Chrome 8 Offers Built-in PDF Tools, Security Fixes
Staying on track with its rapid-fire, six week release cycle for its web browser, Google has pushed out the final version of Chrome 8. The latest release packs in some 800 bug and security fixes, as well as a new inline PDF viewer.
If you’re using the stable, everyday version of Chrome, you should be automatically updated to Chrome 8. If you’re using another release, or would just like to give Chrome a try, head over the Google Chrome download page.
The new, built-in PDF viewer means that when you click on a link to a PDF now, Chrome will no longer download the file to your PC. Instead, Chrome will offer a preview in the browser where you can view and search the document. Also, thanks to the sandboxing model, this decreases the chance of malicious code, malware or anything else bad being delivered through the PDF. Of course, if you then decide to download the file, Chrome won’t protect you from anything that might be lurking inside.
The PDF reader joins Flash in the list of things that Chrome manages for you. That means Google can push out updates and security fixes as needed to these components of its browser, rather than relying on users to update plug-ins themselves. You can disable the PDF viewer (or any other plug-in) by navigating to
about:plugins inside Chrome.
Chrome 8 is also the first version capable of connecting to the Chrome Web Store. Although there’s nothing to see at the moment, Google is planning to release a store similar to the Android Marketplace or Apple’s App Store, but with a focus on web applications, Chrome extensions, and Chrome themes.