Chrome is the dominant browser in the world, but its rivals are struggling with the company’s heavy data-gathering habits. Now, Firefox is taking the battle to the front lawn of Google: Android. The Mozilla Foundation behind the browser is reinventing its browser for the 2.5 billion devices running Google’s operating system. The new browser comes under the guise of Firefox Preview, an application that is still in beta but is ready to be tested in the real world.
“Our goal was not to reinvent the same thing we have today, but to completely build a revamped version,” says Vesta Zare, senior product manager, mobile device division, Firefox. “In fact, we went deep into the architecture and built everything from the beginning.”
As a result, Preview is Firefox’s view of what an Android browser should look like: speedy, with little user tracking. The organization claims that its new browser is twice as fast as the current version of Firefox for Android, has a minimal start screen and moves the URL bar to the bottom of the screen.
It is also activating your tracking protection by default. This means that Firefox does not store cookies served by web pages and prevents third-party tracking from tracking the web.
The setting was not enabled by default in your main application before, although it was used in your Firefox Privacy browser’s privacy browser, which was released in December 2015.
Crawl cookies are used to monitor user behavior online and create profiles for targeting targeted ads-a recent study suggested that about 94% of sites used some form of user tracking. The data matters because they can be used to create a profile of an individual’s personal habits and interests.
In a recent experiment, Washington Post columnist Geoffrey Fowler has monitored how many cookie tracking requests Google Chrome made during a week of its typical web browsing. The result? A total of 11,189 tracking cookie requests were made.
However, changes in Firefox Preview, which will actually cause Google to pay attention are under the hood of the application. Firefox maintains its own browser infrastructure, instead of using the most popular version available.
At the core of browsers are the mechanisms that perform the main functions of surfing Internet and there are only three main available: Blink, which belongs to Google, Apple WebKit, and Mozilla Gecko.
Google Blink, part of the open source Chromium project, is one of the world’s leading browsers, including Vivaldi, Opera, and Chrome. In December 2018, Microsoft decided to rebuild its Edge Web browser using Blink, delivering more of the underlying market to Google.
Firefox is moving away from Blink. Zare says that Mozilla is using its own GeckoView navigation engine, designed for mobile devices, within the view. “We can make the features we want and protect the independence of users without relying on Google and the Chromium-based engine,” says Zare.
The decision was taken to prevent Google from having too much power over the basic web infrastructure. “It’s really there that it does not depend on Google’s decisions about mobile devices and have more flexibility in terms of the types of privacy and security features we can offer,” adds Zare. Recently, Google was criticized for changes in Chrome that could limit the use of ad blockers.
“No other browser out there is taking a step to actually enforce user privacy as a differentiating feature and get you to block all third-party crawlers,” says Zare. Mozilla has also enabled its enhanced crawling feature by default.
Anyway, the cards have been released, wait to see who has the strongest cards. But it’s not hard to know that Google will always have the advantage of having a legion of fan fans. So it’s easy to see who has a better chance of winning.
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