Only a few weeks after Adobe’s announcement of Acrobat Reader X (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.
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.