Firefox Focus / Klar for iOS


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4 stars
My go-to browser on iOS to quickly look something up

To be upfront: Firefox Focus[1] for iOS is not a full-featured browser. And it doesn’t aim to be. It has no bookmarks, no tabs and doesn’t store your browsing history. When you close it and re-open it after a while, it will have forgotten all your logged in websites. And it also isn’t a browser in the sense that even though it is called “Firefox”, it is using Apple’s WebKit engine to render websites, not the Firefox engine. (This last point is not a voluntary decision, as Apple does not allow third-party browser engines on iOS.)

However, just because it is not a full-featured browser, it is perfect to quickly look something up on the go: It is fast, uncluttered and dead simple to use. It blocks trackers and ads, greatly speeding up page loading times especially on slow connections (although it can be a bit overzealous on some websites). And because it forgets by design, it preserves your privacy (both against the pervasive tracking on the Internet as well as against someone who looks through your phone).

At first, I was pretty sceptical about the concept - but now I have to say that more likely than not I will tap on Firefox instead of Safari when I just want to quickly look at some website on my iPhone. Sometimes I would still wish for simple bookmarks, but maybe it is a good thing that wishes like those remain unfulfilled: they would compromise its simplicity and thus its value.

[1]: Or “Firefox Klar”, as it is called in the German-speaking countries where it is by default even a bit more private.