The Tor Project developers have announced the release of Tor Browser version 12.0, which brings support for Apple Silicon and several improvements to the Android version.
The new Tor Browser 12.0 is based on Firefox 102, while the previous version (11.5) was based on Firefox 91. This means that all security fixes, performance improvements, and Firefox code improvements implemented in the new ESR (Extended Support Release) are now up-to-date and for Tor.
One of the main innovations in this version of the browser was the built-in support for Apple Silicon, that is, devices with M1 and M2 on board. The developers promise that the main advantage of the built-in support for the new Apple architecture will be the higher performance of the Tor browser on systems running macOS.
Tor now uses a generic binary that combines x86-64 and ARM64 builds and automatically selects the correct version for the platform it’s running on.
The Android version of the browser, which used to regularly suffer from delays in receiving updates and new features, is now catching up with the desktop one.
“Since the beginning of the year, our developers have been hard at work resuming regular Android updates, improving app stability, and keeping it in sync with the Fenix (Firefox for Android) release cycle,” writes the Tor Project. “The next step in our plan for Android will be bringing to Android selected high-priority features that have recently been launched for desktop computers.”
Also in version 12.0 for Android, the HTTPs-only mode was finally introduced, which worked for desktops back in version 11.5. Let me remind you that it allows the browser to automatically switch to the HTTPS version of the visited sites when it is available.
Another major new feature added to the Android version is prioritize .onion sites, which will redirect the site visitor to the .onion zone if available.
Finally, Tor Browser 12.0 introduces support for multiple languages other than English (via a language pack download system that will replace the previous multi-language installers). This allows you to switch between languages at any time after installing the browser, or install multiple language packs and switch between them.