Browser News: Firefox 3.6 Upgrade, Rock Your Firefox, Safari 4.0.5, and Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android
Article by George Norman
On 12 Mar 2010
There’s a lot to report from the browser world – and this time it is now about Microsoft and the choice screen (see here, here, and here). Let’s get things started with the Mozilla Foundation and its product, the Firefox browser. The latest iteration, Firefox 3.6, was released by Mozilla late this January. Since its release the browser has been downloaded by more than 100 million times, announced Firefox Director, Mike Beltzner.

“In the past 50 days, Firefox 3.6 has been downloaded over 100,000,000 times by people looking to improve their web experience, and install the world’s best web browser. Mozilla believes that the user’s choice of web browser matters, and is extremely proud of how many people have chosen to use Firefox,” announced Beltzner.

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The news is that as of yesterday, Mozilla started to push out upgrade notifications to people still using older versions of the Firefox browser. People who are still one Firefox 3.0 for example, will get a notification informing them that Firefox 3.6 is the latest and greatest version and that they should upgrade. The notification will show up only after 60 seconds of keyboard inactivity. This way Mozilla wants to ensure it doesn’t interfere with whatever you’re doing.

Staying in the Mozilla camp, the company announced that the codes for Firefox 3.6.2, 3.5.9 and 3.0.19 are now frozen. These updates will be released on March 30th is everything goes according to plan.

Still in the Mozilla camp, the Mozilla Add-ons teams announced the launch of Rock Your Firefox, a new website that presents a lot of new add-ons and a lot of information about add-ons. “Rock Your Firefox will feature reviews, feedback, and insights from people around the Web who are using Firefox Add-ons to make their online experience better. Created to be a friendly channel for add-ons newbies and enthusiasts alike, Rock Your Firefox will be a sister site to the Firefox Add-ons gallery that is currently hosted at addons.mozilla.org (AMO),” explained Julie Shin Choi, Firefox Add-ons Marketing

Moving on, Apple has released version 4.0.5 of its Safari web browser that should make the software a more stable and secure platform. Here is what Safari 4.0.5 brings to the table:
  • Performance improvements for Top Sites
  • Stability improvements for 3rd-party plug-ins
  • Stability improvements for websites with online forms and Scalable Vector Graphics
  • Fixes an issue that prevented Safari from changing settings on some Linksys routers
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some iWork.com users from commenting on documents

From a security point of view, Safari 4.0.5 fixes a grand total of 16 security vulnerabilities (check them out in detail here). If the bits and pieces presented above don’t push you to upgrade, then perhaps the security side of Safari 4.0.5 does. As Senior Technology Consultant with Sophos, Graham Cluley, explained “if you dilly-dally over updating your computer, it's possible that hackers could exploit the security bugs - including some that could mean that simply visiting a webpage with a maliciously crafted image could lead to malicious code being automatically run on your computer.”

Lat but not least, let’s shift focus onto Opera Software. Earlier this month the company announced that it launched a native version of Opera Mini 5 Beta for mobile devices powered by Windows Mobile 5 and 6. Yesterday the Opera Software announced the launch of Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android. Opera Mini for Android comes with the all the features you can expect to get from an Opera Software-developed browser, things like tabbed browsing, bookmarks, Speed Dial, password manager, and a feature that compresses data traffic by up to 90%, allowing webpages to load a lot faster.

“Android users should not have to compromise when it comes to surfing the Web on their phones. Opera Mini will give Android users a fast and cost-efficient access to their favorite Web sites and services,” said Dag Olav Norem, Vice President of Products, Opera Software.
  • Download Firefox 3.6 here.
  • Download Safari 4.0.5 here.
  • Download Opera Mini 5 Beta for Android here.




Tags: Browser, Mozilla, Firefox, Rock Your Firefox, Apple, Safari, Opera Software, Opera Mini, Android
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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