The first beta of Firefox 14 has been made available for testing and adds new security features designed to give users more control over their browsing experience. The new beta channel release sees the site identity indicator updated to better convey the security of and verify the identify of a web site in the “Awesome Bar” smart URL bar.
Source: MozillaFor sites not using SSL encryption, a globe icon is shown next to the site’s domain, while sites with SSL encryption enabled display a lock and show HTTPS in the URL (http:// is hidden for non-SSL pages). Sites with an Extended Validation (EV) Certificate will be displayed with a green lock and the name of the site’s owner; those with mixed encrypted and unencrypted content display a grey triangle warning icon.
As expected, version 14 of the open source web browser now sends all search queries to Google in encrypted form by default using the HTTPS protocol. This means that all traffic between the web site and browser will be secured using SSL; Google switched to using HTTPS by default on its global search pages for users signed into their Google accounts in March. Mozilla says that it will likely add support for SSL searches on additional engines in the future.
Plugins such as Flash and QuickTime can now be configured to load only when users click on a “play” button; “click to play” is currently disabled by default and must be enabled by setting
plugins.click_to_play to true in
about:config. Other changes include native fullscreen mode support on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and support for auto-completing typed URLs in the Awesome Bar.
New features aimed at developers include the addition of a new API to prevent displays from sleeping and implementation of the Pointer Lock (formerly mouse lock) API, as well as fixes for the text-transform and font-variant CSS properties to better handle Turkic languages and Greek characters.
More details about the beta, including a list of known issues, can be found in therelease notes and in the blog post announcement. Firefox 14 Beta can bedownloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and is licensed under the MPL 2.0. The current stable release is Firefox 13 from earlier this month.