Firefox Focus

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Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus Logo, 2017.svg
Developer(s) Mozilla Foundation
Mozilla Corporation
Initial release December 7, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-12-07)[1]
Development status Active
Type Mobile browser, Ad-Blocker
License MPL
Website www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/focus/

Firefox Focus is a free and open-source privacy-focused browser from Mozilla, available for Android[2][3] and iOS smartphones and tablets.[4][5] Firefox Focus initially was a tracker-blocking application for mobile iOS devices, released in December 2015.[6] It has been developed into a minimalistic web browser shortly afterwards.[7] However, it can still work solely as a tracking-blocker in the background of the Safari browser on Apple devices.

In June 2017 the first release for Android platform went public and has been downloaded over 1 million times in the first month.[8] It is available in 27 languages.[9] Since July 2018 Firefox Focus is preinstalled on the BlackBerry Key2 as part of the application Locker.[10][11]

To bypass content-blocker restrictions from Apple, Firefox Focus is using the UIWebView-API on iOS devices.[12][13] On Android, it has been using the Blink engine in version 6.x or earlier, and GeckoView since version 7.0.[14]

Tracking protection

Firefox Focus settings screenshot
Firefox Focus settings page

Firefox Focus is designed to block online trackers, including third-party advertising, with the end goal of both improving browsing speed and protecting user's privacy. Content blocking is achieved using the Disconnect block lists.[15][16] The blocking of third-party trackers (except "other content trackers") is enabled by default. In the other Firefox browsers, users have to enable the Tracking Protection feature inside the browser preferences manually.[17] Users can also view types of trackers on a page by tapping on the shield icon next to the URL bar. A panel will pop-up and shows what kind of trackers are on that page: ad trackers, analytics trackers, social trackers or content trackers.[18]

Functions

Firefox Focus can be set as content-blocker in the Safari web browser options.[19] After activating the Safari integration in the Firefox Focus settings, it will disable trackers automatically in the background when browsing using the Safari browser.

Pressing the trash icon while browsing will delete all session data and refer to the startscreen, that is displaying the customisable search bar. Tabs can be opened by long-pressing an URL on a website. Favourite links can be set on the homescreen of the device.

Firefox Focus contains a option called telemetry. By activating it, users allow Mozilla to collect and receive non personal-identifiable information to improve Firefox.[20] Due to privacy concerns, telemetry of Firefox Klar is disabled by default.[21]

Minimum device requirements

There are some minimum hardware requirements to remove tracking contents. The mechanism needs hardware that can handle the extra load of content blocking so it only works on 64-Bit devices running iOS 9 and above including:[22]

  • iPhone 5s and newer
  • iPad Air and newer
  • iPad mini 2 and newer
  • iPod touch from the 6th generation

Firefox Klar

"Firefox Klar" is the modified version with telemetry disabled released for German-speaking countries.[23] in order to avoid the ambiguity with the German news magazine FOCUS.[24] F-Droid uses this flavor due to telemetry being disabled by default in Klar.[25][26]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "Focus by Firefox - Content Blocking tor the Open Web - Mozilla". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  2. ^ Mozilla. "Firefox Focus Browser". Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  3. ^ Cat Ellis. "techradar.com - Firefox Focus private browser arrives on Android". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  4. ^ "engadget.com - Firefox Focus brings easy private browsing to your iPhone". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  5. ^ "theguardian.com - Firefox Focus: new app offers very private browsing". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  6. ^ Jose Vilches. "techspot.com - Firefox Focus for iOS makes private browsing quick and easy". Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Introducing Firefox Focus – A Free, Fast Private Browser for iPhone - Mozilla". Mozilla Foundation. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Firefox Klar Eine Million Downloads" (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  9. ^ "now available in 27 languages". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  10. ^ "new features in firefox focus for ios android now also on the blackberry key2". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  11. ^ "Firefox Focus gets new Features on Android and iOS and comes to the latest Blackberry". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  12. ^ "UiWebview". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  13. ^ "heise.de Mozilla veröffentlicht Content-Blocker für iOS" (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  14. ^ "What's new in Firefox Focus for Android (version 7) | Firefox Focus Help". support.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  15. ^ focus-android: Firefox Focus: The privacy browser - Browse like no one’s watching, Mozilla Mobile, 2017-11-13, retrieved 2017-11-13
  16. ^ "forbes.com - The iPhone Just Got A New Super-Private Firefox Browser". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  17. ^ "Tracking Protection | Firefox Help". support.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  18. ^ Andrew Travers. "trvrs.co - Browse, erase, repeat". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  19. ^ "lifewire.com - Firefox Focus Browser for iOS". Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  20. ^ Mozilla Wiki: Telemetry
  21. ^ Telemetry Readme - Firefox Focus on GitHub "Builds of "Focus for Android" have telemetry enabled by default ("opt-out") while builds of "Klar for Android" have telemetry disabled by default."
  22. ^ "support.mozilla.org - Firefox Focus requirements". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  23. ^ Mozilla. "Was ist Firefox Klar?". Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  24. ^ "I can't find Firefox Focus in Germany, Austria or Switzerland | Firefox Klar Help". support.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  25. ^ "Mozilla Klar (#235) · Issues · F-Droid / Requests For Packaging". GitLab. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  26. ^ "Antifeature:Tracking - F-Droid". f-droid.org. Retrieved 2018-09-14.

External links

  • Firefox Focus for iOS and Android Official website
  • Firefox Focus for iOS on the App Store
  • Firefox Focus for Android on Google Play
  • Firefox Klar for Android on F-Droid
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