The Internet is a huge playground, but also has a few dark corners. In order to ensure that users still feel secure and protected while browsing, we’ve implemented features that offer privacy and control in all of our products, including Firefox Focus.
Today’s release truly reflects this philosophy: Android users can now individually decide which publishers they want to share data with and are warned when they access risky content. We also have an update for iOS users with Search Suggestions.
Enhanced privacy settings in Firefox Focus
We initially created Firefox Focus to provide smartphone users with a tracking-free browsing experience that allows them to feel safe when navigating the web, and do it faster, too. However, cookies and trackers can create snail-paced experiences, and are also used to follow users across the Internet – often times without their knowledge. At Firefox, we are committed to giving users control and letting them decide what information is collected about them, which is why we recently introduced our Enhanced Tracking Protection approach and added corresponding improvements to Firefox for desktop. Today we are pleased to announce that Firefox Focus is following this lead.
Now you have more choices. You can choose to block all cookies on a website, no cookies at all – the default so far –, third party cookies or only 3rd party tracking cookies as defined by Disconnect’s Tracking Protection list. If you go with the latter option, which is new to Firefox Focus and also the new default, cross-site tracking will be prevented. This enables you to allow cookies if they contribute to the user experience for a website while still preventing trackers from being able to track you across multiple sites, offering you the same products over and over again and recording your online behavior.
Firefox Focus now allows users to choose individually which cookies to accept.
When you block cookies, you might find that some pages may no longer work properly. But no worries, we’re here to offer a solution: With just 2 clicks you can now add websites to the new Firefox Focus “allowlist”, which unblocks cookies and trackers for the current page visit. As soon as you navigate to another website, the setting resets so you don’t have to worry about a forgotten setting that could weaken your privacy.
The new Firefox Focus allowlist unblocks cookies and trackers for the current page visit.
An update on GeckoView
In October we were happy to announce that Firefox Focus was going to be powered by Mozilla’s own mobile engine GeckoView. It allows us to implement many amazing new features. We are currently working on a good deal of under-the-hood improvements to enhance the performance of GeckoView. Occasionally some minor bugs may still occur and we’re looking forward to gathering your feedback, learning from your experiences with GeckoView and improving the engine accordingly.
In order to provide our users with another GeckoView sneak peek and something to test, we’re proud to also provide a new feature today: Thanks to in-browser security warnings, your mobile web browsing will now be a lot less risky. Firefox Focus will check URLs against Google’s constantly updated lists of unsafe web resources, which includes phishing and other fraudulent sites, and will provide an alert if you reach an unsafe site. You may then either follow to safety, or ignore to continue navigating to the requested site. After all, we value users’ right to choose how to browse, and want to make sure they’re able to make informed choices.
Firefox Focus now warns against phishing and other fraudulent sites.
Firefox Focus for iOS now supports search suggestions
Search suggestions are an important component of searching the web and can make it so much more convenient. That’s why we’re making this feature available to iOS users today, after introducing it to Firefox Focus for Android in October. You can easily activate the feature by opening the app settings > click on “Search” > and select “Get search suggestions”.
New for iOS users: get search suggestions and find what you’re looking for even faster!
Get Firefox Focus now
The latest version of Firefox Focus for Android and iOS is now available for download on Google Play and in the App Store.