Shortly after Firefox regained its No. 2 position in the browser arena, Mozilla on Tuesday unleashed the next version of its popular open source browser complete with fixes for numerous critical vulnerabilities.
Holes associated with a full 14 security advisories were closed in the new Firefox 16, in fact, 11 of them rated “critical.”
Also notable about Firefox 16 are features including a new developer toolbar, early Web app support, preliminary VoiceOver support in the Mac OS X version, and a new Reader Mode in the Android version.
‘A growing set of novel features’
Among the vulnerabilities fixed by Firefox 16 are memory corruption and memory safety hazards, a buffer overflow bug, and a spoofing and script-injection flaw.
With initial support for Web apps in the desktop Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of Firefox 16, meanwhile, developers can now begin building self-contained versions of their websites that are installed by the user, can run offline, and “don’t always require the chrome of a browser window,” Mozilla explains. Web apps also “have access to a growing set of novel features, such as synchronizing across all of a user’s devices,” it adds.
Mac users will find that preliminary support for the VoiceOver screen reader is now turned on by default in Firefox 16, while new features in the Android version include a Safari-like Reader Mode that “removes all the clutter from Web pages and shows you only what you want to read in a minimalist UI,” as Firefox Mobile developer Lucas Rocha explained in a blog post this summer.
Also new on the Android side are the ability to use a “Share” menu item to send tabs to other devices through the “Firefox Sync” option and a feature designed to ensure that malicious “tel: URLs” crafted to wipe the phone can no longer be opened.
Ready to give the latest and greatest Firefox a try for yourself? It’s now available as a free download in desktop and mobile versions on the Mozilla site.
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