Google Finetunes Chrome 6 Dev, Firefox 4 Inches Towards Beta Release

Google and Mozilla have release new versions of the developer versions of their latest browsers. Chrome 6 focuses on interface improvements and native PDF integration, both of which were updated in the latest builds. Mozilla released the second candidate build of Firefox Beta 1.

Google should be close to be releasing Chrome 6 Beta as the new browser versions shapes up as much more than a minor update. Following the native integration of Flash in Chrome 5, Chrome 6 continues the trend with native PDF integration, which shows PDF files now in a centered view and prints files as vectors and not pixels, which will result in a much sharper and higher quality print.

Flash and PDF in Chrome should not be seen as support for Adobe, but rather as a very aggressive move from Google to actively update its browser when security problems in Flash and PDF are discovered and fixed.

The new version Chrome 6.0.453.1 also sports a consolidated menu, which shows only the “tools” menu to the right of the URL bar. There isn’t much left that Google can cut now and there are first voices that question the purpose of the rather wide URL bar. There have been no visible performance improvements in the current dev version and there is still no clear cut indication that hardware acceleration will make it into Chrome 6. The Chrome versions on Windows, Mac and Linux are still different as far as their features are concerned, but Google said that it is continuing its “feature parity” work.

The stable version of Chrome has been updated to 5.0.375.99, which patches nine security issues; four of them were rated as “high”.

Mozilla has posted Firefox 4.0b1-pre2 as the second candidate build for the Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 release, which was scheduled to hit on June 24. As of early July 5, Mozilla was aware of 230 bugs in the beta candidate build with two of them being categorized as beta blockers and 26 as critical. The current schedule foresees the Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 release notes to be published later today. Mozilla also plans to bring the 4.0 website online today. There was no information when we can expect the Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 to be released, but we hear that Mozilla is shooting for another candidate build and we certainly don’t expect the Beta 1 until all beta blockers have been fixed.

We were also told that Mozilla has canceled the regular Firefox developer’s meeting this week due to the Mozilla Summit meeting. So we do not expect the Beta 1 to be released this week, but expect a mid- to late-July release of Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 instead.

Following our article about the first candidate build of Firefox 4.0 Beta 1, it appears that Mozilla has seen considerable demand for the browser and has removed some public links to the night builds of Firefox 4.0b2-pre. At least as far as we can tell, there have been no feature additions in this second candidate build, which is still listed under the nightly builds of Firefox, but is already sailing under the “Firefox” brand and not under the “Minefield” label that is used by Mozilla to designate developer versions of its browser.

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