Tor Browser 12.5 launches with accessibility improvements
Tor Browser 12.5 was released on June 22, 2023 to the public. The new version of the privacy-focused web browser that is based on Firefox ESR improves accessibility in several regards.
Existing users may select Menu > Help > About Tor Browser to check the installed version. The browser runs a check for updates when the Help page is opened and may download the latest version and install it, if an update is available.
Downloads are also provided on the official Tor Browser website.
Tor Browser 12.5
Accessibility has been a key focus of the update. Users of the browser find a new circuit display in Tor Browser 12.5. Tor Circuit lists the nodes of the connection from the browser to the target website.
Tor, by default, connects to three servers in different countries to help users stay anonymous while using the Internet.
A click on the new Tor Circuit button, situated on the left side of the site address, displays the details of the connection. Tor Browser displayed the information in the site information panel previously, which meant more clicks and less visibility for the feature.
The new display features flags, which helps identify locations of servers at a glance. The panel has also been updated for better compatibility with screen readers according to the blog post on the official site.
Existing users may also notice the new site icons for onion sites. Nowadays, access to onion sites is no longer exclusive to the Tor Browser. Applications like Brave support onion services as well and to take this into account, new icons were created to better reflect the diverse nature.
The third and final major change in Tor Browser, as announced on the official blog of the Tor Project, is an improved connection experience.
The team identified that some users of the browser found it difficult to connect to Tor when they navigated away from the startpage of the browser. A new Connect button is displayed in all tabs now next to the bookmarks button in the browser's address bar.
Tor Browser will also connect automatically when users configure a bridge in the Connection settings. The connection status is now also highlighted in the top right corner of the browser window if there is no established connection to the network.
The team notes that it completed the review of the browser's accessibility and started to implement fixes for issues that were discovered during the review. It is seeking testers that have access to screen readers and other assistive technologies.
The full post that lists the entire changelog of the Tor Browser 12.5 release is available here.
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