Been using this for a while on iOS with DuckDuckGo for everyday searching. Seeing this post and reflecting on Focus makes me realise it quickly became a new mode, that I really like - open, find the thing I want, read, destroy session, easily and without even thinking about it. The iOS app has the occasional rendering or JS issue, making a given page not work properly compared to Safari (which I guess is down to the custom tracking-blocker stuff), but I’d say about 95% of the time it’s fine. I still have a zillion Safari tabs open in the background for articles/URLs I want to come back to, but that almost seems a different thing now; for just quickly looking things up, with the equivalent of a new private/incognito window every time but without any fiddling or settings, it’s great. Like having a simple, single-purpose, incognito search app. Wonder which rendering/JS engine it uses on Android.
It uses the default Android WebView, so WebKit, according to reports. There’s a bug open to switch to Gecko at some point.
Just because I’m genuinely curious, does Focus itself have any extra benefits over just using it as a content blocker within Safari?
Sorry, what I meant to say was privacy benefits.
Besides the blocker, it also wipes cookies/cache between sessions. But if you use Safari in Private Browsing mode along with a 3rd-party content blocker, that’d be pretty similar.
One subtle privacy bit I’ve noticed after using it for a while: it appears to auto-complete URLs of popular websites quite aggressively, so if you start typing bb– it provisionally completes to bbc.com, similarly wi– to wikipedia.org, and so on. A huge percentage of people end up visiting popular websites by searching for their names (i.e. visiting Wikipedia by googling for ‘wiki’), and this might help sidestep some of those bounces through the search engine by having a bigger percentage of visits go directly.
I wonder why they made this an entirely new app, and not just a feature of regular firefox for android…
I suspect, better user model (in UX terms). People would treat it as a new kind of thing instead of another complication to an already complicated app (all browsers are complicated).
It’s at least a different user model. I’ve been using it alongside Firefox and it’s better for me for some things, worse for others. In some ways it’s too minimalist for me: you can have exactly one window open (no tabs), and it’s always an incognito window. That’s great for some things, but for example I don’t use it for lobste.rs, because I don’t want to re-log in every time I visit here. I like it as a default search app though.
Looks like “do I want to log in for that” is the one definitive question to ask yourself when choosing “full browser” over “temporary browser” every time. I just wish there’d be a better way to not have to choose it in Android every time :-)
For me it will be “Do I want to log in/add it to my list of tabs to read later?”
After using it for a bit,
Open with… is a great idea to get URLs into your real browser.
I think zero history might get a bit annoying, you won’t be able to find, “What was that movie I was looking up the other day? Oh rats, it was in Firefox focus”.
Yeah, maybe. I’ll give it a shot anyways.
I use both FF and Focus on iOS, and Focus just fits my model better. Open a site, browse, close or - alternatively - open it in the “real” Firefox for more heavyweight stuff. It’s really nice for people that never close their tabs anyways. :)
I’m using Focus as the default browser so it opens up links from external apps (since it’s fast and private), then regular Firefox for heavier duty browsing and stuff I actually want synced into my history.
Why did Mozilla choose to prevent installation of Firefox Focus via Google Play in Germany?
Seems like they uploaded the same software under a different identifier “com.firefox.klar” and made this version available here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mozilla.klar
It’s due to a naming conflict with Focus Magazine
It’s mentioned at the bottom here: https://blog.mozilla.org/press-de/2015/12/08/app-focus-by-firefox-ein-content-blocker-fur-apple-ios/
If they named it “Firefox Focus” instead of “Focus by Firefox” from the beginning, I don’t think the rename would have been necessary…
I have my quick launch bar (or whatever you call it: the four apps always present at the bottom of the screen on Android) set up now with: Phone, SMS, Firefox, Firefox Focus.
When I’m just wanting to browse, I hit Firefox Focus. If I need something that has my shared logins/bookmarks/whatever, I use Firefox. I treat it like it’s two buttons to get to the same app.
I admittedly only starting doing this last night, but so far it feels pretty natural. I set up Focus’s default search engine to be Wikipedia (since that’s honestly what I look at the most) and it’s pretty smooth. Good job, Mozilla!