Mozilla released Beta 2 of its upcoming Firefox 2 browser for developer review Aug. 31, emphasizing that it is being made available for testing purposes only. The release contains a number of new features, as well as some enhancements to look and feel.
"Firefox 2 Beta 2 is intended for Web application developers and our testing community," the team said on the Mozilla development website. "Current users of Firefox 1.x should not use Firefox 2 Beta 2 and expect all of their extensions and plugins to work properly.
The final Firefox 2.0 is expected to be completed in October, the team said on the team wiki. The first release candidate is expected to debut Sept. 13.
Key new features in Beta 2, as listed by the team, include:1. Visual refresh—Firefox 2s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them.
2. Built-in phishing protection—Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled.
3. Enhanced search capabilities—Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or Answers.com search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.