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Google’s much-revered web browser Chrome received an update yesterday, with version 8 of the browser bringing in hundreds of improvements over the previous version.

Only a few weeks after Adobe’s announcement of Acrobat Reader X Adobe Reader X Adds Protected Mode for Windows Users, Android Gets New Features [News] Adobe Reader X Adds Protected Mode for Windows Users, Android Gets New Features [News] Read More (which added a sandbox mode, for safer PDF viewing) Google have announced their own support for PDF documents within the browser. Chrome 8 (build 8.0.552.215) supports the viewing of PDFs natively, without the need for plugins or additional software.

The development team announced that much like Adobe’s latest offering, PDF support in Chrome would run within a sandbox environment for added security. This latest release also adds support for the Chrome Web Store, Google’s answer to the distribution of web-based applications.


Only 13 of the changes made to the browser are directly related to security issues. Windows, Mac and Linux users can get their hands on the browser now at the Chrome homepage.

Google’s next release (version 9) is already available for preview on the Chrome developer channel, with in-built support for Flash (running in a sandbox) for the Windows version.

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Google are currently striving to provide a secure solution, stating in a blog post: “This initial Flash Player sandbox is an important milestone in making Chrome even safer. In particular, users of Windows XP will see a major security benefit, as Chrome is currently the only browser on the XP platform that runs Flash Player in a sandbox.”

The team are still improving support before rolling out Mac and Linux versions: “We’re working to improve protection against additional attack vectors, and will be using this initial effort to provide fully sandboxed implementations of the Flash Player on all platforms.”

Anyone interested in accessing the latest developer builds can follow Google’s full instructions.

  1. Hyoung
    February 18, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Great, now when can I change my bookmark icons? Chrome is a great browser, but the lack of cool extensions and customization like Firefox really bothers me.

  2. Meme
    December 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I only just wiped all traces of Chrome from my machine, the only way I'll put it back on is if I'm given complete control on what and when it updates, otherwise it's still just a virus to me.

  3. Tim Brookes
    December 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Yeah I'd agree. It doesn't hurt to have a PDF reader installed on your PC as well.

    I personally use Evince on my Ubuntu 10.10 laptop - http://projects.gnome.org/evin...

  4. Hector M.
    December 6, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Great! I uninstalled Adobe reader a while ago, I now use Chrome to read PDF docs.

    • venkat
      December 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

      Exactly, but Chrome PDF viewer is not substitute for PDF Reader . Chrome PDF Viewer has only few features when Compared to PDF Readers like Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader and Nitro PDF Reader.

      • Tim Brookes
        December 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm

        Yeah I'd agree. It doesn't hurt to have a PDF reader installed on your PC as well.

        I personally use Evince on my Ubuntu 10.10 laptop - http://projects.gnome.org/evince/

  5. David Levine
    December 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Is there a difference between how Chrome 8 renders PDFs compared to 6 and 7?

    • venkat
      December 6, 2010 at 2:37 am

      In Chrome 7 Chrome PDF Viewer disabled by defualt, now in Chrome 8 its enabled by default in secured Chrome's Sandbox, definitely there is improvement as Chrome renders PDFs like pages.

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