enable a community of gamers.”

Opera GX on Epic Games Store

(Image credit: Opera)

There's the possibility that other vendors in this space, such as Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft may be looking into a gaming variant of Safari, Firefox, and Edge, but we suspect this is a space that Opera will have on its own for the foreseeable.

When you factor in the other apps that are built into Opera GX such as Twitch and Discord, alongside being able to sync up your RGB to the web browser, it makes sense in the grand scheme of your gaming.

You may feel as though other web browsers, such as Microsoft Edge and Firefox will do the job for browsing sites and downloading files.

But if you either have a hard drive partition that's focused solely on gaming, or a Gaming PC, it makes sense to have a web browser that tries to solve the same need.

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You can finally download Firefox in the Windows Store

Mozilla has announced that Firefox is the first major browser to become available for download directly in the Windows Store on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Previously, Windows users that wanted to use Firefox instead of Microsoft Edge had to download the browser from the internet and go through a clunky process from Microsoft according to a new blog post from Mozilla. Now though, as Microsoft has changed its Windows Store policies, choosing Firefox as your default browser is a more seamless experience. 

Downloading Mozilla's browser from the Windows Store is not only easier but it also gives you access to all of the latest Firefox features including Total Cookie Protection, Enhanced Tracking Protection, DNS over HTTPS, fast site loading using WebRender and Quantum CSS, Firefox Suggest, Multi Picture-in-Picture and personalization with seasonal Colorways.

Gecko engine

At the core of Firefox and all other browsers is a browser engine that is responsible for loading web pages from sites and displaying them on your screen. While Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome use Chromium as their browser engine, Firefox uses Mozilla's proprietary Gecko engine.

Until recently, Microsoft's store policies required that all browsers use the engine that Microsoft had built into its platform which prevented Mozilla from shipping Firefox to users through the Windows Store. In addition to giving users less choice, these policies also hurt the web as Windows users would only have access to the features Microsoft was willing to provide.

Thankfully though, now that Microsoft has changed its policies, Mozilla and other browser makers will be able to ship their products through the Windows Store regardless of which browser engine their software uses.

Firefox can now be downloaded through the Windows Store by clicking on this link though Mozilla's browser is also available for macOS and Linux.

Looking for a better browsing experience? Check out our roundups of the best browser and the best anonymous browser

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