Mozilla zeroes in on privacy with new Android browser

Focus browser features ad-blocking and anti-tracking measures

Mozilla has launched its privacy-centric Firefox Focus browser for Android devices, promising ad-blocking and increased speed.

The release follows the launch of Firefox Focus for iOS devices last year. The Android release brings new features, such as the ability to disable tracking on certain websites for increased compatibility, a counter to track the number of blocked ads per site, and a notification that allows you to scrub your browsing history with one tap if you've left it running in the background.

"Nowadays, everyone is concerned about their privacy," said Mozilla's senior product manager for Firefox mobile browser, Barbara Bermes, "and that's what we stand for with all of our products."

Firefox Focus is a highly stripped-back version of the company's standard Firefox browser, offering no support for multi-tabbed browsing and very little in the way of productivity and multi-tasking features. Despite its lean nature, however, Bermes told IT Pro that Focus has a lot to offer users.

"First of all, one of the things that I like very much is that it has a very small APK size in comparison to most other browsers. We're about 3.5MB, so it's very easy to download, you don't spend too much bandwidth or data volume there."

"In addition to that, it's a very clean and simple browser," she added. "It's very focused on just going in, starting your search or typing in your URL, and you can browse without being tracked. And potentially, of course, because you're turning off and on tracking, probably some of the websites will be faster."

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