Waterfox G4.1.0 update reduces requirement to SSE 4.1, sets Startpage as the default search engine for Private Tabs
Waterfox has been updated to version G4.1.0 which introduces a new feature called Tab Unloading. It also fixes some bugs and adds a couple of new options.
Waterfox G4 is compatible with SSE 4.1 processors again
There was an uproar among users in the Waterfox community when G4 debuted last year, and removed support for SSE 4.1 compatible processors. This meant that computers would need to be upgraded to an SSE 4.2 chipset to use the browser, which is not exactly convenient for those on a tight budget, or relying on old hardware that cannot be upgraded easily without replacing other components. Users with a computer powered by an SSE 4.1 CPU can rejoice now, as Waterfox G4.1.10 once again supports the legacy systems. The reduction in the minimum system requirements was mentioned in the release notes for the latest version.
Tab Unloading in Waterfox G4
Waterfox G4 will unload idle tabs automatically when your computer is low on memory. You can optionally enable a setting to "Show unload tab menu item" in the tab context menu, which you can use to unload tabs manually.
This is similar to what the popular add-on Auto Tab Discard does.
Startpage is the default search engine in Private Tab and Private Window
There is an important change that Waterfox G4 brings, Startpage is the default search engine for Private Tabs and Private Windows. This is an unusual move, but not altogether surprising considering that Waterfox was acquired by System1, and the company has a stake in Startpage.com.
What does this mean for users? Let's say a user has DuckDuckGo as their main search engine, and updates to Waterfox G4.1.10. When they run a query, the browser will not use DuckDuckGo for the search, and will instead use StartPage for the task. This can be an issue for those who don't like the service, or are fans of other search engines. That said, this isn't a big problem, because you can switch to a different search engine quite easily.
How to change the default Private Search Engine in Waterfox
1. Head to Waterfox's Preferences page.
2. Click on "Search" in the sidebar.
3. A couple of new settings are available in Waterfox G4.1.0, under the default search engine section.
4. If you use a different search engine, as your main provider in regular browsing, just enable the box next to "Use this search engine in Private Windows", and Waterfox will respect the preference, and use it for searches in Private browsing mode.
Alternatively, you can set a different search engine for Private Windows using the drop-down menu. This allows you to use two search engines, one for regular browsing and another for incognito mode.
Disable Automatic Updates for Waterfox
Users can now disable automatic updates for the browser from the about:preferences#general page's Waterfox Updates section. Toggle the option to "Never check for updates" This can be useful in specific user scenarios, e.g. if you only want to update the application manually, or when an extension stops working with a new version, or a site becomes incompatible, or if you simply want to wait a few days before upgrading the browser.
Fixes in Waterfox G4.1.0
The about:addons page now lists the version numbers to the name of the extensions. Chrome Web Store extensions are once again compatible with Waterfox. A bug that was causing the back and forward buttons on mice to trigger middle-click has been patched. Non-Private tabs should no longer be restored as private tabs.
There are currently no known issues in Waterfox G4.1.0. The browser didn't detect the update for me, and said G4.0.8 was up-to-date, I had to install it manually. You can download the latest version from its official site or the GitHub repository.
What do you think about the changes in Waterfox G4.1.0?Advertisement