Firefox Focus not a high priority currently - gHacks Tech News

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Firefox Focus not a high priority currently

Mozilla released quite a few web browsers for Android in the past and is working on a new mobile browser for the operating system at the time of writing.

One question that might come to the mind of current Firefox users is how the upcoming release of the new Firefox browser for Android (named Firefox Preview currently) affects current browsers.

firefox focus android

Besides Firefox for Android, which is the current default browser, there is also Firefox Focus for Android and Firefox Lite.

Firefox Focus for Android (called Firefox Klar in German speaking countries) is a mobile browser that is focused on improving privacy by blocking certain trackers and advertisement automatically, and gives users easy options to clear browsing data. Firefox Lite is a lightweight version of Firefox that has been released in some regions only.

When you visit the Firefox Focus for Android project page on GitHub, you find the following note attached to the top of the page:

Note: Development of this project is not currently a high priority, and thus we cannot guarantee timely reviews or interactions on this repository. If you would like to contribute to one of our other Android projects, we recommend checking out Android Components. We greatly appreciate your interest in and contributions towards Focus and look forward to working with you on other projects!

In other words: the development of the new Firefox for Android web browser is prioritized. While it is certainly possible that development resources could be shifted again after the release of the new browser, it is also possible that the project won't receive much attention anymore once the browser is released.

Firefox Focus was off to a bad start as the privacy-focused browser was set up to collect analytics data and to submit the data to a third-party company.

The upcoming version of Firefox for Android blocks certain content and scripts automatically as well thanks to the built-in Tracking Protection implementation. Mozilla enabled and improved Tracking Protection recently by default in desktop versions of the Firefox web browser.

Closing Words

All development resources focus on the new Firefox mobile browser currently at Mozilla. Firefox Fenix, the codename of the browser, includes many of the features that made Firefox Focus a privacy-focused browser.

If I had to make an educated guess, I'd say that Firefox Focus won't receive much love anymore even after the release of Firefox Fenix as it could be replaced by the new browser and would do away with some of the confusion caused by Mozilla maintaining multiple browsers on Android.

Now You: What is your take on all of this?

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Firefox Focus not a high priority currently
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Firefox Focus not a high priority currently
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Firefox Focus, a mobile browser designed to improve privacy on the Web, is no longer a high priority for Mozilla.
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Comments

  1. Ray said on June 16, 2019 at 8:24 am
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    I like Focus/Klar as it’s a really simple browser to use when I just need to load up something quick and fast, while also purging everything fast. I wish some team can fork it and maintain it to give us the option to use either WebView or GeckoView.

    Firefox Lite is not good enough. The options are not as configurable and Mozilla tries to set its affiliate links on the homepage all the time.

    I’m waiting for Firefox Preview to be more mature before I can try it.

    1. bwat47 said on June 18, 2019 at 8:42 pm
      Reply

      I think you’ll like the new Firefox, to me it feels just as light and fast as Focus

  2. Tom said on June 16, 2019 at 8:57 am
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    Removed Firefox Focus from all my Android devices a while ago, after Mozilla failed to provide contemporary updates and necessary features like an usable bookmarks area and comfortable tab navigation.

    Fx Focus offers no advantage over any other Chromium based browser with a “private” mode.

    1. DeadFoxFire said on June 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm
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      +1. Consequent Mozilla fails in the last few years made me switch to Brave on desktop and mobile. Firefox is dead for me.

      1. Stan said on June 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm
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        +2 Android is a Mozilla/Drama Free zone for me, I’m no expert on cell browsers but Brave works fine.

  3. Sam said on June 16, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    I genuinely love using Firefox Focus, the single tab idea and the simplicity is a clear win for my usage scenario.

    I sincerely hope it doesn’t die, or at least they consider adding the same experience in the new development as an option. One tab, block ads/tracking, one button to clear all.

  4. Anonymous said on June 16, 2019 at 9:56 am
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    I’ve said this before: Firefox is diluting its brand by releasing hugely different products (not just browsers!) with its name. The most sense that I can make of this push is that Firefox wants to be Google and Mozilla wants to be Alphabet.

    Speaking of, Google is already in a vicious cycle of product shutdowns elsewhere. Let’s hope the trend of throwing away years of work (looking at you, both Edge and Firefox) doesn’t set the tone for mobile browsers.

  5. Anonymous said on June 16, 2019 at 11:14 am
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    “Firefox Focus was off to a bad start as the privacy-focused browser was set up to collect analytics data and to submit the data to a third-party company.”

    I don’t think that they stopped. The latest version I can scan still has the Adjust tracker

    https://reports.exodus-privacy.eu.org/en/reports/39500/

    and this is confirmed in the Firefox Focus privacy policy. And this is in addition to the numerous privacy problems it inherits from desktop Firefox.

  6. Yuliya said on June 16, 2019 at 11:39 am
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    “the privacy-focused browser was set up to collect analytics data and to submit the data to a third-party company”
    This should be written in bold, underlined, and maybe use a bigger font as well.

    1. Anonymous said on June 16, 2019 at 3:30 pm
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      Privacy focused means the data is private to Mozilla lol

      1. Anonymous said on June 17, 2019 at 9:02 pm
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        “Privacy focused means the data is private to Mozilla lol”

        Well, not even. They submit data to third-party companies. But to justify this they have used the motto that “we trust X, and you trust us, therefore you should trust X too”, X being alternatively Cliqz, Google, Cloudflare, Adjust, Leanplum…

        Corollary : I don’t trust X, therefore I don’t trust YOU any more, Mozilla.

