Firefox

Google and Mozilla test iPhone browsers not based on WebKit

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Google claims Chrome for Mac is now faster than Safari
A major under-the-hood change might be coming to Chrome for iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google is tinkering with a version of its Chrome web browser for iPhone that does not use the WebKit rendering engine. The same is true for Mozilla and the Firefox browser.

Releasing these is currently impossible because of Apple’s browser rules, but the iPhone-maker may be forced to drop that restriction soon.

Happy 20th birthday to Safari, Apple’s browser that blossomed late

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The original logo for Apple's Safari web browser with the headline,
The first version of Safari, running on Mac OS X Panther. At launch, Apple's browser was fast but buggy.
Image: Cult of Mac

The Safari browser turns 20 years old today, and I remember excitedly firing it up for the first time.

When Steve Jobs introduced Safari at Macworld 2003, he described the brand-new browser as a speed demon and way easier to use than competitors.

“Buckle up,” he said with a smile. “We have done our own browser and it’s hot … it’s sweet.”

A few weeks later, I deleted it in disgust. Safari wasn’t sweet. It sucked!

Macs with ProMotion displays get Firefox performance boost

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2021 MacBook Pro models should see a performance boost with the newest Firefox browser update.
2021 MacBook Pro models should see a performance boost with the newest Firefox browser update.
Photo: Mozilla

The newest update of the Firefox browser includes a performance boost for computers with displays running at a 120Hz refresh rate or higher. That’s good news for anyone with a 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro model from 2021, which have ProMotion displays.

Those MacBook models feature Liquid Retina XDR displays with ProMotion technology for adaptive refresh rates ranging from 24Hz to 120Hz.

Safari becomes second browser to surpass 1 billion users

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Safari now has more than 1 billion users.
Safari now has more than 1 billion users.
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Apple’s Safari web browser recently topped 1 billion users, a new study indicates, making it the second browser to do so. Even so, it still lags well behind Google Chrome in popularity.

“1,006,232,879 internet users (19.16% of all internet users) now use the Safari browser, making it the second browser with over a billion users,” the Atlas VPN report said.

Firefox and Chrome may start breaking websites soon

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Websites may have issues with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox when each one hits version 100.
Websites may have issues with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox when each one hits version 100.
Photo: Google/Apple

Google, which makes Chrome, and Mozilla, which makes Firefox, warn that those web browsers are about to reach version 100. And that could mean major websites stop working properly with them.

Why? Coded to recognize two-digit version numbers, websites may have trouble identifying browsers with three-digit numbers.

Firefox for Mac stops loading websites. Here’s how to fix it.

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Firefox fix for Mac
Firefox is broke. But you can fix it.
Image: Firefox/Cult of Mac

A growing number of Firefox users on Mac (and Windows) are reporting that they are unable to load any websites. The browser hangs indefinitely and shows nothing at all, thanks to what seems like a background server error.

The good news is that there is a relatively simple fix that you can implement yourself until Firefox eliminates the problem for good. We’ll show you how.

Apple ‘discussing’ plans to allow third-party browsers, email apps to be defaults on iOS

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close all tabs
You might not be stuck with Safari for much longer.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is finally “considering” giving users the ability to set third-party web browsers and email clients as defaults on iOS, according to a new Bloomberg report. It could also open up HomePod to rival music streaming services.

iPhone and iPad owners can already install third-party alternatives, but iOS currently does not allow them to override Apple’s built-in services. That could change as Apple faces increasing pressure over the tight control it imposes over its mobile devices.

In rare warning, Homeland Security urges immediate Firefox update

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Firefox
A Firefox security flaw needs to be patched as quickly as possible.
Photo: Mozilla

Everyone running the recently-released Firefox 72 on their Mac should install a patch immediately. The security vulnerability in this web browser is severe enough for a US Homeland Security agency to encourage users to install the update. Mozilla says it’s already aware of attacks that use this Firefox security flaw.

