A new version of the Waterfox web browser for Google's Android operating system has been released. The developer of Waterfox released a first public version of Waterfox for Android in 2017.
The developer of Waterfox, Alex Kontos, released the new Android version of the web browser with big privacy improvements that should appeal to Android users who are interested in privacy.
The new version is based on Tor and features all the privacy improvements that Tor developers added to the base Firefox version the project is based on.
The developer promises that Waterfox for Android does not restrict users in regards to extensions that they can run in the browser, and that it does not collect or transfer Telemetry data to Mozilla, the Waterfox project, or installation trackers.
The browser comes without Google Play Services integration. Pocket, a read-it-later and recommendation service that Mozilla integrated in Firefox has been removed, and all telemetry and data collecting of Firefox has been disabled next to that.
Tracking Protection has been enabled by default, patches from Tor integrated to limit fingerprinting, and as many app permissions as possible has been removed without compromising core functionality.
Thanks to Tor, Waterfox users don't have to worry about third-party cookies as those are blocked by default. You may enable them under Settings > Privacy if you wish so however.
Waterfox works pretty much as you'd expect a browser to work. Fire it up and you are greeted with a list of top sites, bookmarks and history that you can tap on to load automatically. Only two top sites come with default installations and they both point to the Waterfox project.
You can use the address bar to load any website; if you have used a copy of Firefox for Android in the past you will notice the resemblance with Mozilla's browser.
Sync is integrated in the browser but the browser seems to crash when you select the option to sync browsing data under History on the new tab page.
Waterfox does not restrict add-ons that you can install in the browser (provided that they are compatible with that particular version).
Select Menu > Tools > Add-ons to display installed extensions and to open the official Firefox add-ons repository to download and install browser extensions in the mobile browser.
Web compatibility should be good in general but you may run into sites optimized for Google Chrome and other Chromium browsers that may refuse to work in Waterfox for Android, or may not work as good as in Chrome.
The new version of Waterfox for Android feels quite snappy. I only had limited time to take the mobile browser for a test drive but what I saw was promising. I installed some browser add-ons in the mobile browser and visited popular sites such as YouTube, Amazon, or eBay to make sure they worked well in the browser (which they did).
Sorry for the lack of screenshots but Waterfox for Android prevents the screenshot function of Android (just like Tor does).
If you have played around with Waterfox for Android already let me know about your experience by leaving a comment below.Advertisement
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