When we first launched Firefox Focus, we wanted to quickly deliver a streamlined private browsing experience for your mobile device. Since then, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many people use Focus for more than just private browsing and we’ve made Focus better with a thoughtful set of features based on what our users are telling us. Custom tabs, tracker counter, full screen mode and so much more have been the result. Today, we’re pleased to announce another big update with another much-requested feature, a design refresh, and an exciting change to the underlying technology behind Focus for Android.
Learn more: search suggestions and home screen tips
Missed one of the feature releases? No problem! Now, we’re going to present the core functionalities of Firefox Focus on the start screen to give an overview of the whole range of possibilities your privacy browser has to offer – in a clear and unobtrusive way, not interrupting the usage at all and automatically refreshing after each click on the Erase button.
Just open the browser and you’ll see helpful feature recommendations in your preferred language on the Firefox Focus start screen (Android). For iOS users, the feature is currently available in English language.
Search suggestions are a key part of web search that can make searching more convenient. Easily activate the feature by opening the app settings > “Search” > select the checkbox “Get search suggestions”.
We’re aware that privacy is a top priority for many Firefox Focus users and you might not want to share what you’re typing in the address bar with your search provider. So, the feature is turned “off” by default and we let you choose whether or not you want to turn it on. Why? Because that’s our style!
Find what you’re looking for quickly – with search recommendations.
Siri Shortcuts for iOS users
In addition to home screen tips, iOS users will receive another much asked feature with today’s release: Siri Shortcuts. Siri is one of the more popular features on iOS devices and we’re all about ease for our users. So, in order to improve the Firefox Focus for iOS user experience further, you’ll now be able to set and open a favourite website, erase and open Firefox Focus, as well as erase in the background via shortcuts.
In line with updated designs
Style is key to today’s Firefox Focus release: the browser’s visual design is now completely optimised for the recently released Android Pie. New icons, a customised URL bar and a simplified settings menu make it easier to use and provide for a consistent user experience.
But no need for iOS users to feel left out: the new Firefox Focus has a fresh look for iOS 12.
Presentation matters: the new Firefox Focus comes with an updated design system, optimized for Android Pie (left) and iOS 12 (right).
A new engine for the Firefox Android browsers
While the new app design is obviously an eye-catcher, we’ve also made a groundbreaking change to the underlying Firefox Focus framework that’s not visible at first glance – but will make a huge difference in future releases. Focus is now based on GeckoView, Mozilla’s own mobile engine, making it a pioneer among our Android apps.
Switching to GeckoView will give Focus the benefits of Gecko’s Quantum improvements and enables Mozilla to implement unique privacy-enhancing features in the future, such as reducing the potential of third party collection. For now, you won’t notice much, but you’ll be helping us create the next generation of Firefox browsers just by using Focus, and we’ll return the favour by giving our Focus users unique features that other browsers on Android simply won’t be able to offer.
We’ll make sure to keep you updated on the progress as well as all new developments around Firefox Focus on this blog and are looking forward to your feedback! For now, if you’d like to learn more about the future of our privacy browser, please have a look at this post on the Mozilla Hacks Blog.