It’s been a long time coming, but Firefox now finally features a built-in PDF viewer. Previously available in the Firefox betas, the HTML5-based PDF viewer has now made it into the stable release with the launch of Firefox 19 for Windows, Mac and Linux today. This new PDF viewer, which is the result of a research project named PDF.js, makes use of the standard HTML5 APIs to allow the browser to quickly render standard PDF files without the need for a plugin like Foxit Reader or Sumatra PDF.
Google’s Chrome, of course, has long featured a PDF viewer, and it took Mozilla quite a while to land this feature in its browser. Still, this is a welcome addition to Firefox’s feature set and works very well overall, though the font rendering sometimes seems a bit off and could be smoother by default.
Most of the other additions to Firefox 19 are mostly geared toward developers and include support for the CSS @page element and updates to the built-in debugger for add-on and browser developers. You can find the full release notes here.
As for Firefox on Android, Mozilla has now lowered the minimum CPU requirement to 600MHz. This, the Firefox team says, means it will now run on over 15 million devices, including the LG Optimus One, T-Mobile myTouch 3G slide, HTC Wildfire S and ZTE R750.
In addition, the mobile version now supports themes for those who want to give their mobile browser a more personal feel. The browser now also includes support for Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
Firefox is a Web browser created Mozilla Corporation. Since its release in 2002 (as Phoenix 0.1, later named as Firebird then Firefox as of 0.8 to present), the browser has become one of the most popular Web browsers in the market, trailing only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as of July 2009.
Born from Netscape’s 1998 open sourcing of the code base behind its Netscape Communicator internet suite, Mozilla Firefox currently holds approximately 22.48% of the world market for internet browsers as of April 2009. Version 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004 after a series of name changes, and within a year close to 100 million downloads of the browser technology had occurred. The following two years saw upgrades to version 1.5 in November 2005 and 2.0 in October 2006....