On July 20, 2023, Brave Software released a new version of its Brave browser 1.56.9. The update adds a new Off The Record mode, the ability to customize your own hotkeys, and support for the experimental Certificate Transparency standard.
Most current instances of Brave Browser will receive updates automatically. You can check if an update is available at Menu > About Brave or on the page brave://settings/help. The browser will show the current version and check for available updates. If they are found, updates will be downloaded and installed automatically.
The last released version was Brave 1.53. The company says this jump in version numbers is due to bug fixes.
Brave 1.56.9: What’s new
One of the key changes in the new version is the Off The Record mode, which allows you to access certain sites with sensitive information without leaving records on the device.
Brave engineers talk about the benefits of using the new mode over more traditional options like private browsing mode. One of the arguments in favor of “Off the Protocol” is that it’s automatically enabled, but that also means that it only works on supported sites.
The mode is automatically applied to sites that use a specific flag and are included in a pre-compiled list of sites. Users will see a warning when the mode is supported on the site and will be able to choose between options Continue in off-the-record mode or Continue as usual.
The function can be activated in test versions of the browser using the chrome://flags/#brave-request-otr-tab flag. Set the parameter status to Enabled and restart your browser.
You can set up the function in Settings > Privacy & Security > Enable Off-the-Protocol Mode When Visiting Sites with Sensitive Content.
Custom keyboard shortcuts
Another new feature in Brave 1.56.x is support for custom keyboard shortcuts. Brave users can go to brave://settings/system/shortcuts to view a list of available combinations.
You can remove existing hotkeys and assign your own. A large number of operations are supported: from Back And Forward and ending with closing the tab and exiting the browser.
Actions can be assigned to a single key or key combination. Brave warns if a keyboard shortcut is already assigned to another action.
Another change in Brave 1.56.x is support for Certificate Transparency. This standard is already supported by other browsers, including Google Chrome and Apple Safari.
Certificate Transparency is a network security standard that can expose certificates that “were issued without a request from their rightful owner, such as malicious certificates issued by a compromised CA.”
Brave Software talked about several additional features that were planned to be included in Brave version 1.54, but they were not included in this update. Missing features include Forgetful Browsing and localhost access protection.
In Brave 1.56.x, the developers fixed several issues, such as fixing Live.com login errors and crashes when using sidebar extensions and when opening a private window.
The full list of changes is available on the Brave website.