Ironically, because of Apple’s policy to not make a freshly released API available for independent developers, Mozilla’s new ad-blocker for iOS Focus won’t run in Firefox iOS app, which was unveiled last month.
Focus, which was slated to make an official appearance last month, as well, but under a different name, will not block all ads, but only pieces of content from sites considered malicious by an in-built blacklist.
Focus will work only with Safari for the moment, but its developers hope to soon release a version for Firefox iOS app provided that Apple opens the said API to the public. Developers said that their ad-blocker had to be rebranded after a legal issue with developers of an encryption app called Signal.
Focus is very similar to the Tracking Protection enabled by Mozilla in Firefox browser during a Nov. 3 update. Both features block content considered hazardous for users’ privacy under a blacklist. Mozilla developers pieced together the list with help from technicians at Disconnect.me.
The blacklist will be open to criticism and comments in order to get improved. In November, Firefox VP Mark Mayo said in an interview that improved algorithms which analyze behavior of certain bits of content on the Internet will help the ad-blocker determine what is safe and what is not. That makes us think that Focus won’t be solely based on the blacklist to sort out what content should be blocked.
Furthermore, users will be able to customize their tool to filter certain pieces of content such as ads, analytics, and search engines’ or social networking sites’ trackers. They will also be able to prevent Focus from loading some parts of a webpage to boost speed.
Mayo explained that only content that represents a threat to users’ security and privacy would be blocked including some ads, malware, and trackers running in the background. The new ad-blocker became available for download Tuesday. Mayo argued that the tiny app would remain free because it was not developed with the intention of making profit but making a statement for a more open and transparent Internet.
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