Mozilla Launches Focus by Firefox Ad Blocker for iPhone, iPad

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mozilla Firefox OS is not dead.

Mozilla Corp.’s brief attempt at making a smartphone operating system, and eventually competing with the likes of Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows and Samsung’s Tizen platforms, has finally come to an end. “Focus by Firefox puts users in control of their privacy by allowing them to block categories of trackers such as those used for ads, analytics and social media. Ari Jaaksi, senior vice-president, Connected Devices, Mozilla, confirmed this in a series of tweets from the Mozlando 2015 event in Orlando, Florida, earlier on Wednesday. Jaaksi announced the fact that Firefox OS meant for affordable smartphones will not receive any further development. (Read more here . ) With Firefox OS meant for affordable smartphones, Mozilla had hoped to wean away a large chunk of users from affordable Android phones, which at that point of time, really didn’t offer a great user experience. Focus only works on Safari and not Firefox, Mozilla’s own browser, on iOS, but the company says that it couldn’t help it — Apple doesn’t make content blocking available to third-party browsers on iOS.

Among the reasons that he cited for taking down the app, Arment said that it “harmed the online ecosystem.” According to a Washington Post report , the debate over ad-blocking has spiraled into a much larger conversation about the future of blogs, newspapers and other online media. The HTML5 approach to app development seriously restricted the number of third party apps, which meant we really didn’t have much else to play around with apart from the default apps preloaded on the phone. Ad blockers give users more control over their internet experience, but at the risk of undermining the very sites they depend on for information and entertainment. “We believe content blockers need to be transparent with publishers and other content providers,” Denelle Dixon-Thayer, a Mozilla executive, was quoted as saying to The Post “rather than placing certain content in a permanent penalty box.” Mozilla also canned its smartphone experiment by discontinuing Firefox OS, although the company will still continue to experiment on how it might work on other connected devices and Internet of Things networks. “We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. It was more of a web-centric phone that came much before its time, and the approach itself was far too different from what people had experienced with Android and Windows phones.

We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow,” TechCrunch quoted Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla’s SVP of Connected Devices, as saying. However, Mozilla has gone on to reassure the developer community that it is actually not killing the Firefox OS, and instead, this is just a realignment of the focus. “We will enter IoT by using technology from #firefoxos. And rather than develop a new platform for those devices, it makes perfect sense to use an existing product that has been grossly underutilized all this while.

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