      2. John Fenderson said on June 18, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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        @Anonymous: “to justify this they have used the motto that “we trust X, and you trust us, therefore you should trust X too””

        This, so much! Plus their often-used argument that “yes, that company may be generally shifty, but we’ve fixed that by having a contract with them that prohibits their shifty activity”.

        I’m also reminded of the old saying: “never trust anyone who says ‘trust me'”.

  7. flash said on June 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm
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    That’s what happens when Mozilla has a whole host of mobile browsers, some fall by the wayside. Off the top of my head I can think of Fennec (the mobile version of the current Firefox), Fenix (the new one), Firefox for iOS and Focus.

    That makes three separate development paths on Android and I for one am not happy with either of them. If it weren’t for the extension capability in Fennec, I’d have gone looking already.

  8. Deo et Patriae said on June 16, 2019 at 1:45 pm
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    Firefox’s priority should be perfect webrender and light UI, Edge CHR.

    Currently all, browsers and plays ( output and Hardware Acceleration ) alike started using DX11. I wonder. Especially the new HA could be called DXVA 3.0. I wonder if the same can happen with DX12.

  9. sp808 said on June 16, 2019 at 1:53 pm
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    Suggestion for theor dumb marketing dept: start two or three “new” browsers. For gamers, for hipsters, for woman and for kids.

  10. ddguser said on June 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm
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    I switched from Firefox Klar to DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser, which is also available on F-Droid and still maintained:
    https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.duckduckgo.mobile.android/
    And Github:
    https://github.com/duckduckgo/Android

  11. MdN said on June 16, 2019 at 2:08 pm
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    Mine just got an update today, after quite a while. I like it, when I need to look up something quickly and then erase the history completely, I use this one. I’ve set it as default browser, so if an app wants to open a browser it automatically uses Focus (can’t do this with a private mode of a normal browser).

  12. Clairvaux said on June 16, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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    Mozilla reminds me of Microsoft. They have a hundred competing and similar projects going on, you don’t understand zilch about their product lineup, and they keep throwing things at the wall to see if they stick.

    Three different flavors of Firefox for the same operating system ? Are you kidding me ? Choose one, make sure it’s the right one, and be consistent with it.

    Mozilla seems to think we’re guinea pigs to be used at will, learning one product or feature, then having to un-learn it because the luminaries up there have suddenly changed their minds.

    I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing any of this with Vivaldi or Tor browser. Or a thousand other software products, apart from browsers.

    1. anonymous said on June 17, 2019 at 12:39 am
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      Right on! All these different browsers by Mozilla divides attention and resources. They should have one browser for all.

    2. jern said on June 17, 2019 at 1:12 am
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      Clairvaux writes:
      I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing any of this with Vivaldi or Tor browser. Or a thousand other software products, apart from browsers.

      Sellers want to sell. To do that, they need market info and they need to be able to detect changes in the market. The current best way to do that is by tracking people on the internet. However, many people don’t want to be tracked and add safeguards to their browsers. Bypassing those user safeguards requires changing the browsers – constantly. That’s where the money is.

      1. John Fenderson said on June 19, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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        @jern: “The current best way to do that is by tracking people on the internet.”

        That’s what the internet marketing agencies claim, but there is a growing amount of evidence indicating this may not be true at all. I think the jury is out on this.

  13. Fawkass said on June 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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    Seemed like an unfocused project from the get go.

  14. svim said on June 16, 2019 at 5:59 pm
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    Well the article refers to its Github page but for those of us who rely on the Google Play Store there was an update just yesterday (19-06-15). The last update was a couple of months ago so yeah, it’s not getting updated as frequently as the Firefox app but I’ve always considered Firefox Focus to be more in line with Firefox ESR.

  15. ULBoom said on June 16, 2019 at 6:06 pm
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    Not sure why Mozilla ever developed focus but it’s the only browser I allow on our phones. It’s simple, does what we want and doesn’t barrage you much with ads and clickbait. Yes, it does have tabs contrary to what some think. Not sure focus really needs a lot of updates since it’s fairly bare bones.

    Focus is not supposed to be a full featured browser like many of the others, just a way to get online in a simple manner. Phones are too tiny for browsing to be anything but constant scrolling, anyway. And the ads, OMG!

    If focus dies out, we’ll use Fenix or something, anything but Chrome.

    Most of the people I’ve asked say they don’t browse much on their phones, they use apps to access social media, shopping, etc. Maybe that’s not representative of all users but I can see why they would say that.

    Over the last few years, awareness of data collection has grown so much, along with justified ire over it, that it’s baffling some users, two years later, are still stuck on focus’ opt out feature. One that’s not even remotely buried; it’s one of the first settings you see.

    Expecting no one’s even going to try to collect data is asking to be repeatedly jilted.

  16. clake said on June 16, 2019 at 6:30 pm
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    The current focus branch does not seem to be of any advantage. But the firefox-lite, more like the original focus, but with bookmark function, is still viable where underpowered devices are ubiquitous.
    I used that (from f-droid) for awhile but it started to annoy me, so uninstalled.

  17. Jody Thornton said on June 16, 2019 at 11:30 pm
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    I just picked up an LG Tablet for cheap with Nougat on it. I am now using Edge for Android. It’s actually browses like a champ. Worth a try folks!

  18. Mo said on June 17, 2019 at 1:37 am
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    Guess time to just use Firefox Preview. Crashes a bit here and there but quite fast and usable for the amount of mobile web browsing I do.

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