Firefox Cliqz Test Pilot experiment available

Mozilla has published a new test pilot project for the organization's Firefox web browser that brings Cliqz suggestions to Firefox's address bar.

Cliqz, available as a standalone desktop browser, mobile apps, and a Firefox extension, is a service that returns rich suggestions as you type.

While most browsers support suggestions, they are limited usually to search queries, page titles, or URLs. Cliqz advances that concept by delivering results directly while you type.

If you type "weather Essen" for instance, you get a weather report and forecast delivered to you directly without having to open any sites for that.

cliqz test pilot firefox

Please note that the Cliqz Test Pilot experiment appears to be limited to deliver German results right now. While it does understand English queries, e.g. weather "cityname", all of its results are in German right now even if your version of Firefox is set to a different language.

The experiment works like any other available for Firefox. Head over to the Firefox Test Pilot website, and install the Test Pilot extension first if you have not done so already.

Once that is out of the way, open the Cliqz page on the Test Pilot site and click on the enable link there to activate it.

Make sure you read the privacy information on the page before you do so. Information, what you type or do, is collected. This includes web page interactions like mouse movements or time spent on sites.

Second note: Mozilla holds an investment in the German Cliqz GMBH since 2016. This was done to strengthen web search in regards to privacy according to the German press release.

Read also:  Crowdfunding for Firefox EPUBReader add-on

Third note: The experiment replaces the home page and the new tab page with a new version. There is no option to prevent this from happening.

It is interesting to note that the Test Pilot experiment resembles the functionality of the Firefox add-on.

You can use it to display direct results to some queries including weather reports, flight information, conversions, news, calculations and more. The experiment may prompt you to share your location with it to deliver local results. If you enter Stau for instance, the German word for traffic jam, you get prompted to share your location with the service.

A click on a result takes you to the site directly without opening a search results page first.

Closing Words

You are probably wondering why Mozilla launched a Test Pilot project for something that is already available as a browser extension. Mozilla did not tell, but the most likely reason is that experiments allow Mozilla to grab telemetry data which it would not have access to otherwise.

It remains to be seen how well this is received by users who take part in the experiment. The browser extension for Firefox is quite popular with roughly 121,000 users currently. (via Sören Hentzschel)

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Firefox Cliqz Test Pilot experiment available
Mozilla has published a new test pilot project for the organization's Firefox web browser that brings Cliqz suggestions to Firefox's address bar.
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Responses to Firefox Cliqz Test Pilot experiment available

  1. Yuliya January 11, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

    Nothankyou, the only suggestions that I need/want are bookmarks and history entries, if any. If they want an improvement in this area, I'd say:

    - more suggestions by default (they're set to some ridiculous value by default which is 10 or 20, thankfully there's an about:config option so I could set it to 250)
    - more than 10 suggestions/page (you can't change ths to my knowledge, and it's extremely frustrating scrolling in that tiny popup)
    - option to include closed tabs in the suggestions list

    • earthling January 11, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

      re: tiny popup with only 10 suggestions.
      I think you can change the size of the popup with custom css.
      You can trim the script down to only what you want and if you don't have/want Greasemonkey you can put the lines into userChrome.css

      • Yuliya January 11, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

        Thank you. This is what I added to chrome css:

        #PopupAutoCompleteRichResult .autocomplete-richlistbox
        height: auto !important;
        max-height: 760px !important;

        Default is 310, 300 for results and 10 for padding, so for 25 results it would be 750 + 10 for padding. It's a lot better :) Still, an about:config option would have been welcome from Mozilla's part.

  2. Peter January 11, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    Seen this bundled with German Avira Scout browser
    Smells like the modern version of Ask toolbar.

  3. Patou January 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    Test pilots are opt-ins and gather data to learn how useful a potential future feature is, where it's lacking, if it's worth it at all, etc. People have to go out of their way to enter test pilots and are warned about data gathering, so it's fair.

    I'm guessing the privacy aspect of the idea is to prevent Google from getting more search queries than necessary and more lever to absorb people into their ecosystem and out of smaller websites ranking top in search results.

    Having not read Cliqz privacy policy, I will default to not trusting them and disabling this feature if it ever reaches Firefox. One reason is that I don't need it anyway, having other means to provide quickly enough the kind of information brought by this feature, without using Google.

    Assuming Cliqz really is privacy friendly this sounds like a feature aimed at improving slightly mainstream users' privacy while providing them with better user experience and not relying on Google ecosystem, which-is-vast-enough-already-let's-keep-monopolies-at-bay-thank-you.

  4. Tom Hawack January 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    I'm not fond of a private company's add-on being brought to Firefox natively, I'm not even interested by add-ons adopted to join Firefox natively. A browser should include IMO what is pertinent, semantically speaking, to the browser and let extensions fulfill their role, that of assistants, by the sole decision of the user.

    What's in perspective? On one hand add-ons which will be limited with WebExtensions, on the other hand add-ons brought to Firefox natively? This is nonsense. I don't care for feature-rich applications, all I want is an application, be it a browser, which has the fundamentals well implanted but no more, with doors to feature-rich extensions and not crappy so called universal Webextensions . What next otherwise? The "USB syndrome" applied to a browser, not the toaster this time but extensions which are valid as a toaster is but NOT integrated to the browser in the same way a toaster is NOT to be fed by the USB. This is typical of a gadget view of functionalities.

    • Fx0 January 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

      I don't get your point because the location bar is one of the most important parts of every browser. So the features of Cliqz make a lot of sense. Of course, not everyone like these kind of features and that's okay. But your argument "A browser should include IMO what is pertinent" does not really make sense to me because it's a pertinent improvement of the location bar.

      I also don't get the point of your second paragraph. What has WebExtensions to do with the features of Cliqz or with Test Pilot in general?

      • Tom Hawack January 11, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

        I don't understand the relationship between the importance of the location bar and the pertinence of an add-on on the ground this add-on develops on that location bar, that is if by "pertinence" we consider including this add-on as a built-in function. I do consider the interest of the concept, worthy as an add-on but not inherent to a browser. So what do I consider a browser's fundamentals? Very simple : everything which, unavailable, would limit the browser's basic functionality : accessing websites and handling all included in a page, from text to images and videos and, IMO, at least basic protection for security and privacy. Besides that, long live add-ons which are to a browser what sauce is to spaghetti : the flavor.

  5. TSJnachos117 January 14, 2017 at 10:31 pm #

    Many people in Firefox's own community are sick of Mozilla bundling crapware into their web browser. How many people actually care about Pocket, or Cliqz, or whatever else is on the horizon? But, I guess they need to do something in order to make Firefox able to do things that require extensions. After all, between DRM-like extension signing, and the deprecation of their browser extension APIs (in favor of the arguably-inferior WebExtension APIs), Firefox isn't going to have much functionality in the all-too-near future without said bundled crapware.

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