Firefox 70 draws less power, shows who’s tracking you

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Firefox 70 Enhanced Tracking Protection report
Firefox 70 offers a list of tracking cookies blocked by its Enhanced Tracking Protection.
Photo: Firefox/Cult of Mac

Firefox fans can expect this web browser to be less of a drain on their MacBook’s battery. Plus, the latest version gives users a report showing the dozens of cookies attempting to track them across the Web.

Mozilla petitions Apple to boost privacy with rotating ad IDs

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ipad-pro-smart-keyboard-safari
Rotating advertiser IDs make a lot of sense.
Photo: Apple

Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, is calling for Apple to boost user privacy on iOS by introducing rotating advertiser IDs.

Most iPhone and iPad users don’t know that they can block access to their unique ID, Mozilla says. Regularly rotating IDs would make it harder for companies “to build profiles of us over time.”

Sign the petition to pressure Apple into making a change today.

How to stop Google from tracking your clicks

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Stop the madness
Stop! The! Madness!
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Whenever you click a link in a Google search, it replaces the URL of the site with a tracking URL. If you hover over a link with your mouse before you click it, Safari will show you the full URL of that link. It’s a great way to check where you’re about to get sent. Google plays along with this, showing you the proper URL for the link in question.

Only when you actually click on it, it swaps out that link, replacing it with its own tracking link.

Fortunately, there’s a way to block this sneaky, underhanded and totally unsurprising behavior.

How to make YouTube load up to 5x faster in Safari

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YouTube in Safari on iMac Pro
It’s easy to give YouTube a kick up the backside.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Have you ever wondered why YouTube is so much slower than all the other websites you visit in Safari? Did you know that you could make it up to five times faster with very little effort?

YouTube’s new design doesn’t play nicely with browsers that aren’t Google Chrome, but with some simple tweaks, you can switch back to its previous design and enjoy much faster speeds.

Here’s how.

Mozilla’s new Lockbox app lets you use Firefox passwords anywhere

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Firefox Lockbox app for iOS
Lockbox frees your passwords from Firefox.
Photo: Mozilla

You probably have a whole bunch of passwords saved in Firefox if it’s your web browser of choice. And now you can use those passwords anywhere in iOS with the new Lockbox app from Mozilla.

Lockbox is a password manager that promises strong encryption, syncing between multiple iOS devices, Face ID support, and more.

WWDC livestream will support Chrome and Firefox this year

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At WWDC 2018, Apple will show us the future of iOS and its other platforms.
You're no longer limited to Safari or *shudder* Microsoft Edge.
Photo: Apple

There’s something a bit different about this year’s WWDC livestream. As always, you’ll be able to watch it using Apple’s Safari browser, the WWDC app or Apple TV. However, for the first time Apple is also supporting Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

In previous years, neither has been available to users, meaning that viewers were limited to either one of Apple’s proprietary options or, if they were using a Windows 10 PC, Microsoft Edge.

Firefox now puts Facebook in a ‘container’ so it can’t track you

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Firefox Facebook Container
A ‘Facebook Container’ inside Firefox.
Photo: Mozilla

None of us are happy with the way in which Facebook is handling our data, but many of us rely on the platform too much to follow the #deletefacebook movement. Thanks to Mozilla, you can now enjoy the best of both worlds (almost).

Its new Firefox extension puts Facebook inside a “container” so that you can enjoy the platform without having to worry about it tracking everything you do online.

‘Best Firefox ever’ pours on the speed

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Firefox is now more efficient than its rivals.
Firefox is now more efficient than its rivals.
Photo: Mozilla

Mozilla is rolling out its “best Firefox ever,” promising a perfect balance between speed and efficiency.

Firefox version 54 finally uses multiple processes for improved performance just like its rivals, so a complex webpage in one tab won’t impact your experience in another. What’s more, it uses less memory than other browsers on macOS, Mozilla says.