The notion of a “private” mode or an “incognito” mode in a web browser certainly isn’t new. Most major desktop browsers have some variation of this feature, effectively nuking your session after you close the window. But that mostly has to do with cookies and browsing history. It doesn’t mean you’re not still being tracked and that your data is 100% safe. It isn’t.

We also see similar “incognito” or “private” modes in mobile browsers, but you usually have to open a separate “private” tab in order to activate this mode. And again, the actual “privacy” part of it is still limited. Mozilla is addressing both of these problems with the new Firefox Focus browser for iPhone and iPad. They’re calling it a privacy browser and, by the sounds of things, it’ll block ads too.

The free mobile browser comes with a series of settings for you to block a variety of online trackers. You can block any and all of ad trackers, analytics trackers, social trackers and other content trackers with a simple toggle. You can also boost the performance of the browser by blocking web fonts, for example. By blocking trackers, pages might load more quickly too.

And like the “private” or “incognito” modes in other web browsers, Firefox Focus will also erase your history, including passwords and cookies, when you’re done looking at whatever you don’t want to be tracked for looking at. They know why you’d want this privacy browser…


Mozilla has certainly had an interesting history, from blocking Flash in the desktop browser to the company’s foray into smartphones. You might not be able to get a Firefox OS phone anymore, but you can rock a privacy browser on your iPhone bearing the Firefox name.

The Mozilla Firefox Focus privacy browser is available for free from the iTunes App Store starting today.

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