Tor Browser 8.0 comes with a series of user experience improvements
For the past year, Tor Team says that they have been collecting feedback on how we can make Tor Browser work better for you.
Tor Browser 8.0, first stable release based on Firefox 60 ESR, is now available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from their distribution directory. This release is all about users first.
Tor Browser 8.0 comes with a series of user experience improvements that address a set of long-term Tor Browser issues you’ve told us about. To meet users’ needs, Tor Browser has a new user onboarding experience; an updated landing page that follows styleguide; additional language support; and new behaviors for bridge fetching, displaying a circuit, and visiting .onion sites.
Using Tor is like using any other browser (and it is based on Firefox), but there are some usage differences and cool things happening behind the scenes that users should be aware of. Our new onboarding experience aims to better let you know about unique aspects of Tor Browser and how to maximize those for your best browsing experience.
For users where Tor is blocked, team have previously offered a handful of bridges in the browser to bypass censorship. But to receive additional bridges, you had to send an email or visit a website, which posed a set of problems. To simplify how you request bridges, we now have a new bridge configuration flow when you when you launch Tor. Now all you have to do is solve a captcha in Tor Launcher, and you’ll get a bridge IP. We hope this simplification will allow more people to bypass censorship and browse the internet freely and privately.
Better Language Support
Millions of people around the world use Tor, but not everyone has been able to use Tor in their language. In Tor Browser 8, they added resources and support for nine previously unsupported languages: Catalan, Irish, Indonesian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Hebrew, Swedish, and Traditional Chinese.
Apart from those highlights, a number of other component and toolchains got an update for this major release. In particular, TOR now ship Tor 0.3.3.9 with OpenSSL 1.0.2p and Libevent 2.1.8. Moreover, they switched to the pure WebExtension version of NoScript (version 10.1.9.1) which they still need to provide the security slider functionality. Additionally, they start shipping 64bit builds for Windows users which should enhance Tor Browser stability compared to the 32bit bundles.
Providing this many improvements for users could only be possible with collaboration between the Tor Browser team and Tor’s UX team, Community team, Services Admin team, and their volunteers. “We would like to thank everyone for working hard over the past year to bring all these new features to our users”, team said.
TOR team already collected a number of unresolved bugs since Tor Browser 7.5.6 and tagged them with our ff60-esr keyword to keep them on our radar. The most important ones are listed below:
- WebGL is broken right now.
- They disable Stylo on macOS due to reproducibility issues they need to investigate and fix. This will likely not get fixed for Tor Browser 8, as they need some baking time on their nightly/alpha channel before they are sure there are no reproducibility/stability regressions. The tentative plan is to get it ready for Tor Browser 8.5.