Firefox 19 in Beta, Built-in PDF Reader, More ARMv6 Support

With Firefox 18 officially released, Mozilla, ever sticking to its rapid release schedule, hasn't bothered to take a breather and has put out Firefox 19 beta.

Though it's only been a matter of days since Firefox 18's launch, Firefox 19 already resolves a known issue with private browsing from Firefox 18.

Two of the most notable features about Firefox 19 are a new, built-in PDF viewer to ward off the potential for security exploits due to PDF reader plugins.

"For a number of years there have been several plugins for viewing PDF’s within Firefox," wrote Bill Walker and Brendan Dahl, Mozilla Engineering Manager and Software Engineer, via the Mozilla Future Releases blog. "Many of these plugins come with proprietary closed source code that could potentially expose users to security vulnerabilities. PDF viewing plugins also come with extra code to do many things that Firefox already does well with no proprietary code, such as drawing images and text. These problems, and the desire to push the boundaries of the HTML5 platform, led Andreas Gal and Chris Jones to start a research project they named PDF.js. The project quickly picked up steam within Mozilla Labs, where it grew into a full-fledged PDF viewer."

Walker and Dahl then went on to explain how the PDF viewer, because it was built with HTML 5, is powerful enough to render PDF files without issues and flexible enough to work across different platforms.

Firefox Android Beta has also been made available to download. This update features additional ARMv6 support, meaning that, Mozilla claims, Firefox is now accessible to over 15 million more phones. Most Android phones, so long as they meet the hardware requirements of 600 MHz, 512 MB of memory, and HVGA, should be able to run the beta.

The Android beta also allows easy customization via addons.mozilla.org, where users will be free to download a theme of their choice. The Google Search Widget has also now been integrated into the browser, allowing phone users to make a search through Firefox by adding a widget to their home page.

Firefox Beta is available via the Mozilla website and Android Beta via Google Play now.

 

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  • mitch074
    @susyque747: Safari on Mac displays PDFs by using OS X's PDF viewing infrastructure - it calls stuff (the PostScript engine) that runs outside the browser, and which is actually central to the system, thus critical and sensitive to exploits (as it was done time and time again on Mac). PDF.js runs internally to the browser and makes use of the browser's capability to render the PDF, without ever getting out of the browser's sandbox.

    Don't be an iTard.
  • vilenjan
    Ohh you mean snail slow safari? right.
  • Supercrit
    susyque747Built in PDF reader, Oh you mean Safari on my Mac has been doing for years, like that right.

    Do you need a pair of hipster glasses with that?
  • Other Comments
  • Vorador2
    PDF.js is available on Firefox 18 already. Disable your installed PDF reader plugin, go to about:config and search for pdfjs.disabled and set it to false. Done.
  • Shin-san
    Very nice. I never liked viewing PDF files not just because of PDF vulnerabilities, but also the time it took to start loading them from a browser
  • susyque747
    Built in PDF reader, Oh you mean Safari on my Mac has been doing for years, like that right.