The Mozilla Web Browser Firefox 13 has just barely reached our fingertips and we can already catch a glimpse of the Open-Source company’s newest endeavor: Firefox 14 Beta and the Firefox 15 Aurora as well.
The most predominant upgrades readily visible in the new Firefox are its new and improved security features that “make it easier for users to control their Web experience,” as stated in the official beta launch announcement late last week on the Mozilla blog.
A whole truck load of new features in the upcoming version of this extremely popular free and open source web browser are intended to make the Internet browsing experience a whole lot easier for its users. The release date of the final version won’t be until sometime in July, but until then, here some highlights of some of the key features and improvements you can expect in Firefox 14.
HTTPS will be activated by default for Google searches in the new Firefox 14 beta. This is aimed to protect users “from network infrastructure that may gather data, modify or censor search results,” Mozilla says. This new feature will also block third-party websites from gathering search data when you click link items on the search engine results page (SERP). “We look forward to supporting additional search engines as they enable SSL searches,” Mozilla says.
Better Plugins Control
Firefox 14 beta gives users more control on how plugins like QuickTime play through a new feature that can add a “play” button to all plugin content. Users can now simply click “play” to begin viewing the media right away. “Future releases will include more specific customizations and a robust interface; for now, you can experiment with the feature by selecting plugins.click_to_play to ‘true’ in about:config,” Mozilla says.
The Firefox 14 beta finally introduced the long awaited URL autocomplete. The Awesome bar (URL field) will now automatically offer suggestions to previously visited, or well known URL domains as you begin to type them, making web browsing even faster.
Improved Mac OS X Support
With Firefox 14 Mac users will get native full-screen support for OS X Lion 10.7, providing “a richer and more immersive browsing experience,” Mozilla says.
Better Website Identity Verification
Finally, Firefox 14 beta introduces a new way to show the verified identity of a website in the Awesome bar. A globe icon positioned next to the domain will indicate a website not using SSL encryption, while websites with SSL encryption will include a lock icon and show “https.” Sites that have an Extended Validation (EV) certificate, meanwhile, will be indicated by a green lock icon and include the name of the site owner. Sites with mixed http and https content show a gray triangle icon as a warning. This simple visual guide will make it easier to see the security level of the website you’re visiting, consequently making “spoofing” of secure sites a lot more difficult.
In addition, developers will get a sneak peak at some new key features in Firefox 14 beta, including a pointer lock API and pseudo class lock.
For those of you looking way ahead, Firefox 15 Aurora is now available as well. The most notable new addition to see there is native PDF support – a feature Google Chrome has exclusively had for some time now.
Remember that neither of these new web browser releases are designed for actual steady use, but if you’re interested in getting a sneak peak of what’s to come, they are both available to download with browser support for Mac, Windows, and Linux Distros. Firefox 14 beta is located on the Mozilla Beta page, and the Firefox 15 Aurora on the Aurora channel.