Citing the dangers of a digital world that threatens to spill beyond the user's control, Mozilla has launched the Firefox Focus last Nov. 17. The company promised it will let the public use the internet without any trace, and it is only available to iPhones and other iOS devices.
New Private Browser
Firefox Focus is essentially a private browser that recalls Google Chrome's Incognito mode.
"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," Mozilla said in a blog post. "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."
Based on Mozilla's description, however, it seems that it might be offering an advanced private browsing in the Firefox Focus. Chrome's Incognito Mode does not prevent websites from tracking your activities.
"You aren't invisible," Chrome tells you when opening an Incognito window. "Going incognito doesn't hide your browsing from your employer, your internet service provider, or the websites you visit."
Blocking Web Trackers
Firefox Focus blocks websites that are tracking visitors' activities, which also sets it apart from a VPN tool. According to Mozilla, its algorithm is designed to target web tracking technologies, and websites that rely on tracking will simply not work. If a user does not mind tracking or wants to go to a blocked website, Firefox Focus will direct him to Firefox or Safari.
It is important to note that there is a Firefox Focus serving as a Safari content blocker extension. With the introduction of a stand-alone Focus browser, that feature became an option within its range of functionalities. In its Settings menu, there is an option to integrate Safari and enable tracking blocker.
Like Chrome's Incognito browsing, Focus will erase all traces of the user's sessions when the app is closed.
Firefox Focus Interface
The user interface is another notable feature in the Firefox Focus. The options and elements are essentially barebones. Users, for instance, can only use one tab or essentially no tab because you only have the main Focus window. There are also no menus, ad popups, bookmarks and configuration options.
Some observers, however, found it strange that Mozilla has decided to use Yahoo as Firefox Focus' default search engine. The company has been involved in one of the largest data breaches to date. There is no way of changing the search engine yet, but Mozilla said that it will be offering more choices in the next update.
Focus On Speed
According to Mozilla, because Focus blocks website trackers and is not outfitted with all the features in conventional browsers, it is able to load pages faster.
There are those who could say that the Firefox Focus is at risk of being a mere appendage of a more full-fledged internet browser. Blocking web tracking technologies could make contents such as videos disappear, or they will simply not work. However, users can still do something about this. In the Settings menu, they can toggle the type of data that they want to block.