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Firefox Focus: Mozilla’s privacy-focused new browser for iOS devices

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Mozilla’s new Firefox browser for iOS allows private browsing

Mozilla Corp. has released a new browser for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices called Firefox Focus that will allow the users to use the internet without any trace. In other words, Firefox Focus aims to concentrate on user privacy, single page browsing, and an integrated search experience. By default, Firefox Focus blocks ad trackers, and erases your browsing history, including your passwords and cookies.

Explaining in a blog post, Mozilla said: “We live in an age where too many users have lost trust and lack meaningful controls over their digital lives.

“For some users, it seems as though your web activities can follow you everywhere – across devices, across accounts. To make matters worse, the web can often feel cluttered. That’s why we are introducing Firefox Focus.”

It further added, “Firefox Focus is set by default to block many of the trackers that follow you around the Web. You don’t need to change privacy or cookie settings. You can browse with peace of mind, feeling confident in the knowledge that you can instantly erase your sessions with a single tap — no menus needed.”

In the app’s Settings menu, you can enable which trackers you want to block, including ad trackers, analytics trackers, social trackers and other content trackers and web fonts. The company claims that browsing on Firefox Focus is faster compared to other browsers. Thanks to default blocking of trackers and advertisements that slow down page loading times.

“For the times when you don’t want to leave a record on your phone. You may be looking for information that in certain situations is sensitive – searches for engagement rings, flights to Las Vegas or expensive cigars, for example. And sometimes you just want a super simple, super fast Web experience – no tabs, no menus, no pop-ups,” Mozilla said.

However, sometimes you may encounter a site that doesn’t work because it’s dependent on tracking. In this case, Firefox Focus will give you the option to open the site in either Firefox or Safari. After you have completed a search, you can erase it by tapping the “Erase” button, which is located next to the search bar. It’s likely that blocking some content will cause a page to render incorrectly or not at all. For those cases, there is a button at the bottom of the screen to open the same page in Safari.

On the flip side, Firefox Focus lacks features such as ‘Tabs’, ‘Menus’, and other features. Firefox Focus, which has opted to use Yahoo Search as its default search engine does not provide any option to change the default search engine, as of yet.

To activate Firefox Focus for Safari, go to Settings > Safari > Content Blockers > toggle Firefox Focus to on. Then in the Focus app, hit the settings/gear icon on the top right and toggle Safari to on.

The Firefox Focus app is available for free download on Apple’s App Store. The company said that depending on how well the iOS version of Firefox Focus is received by Apple device owners, they may start working on an Android version of the app. However, there is no word on if or when an Android version will be ready.

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Kavita Iyer

An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly who believes in Being Human 

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