This is a new kind of mobile browser. It’s for people that are conscious about privacy and security on the web. There’s been a lot of talk about these issues in the past - corporations that silently watch you and learn about your likes and dislikes, governments that track your every move in the name of national security and counteracting terrorism, hell, even friends and family members that are curious about your online life. Firefox Focus aims to offer a solution to these problems.
Ad networks like to brag that they offer the highest return on investment for their customers by serving the most relevant ads to users. So, if you’re in the market for a car you wouldn’t want to see ads for pink tutus. In theory it sounds great, but in practice would you really want to disclose your interests to some anonymous corporation you might have not even heard about? Firefox Focus takes care of that. It detects and blocks a whole bunch of ad trackers to keep you private. Bring on those pink tutus.
Advertisements are one of the most important ways to monetize content on the internet. It’s why we have free access to so many great things. Unfortunately, at some point advertisers have crossed the line and all sorts of wonderful inventions materialized: overlays, interstitials, interactive ads, auto-playing videos with sound, popups, pop-unders etc. Besides being distracting, invasive ads frequently affect performance, battery life and data usage making your web browsing experience worse. Again, Firefox Focus solves the problem out of the box. It blocks ads and gives you a clean and fast internet.
There also is an ethical dilemma about ad blocking, because, after all, it takes effort and money to make quality content. So, you might want to enable ads on sites you enjoy and are responsible about advertising.
If you want to leave no trace of your browsing sessions, Focus offers an easy way to wipe it all down. There’s a permanent button in the lower right corner that deletes your history and your cookies, restoring the browser to a clean state. The downside is that you lose all your logins, visited sites and you can’t save passwords.
Firefox Focus is really something else in the world of browsers. It’s fast and has most of the features you would expect. Is it something to use full-time? For some it might be, for other not so much, but anyhow it’s a nice concept and its existence offers some food for thought for sure.