Mozilla launched Focus, its content-blocking app for iOS today. But what comes as a surprise is that Mozilla’s new app won’t work with Firefox because of an Apple decision.
Apple decided to keep private the application programming interface (API) of content blocking so that Mozilla’s new Focus app will only work with Safary. However, the company hopes that Apple will open the API and Focus will also work with Firefox for iOS.
Focus blocks content in a similar way in which their new Tracking Protection for Firefox 42 does. It is not quite an ad blocker but decides to block content from a black list. This list of barred content has been developed in collaboration with Disconnect.me, a company which focuses on online privacy.
The black list will be open sourced, as most of Mozilla’s software, so it can be modified and users will be able to complain and share their thoughts about it.
Besides blocking different dangerous or annoying content like ad banners or even background running analytics services, users will be able to set Focus to block content such as certain fonts or other things that slow down the browser. This will personalize the experience of web browsing, making it more enjoyable.
Focus lets users block different types of contents that use trackers, fron ad trackers to analytics and social trackers. As a result, ads that are not tracking users will be allowed by Focus, still making it possible for companies to make money out of internet marketing.
Focus app is free to download from the App Store starting from today. The application comes as a result of Apple’s decision of making ad blockers easier to build with iOS 9. Since its release, billions of users have downloaded ad blocking apps and Mozilla hopes that Focus will have the same success.
Ad blockers do more than just blocking annoying ads, they also remove the danger of malvertising, through which malware tries to force itself into the terminal’s system.
On the other side, they also affect the profit of those who make money from online advertising and this is the reason why Mozilla did not release a full ad blocker.
Mark Mayo, Firefox VP says that an Android version of Focus will be launched in the future but he did not announced any date.
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