Firefox Focus: Mozilla's Ad-Blocking Browser is Now Available for Android

Article by George Norman (Cybersecurity Editor)

on 21 Jun 2017

On one hand, the internet is an amazingly useful tool and we should all be grateful for having it. On the other hand, the internet is full of annoyances: downloads that take forever to complete, websites that spread malware or fake news, social sharing buttons on websites that you don’t want others to know you visit, and much – oh, so much – more.

But the biggest annoyance of them all has to be ads. They use up bandwidth, which means that your browser will take longer to load websites. They use up processing power and slow your PC down to a crawl, especially if it’s an older PC with lousy specs. And last but not least, they annoy the living daylights out of anyone who simply wants to read an article.

Online ads have become such a huge annoyance that ad-blocking software applications are no longer a niche product, they’re used by tens of millions of people and some of the biggest names in the software industry are fighting to find the best way to tackle them.

Google is doing that by removing the bad ones (since Google makes a lot of money from ads, it’s not going to start blocking them). Opera is doing that by adding native ad-blocking capabilities to its web browser. And Mozilla is doing that with Reader View, Tracking Protection, and Firefox Focus.

Reader View offers a clutter-free reading experience. Click the book icon from the Awesome Bar and Firefox will strip all the things that might distract and ruin your reading experience. That means unnecessary buttons, background images, as well as ads. And did you know that Reader View can even read text out loud?

Tracking Protection is a feature that is available within Private Browsing mode. Its official purpose is to block and remove parts of a webpage that may track your browsing activity. But since most ads track you, the "part of a webpage" that will be removed is going to be ads.

Firefox Focus is a mobile app, a fast and privacy-oriented web browser that can block ads and trackers. It was released for iOS back in November 2016, and for Android earlier this week.

As of June 2017, Mozilla’s Firefox Focus ad-blocking web browser is available for both iOS and Android.

"Like the iPhone and iPad version, the Android app is free of tabs and other visual clutter, and erasing your sessions is as easy as a simple tap," said Mozilla in a press release. "Firefox Focus allows you to browse the web without being followed by tracking ads which are notoriously known for slowing down your mobile experience. Why do we block these ad trackers? Because they not only track your behavior without your knowledge, they also slow down the web on your mobile device."

Firefox Focus – Main Features
  • Block ads – the browser blocks ads and many of the trackers that follow you around the web.
  • Browse faster – by blocking ads and other types of trackers, the browser uses less data and loads webpages faster.
  • Erase your sessions – tap the Erase button and the browser will erase all browsing information, including cookies, browsing history, and passwords.
  • Made by Mozilla – the company that believes everyone should have control over their lives online, and has been fighting for this since 1998.

New Features Just for Android
  • Ad tracker counter – see how many ads the browser has blocked.
  • Disable tracker blocker – when a website doesn’t load properly, disable the tracker blocker.
  • Notification reminder – if the browser is running in the background, you’ll get a notification so you can easily tap to erase your browsing history.
"For Android users we also made Focus a great default browser experience," said Mozilla. "Since we support both custom tabs and the ability to disable the ad blocking as needed, it works great with apps like Facebook when you just want to read an article without being tracked. We built Focus to empower you on the mobile web, and we will continue to introduce new features that make our products even better. Thanks for using Firefox Focus for a faster and more private mobile browsing experience."

Go get Firefox Focus for Android from Google Play and Firefox Focus for iOS from Apple’s App Store.

In related news...

Firefox has recently been updated to version 54 and according to Mozilla, this is "the best Firefox ever." By adding support for multiple content processes (a.k.a. implementing the Electrolysis multi-process architecture), Firefox runs smoother, uses less RAM memory, and crashes less.

Download Firefox 54 for Windows right here on FindMySoft.

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