SmartCookieWeb Preview is a Telemetry-free browser based on Mozilla's GeckoView component

Martin Brinkmann
May 4, 2021
Updated • May 5, 2021
Google Android, Internet

The developer of SmartCookieWeb, a WebView-based mobile browser for Android that is based on Lightning browser, has released public beta versions of the upcoming GeckoView-based browser SmartCookieWeb Preview for Android.

Like SmartCookieWeb, SmartCookieWeb Preview aims to offer a streamlined privacy protecting browsing experience on Android.

The web browser uses Mozilla's GeckoView component, which powers the new Firefox for Android, as its browsing engine. The developer plans to release monthly updates once a stable version of the mobile browser has been released.

SmartCookieWeb has a popular followership, thanks to several built-in features. It does not collect Telemetry, blocks ads and trackers out of the box, includes support for downloading videos, and supports userscripts.

SmartCookieWeb Preview does not collect Telemetry as well, but instead of using built-in protections against trackers and ads, it is supporting Firefox mobile add-ons.

biscuitbrowser android firefox

Add-on support is limited to several dozen extensions at the time of writing. You find popular add-ons such as uBlock Origin, AdGuard Blocker, Translate Web Pages, NoScript Security Suite, I don't care about cookies, or Violentmonkey on the list. The browser, while still in beta, is already supporting more extensions than the latest Nightly version of Firefox for Android. All it takes to install an add-on is to open the add-ons manager and tap on the desired add-on. Prompts and permissions are displayed, and if accepted, the add-on is installed and usable in the browser.

Even better: SmartCookieWeb Preview users may open issues on the project's GitHub webpage to suggest new add-ons for inclusion in the add-on listing or open issues for add-ons that are already available.

A quick test using the browser showed that it works well and opened sites quickly, just like Mozilla's new Firefox browser for Android. The ability to install more extensions by default is a welcome feature. While Nightly users may use custom add-ons list to install extensions not listed by default by Mozilla, having more extensions at the disposal is welcome, especially since these add new functionality, e.g. userscripts support.

The browser's interface is a bit bare bones, but it is in beta currently. The homepage lists a search option, using Google by default, and shortcuts that users may add. There is a also a link to the private browsing mode, a tab browser and manager, and a link to settings.

Speaking of which, you find important options in the settings to change the search provider, customize the browsing interface, add a link to a custom add-on collection to manage more add-ons, and even a toggle for JavaScript there.

Closing Words

SmartCookieWeb Preview is a work in progress. The latest beta worked fine during tests and showed no performance or other issues while using it. The releases page lists known issues, but none appear to be critical.

The browser may be of interest to Firefox users especially, as it uses Mozilla's GeckoView component, supports more Firefox add-ons than Firefox for Android, and is completely Telemetry-free out of the box.

Syncing is not supported on the other hand, which means that you cannot sync Firefox desktop data with SmartCookieWeb Preview.

Now You: what is your main browser on your mobile devices?

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