Security tweaks, PDFs herald new Firefox builds

Native PDF reading comes to Firefox 15, while on-demand plug-in protection, a new Web site identity indicator, and new gaming APIs graduate into Firefox 14 beta.

The green lock icon on the left is how you can tell when you're on a site with the highest level of security.

(Credit: Mozilla)

Mozilla has updated both Firefox beta and Firefox Aurora with new features today, with small but notable security changes landing in the former and preliminary native PDF support hitting the latter.

The developer's build of the browser, Firefox 15 Aurora (download for Windows, for Mac, and for Linux,) now comes with preliminary native support for PDFs. This is a feature that arrived some time ago in Google Chrome, and helped that browser respond to large document handling faster than the competition.

This version of Firefox also supports the next version of SPDY, better developer tools, improved HTML5 support, and fixes to address add-on related memory leaks. The full list of changes in Firefox 15 Aurora can be read here.

The new Firefox 14 beta comes with a a few security tweaks. These include turning on secure connections with HTTPS for all Google searches; an updated site identity indicator system in the location bar, which tells you how secure the connection to the site you're looking at is; and a new click-to-play preference option for plug-ins such as Flash and QuickTime.

To implement it at this point, though, you'll have to go to about:config and change plugins.click_to_play to True.

Firefox 14 beta can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Other changes: native full screen support is now available for people running OS X 10.7 Lion, and the location bar will now autocomplete URLs as you type them.

New APIs are in this version of Firefox, too. There's the Pointer Lock, for allowing better in-browser app control over the mouse pointer; Wake Lock, which prevents the screen saver from starting in a game; and Pseudo Class Lock, for developers to inspect the code powering a site. You can read the Firefox 14 beta changelog here.

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