5 New Mozilla Apps That Every Firefox Fan Should Check Out
Mozilla, champions of free and open source software, have released a lot more than only a new version of Firefox in the recent past. Check out their new tools, which trick online advertisers, introduce faster browsers, and even manage screenshots.
This is all in addition to the Internet Health Report, a tradition started in 2018 which we featured in another round-up of such cool apps and tools made by Mozilla. And of course, the company is still releasing periodic updates to Firefox to make online browsing easier, faster, and more secure.
1. Track This (Web): Trick Online Trackers to Create Fake Profiles of You
Have you had that freaky moment where you were browsing about something, and suddenly saw ads for related products? Online advertisers are constantly tracking your every move to serve up targeted ads. TrackThis is Mozilla’s initiative to trick these trackers and protect your identity.
So how does it work? TrackThis lets you choose between four “alter ego” profiles: Hypebeast, Filthy Rich, Doomsday, and Influencer. Make sure it’s as distant as possible from who you really are. Once you’ve made your decision, this website will open 100 different links that such a user would visit. In turn, the trackers who are mining for information about you end up creating a wrong profile.
Track This works on non-Firefox browsers too, but you’ll have to ensure it is allowed to open pop-ups. And this will actually open 100 new tabs, which can crash browsers or entire operating systems, so make sure you run TrackThis only after saving all important data and when you are okay with the risk of needing a hard reboot.
2. Facebook Container 2 (Firefox): Improved Facebook Privacy Protection
Facebook is notorious for its many violations of a person’s privacy, and how it aggressively tracks your browsing activity across the internet. Last year, Mozilla countered this by releasing an extension called Facebook Container.
In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, people have been deleting Facebook. However, Mozilla’s new Facebook Container extension for Firefox offers an alternative.
Facebook Container 2 stops the social network from tracking you on websites that have the Like or Share button, which is the most common tactic used by Facebook. You’ll see a fence icon to indicate that the extension is protecting your privacy.
Importantly, Facebook Container 2 is also worth installing even if you aren’t a Facebook user. The social network is known to create “shadow profiles” of people who aren’t registered. Mozilla specifically notes that the new version of the add-on will make it more difficult for Facebook to get data on such users and create profiles.
3. ScreenshotGo (Android): Search Text in Screenshots and Organize Them
If you take a lot of screenshots on your Android phone, you need this app. Mozilla’s ScreenshotGo is an app to organize and manage all your screenshots, and even search the text in them.
ScreenshotGo automatically recognizes every screenshot you have taken on the device. Each can be added to a collection, such as chat history, shopping, finance, and news. You can create your own collections too. It’ll take about an hour of your time, but do this exercise once to organize the images and perhaps free up a lot of storage space on your phone.
But the cooler feature, of course, is the OCR, or Optical Character Recognition. ScreenshotGo can read the text in your images, so you can search the app to find all screenshots where your keyword appeared on the screen. That mass of screenshots you have been storing just became a whole lot more useful.
4. Firefox Preview (Android): Faster, Privacy Focused Browser
Firefox Preview is an experimental new browser by Mozilla, based on Firefox, that puts an emphasis on privacy and speed. The browser is a combination of Firefox Focus and the regular Firefox, and serves as a sneak peek of the final product coming later this year. If you’re familiar with Fenix, this is the new developmental release for enthusiasts and early adopters.
The cool new feature in this version is Collections, an evolution of bookmarks on desktop. You can save a bunch of websites or web pages as a collection, such as the sites you visit as part of your morning routine. One tap will open all the sites in that collection, or you can launch them individually.
Firefox Preview is powered by Mozilla’s proprietary mobile browser engine, GeckoEngine, which has proven to be faster in tests than any other. It also blocks online ad trackers by default, protecting your identity and privacy. Mozilla claims this focus on privacy actually makes the whole browsing experience faster.
Naturally, Firefox Preview is in beta so you can expect a few bugs and crashes. But it works well in our tests so far and is actually an exciting product.
5. Firefox Lite (Android): Lightweight Browser with Full Page Screenshots
The regular version of Firefox is packed with features and takes up storage space, not to mention processor and battery resources. If you’re running an old or slow Android phone, consider switching to Firefox Lite.
The app is a stripped-down, lightweight version of Firefox that has many of the best features while adding some others. Turbo Mode blocks online trackers and loads web pages faster. If you’re on a slow connection or you want to save data, you can block all pages from loading images through one tap in the settings. If you want to save any page to read it later while offline, you can take a full-page screenshot.
Firefox Lite has other cool features like private/incognito browsing, Night Mode, quick launch homescreen, and a news feed. If you’re running short of space and want something lightweight and fast, try these other great lite Android apps too.
Firefox 68 and Other Mozilla Magic
While you check out these new apps and tools, don’t forget about the main Firefox browser. Mozilla is constantly updating it with new features, privacy protection, and speed and stability improvements.
In fact, the latest version of Firefox comes with a native password manager that works on mobiles too. It’s called Firefox Lockwise (formerly known as Lockbox), which has apps for Android and iOS that will autofill passwords on any third-party app.
Firefox Lockbox has been available on iOS for a while, but Mozilla’s free password manager is now available on Android as well.