Google, Mozilla both say they sped up the web today. One by blocking ads. One with ads

Guess which was which. Hint: Firefox now crushes trackers on Android

Mozilla's announced that its “Firefox Focus” ad-busting browser has made it to Android.

Focus has been available on iOS since late 2016. The browser's lead feature is hiding traces of web searches so that ads can't follow you around the web. Mozilla feels doing so enhances privacy and speeds up surfing as you won't be downloading all the background ad-serving cruft built into web pages.

Now it's released the browser for Android, and fair enough too given that iOS' market share now trails that of Google's mobile OS.

Focus on Android's gained a “counter to list the number of ads that are blocked per site while using the app” which sounds like fun. There's also a tracker-blocker-canceller, in case the browser is having trouble loading a site.

The need for that feature suggests an arms race between blockers and advertisers. Another piece of evidence for that assertion is Google's news that it now uses its Brotli compression algorithm to serve display ads. The ad giant says ad downloads shrink by between 15 and 40 per cent as a result and therefore delivers “faster page loads and less battery consumption.”

Which is just what Firefox Focus wants to do, too. ®

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