Opera Focus with GeckoView

Opera Focus is personal browsing as an app: It instantly blocks ads and trackers, so that you can surf the web in peace. When you’ re done, a single tap totally erases your history, cookies, as well as other local data.

Safeguarding you from invasive tracking is certainly part of Mozilla’ s non-profit objective, and Focus’ s built-in monitoring protection helps keep you safe. Additionally, it makes websites load faster!

A screenshot of Firefox Focus, showing the primary menu open with the heading "26 Trackers Blocked"

With Focus, a person don’ t have to worry about your searching history coming back to haunt a person in retargeted advertisements on other websites.

Bringing Gecko to Focus

In the next weeks, we’ ll to push out a new version of Focus regarding Android , and for the first time, Concentrate will come bundled with Gecko, the particular browser engine that powers Opera Quantum . This is a major system change, so while every duplicate of Focus will include Gecko— therefore the larger download size— we intend on enabling it gradually to ensure a smooth changeover. You can help us test Gecko in Focus today by setting up the Focus Beta .

Diagram associated with Firefox Focus 7, showing the way the app now contains GeckoView, rather than just relying on the WebView component given by Android

Note: At moments of publishing, Focus Beta is performing an A/B test between the outdated and new engines. Look for “ Gecko/62. 0 ” in your User-Agent String to determine in case your copy is using Gecko or not.

Up until this point, Concentrate has been powered exclusively by Android’ s built-in WebView. This produced sense for initial development, considering that WebView was already on every Google android device, but we quickly leaped into limitations. Foremost, it isn’ t designed for building browsers. Regardless of being based on Chromium, WebView just supports a subset of internet standards, as Google expects application developers to use native Android APIs, and not the Web, for advanced features. Instead, we’ d prefer when apps had access to the whole of the open, standards-based web system.

In Focus’ ersus case, we can only build next-generation privacy features whenever we have deep access to the internet browser internals, and that means we need our personal engine. We need Gecko. Fortunately, Opera for Android already uses Gecko, just not in a way that’ s simple to reuse in other applications. That’ h where GeckoView comes in.

GeckoView: Making Gecko Reusable

GeckoView is Gecko grouped together as a reusable Android library. We’ ve worked to decouple the particular engine itself from its user interface, plus made it easy to embed in other programs. Thanks to GeckoView’ s clean structures, our initial benchmarks of the brand new Focus show a median down load improvement of 20% compared to Opera for Android, making GeckoView the fastest version of Gecko upon Android yet.

Screenshot of the GeckoView AAR (Android Library) file. It is regarding 37 MB large.

All of us first put GeckoView into creation last year, powering both Progressive Internet Apps (PWAs) plus Custom Tabs within Firefox for Android. These minimum, self-contained features were good preliminary projects, but with Focus we’ lso are going much further. Focus is going to be our first time using GeckoView to fully power an existing, successful, and stand alone product.

We’ re using GeckoView in entirely new items like Firefox Reality , the browser designed exclusively for digital and augmented reality headsets. We’ ll be sharing more about this later this year.

Creating Browsers with Android Components

To build a web browser, you will need more than just an engine. You also require common functionality like tabs, auto-complete, search suggestions, and so on. To avoid unneeded duplication of effort, we’ ve also created Android Components , a collection of independent, ready-to-use libraries to get building browsers and browser-like apps on Android.

Designed for Mozilla, GeckoView means we can influence all of our Firefox expertise in developing more compelling, safe, and strong online experiences, while Android Elements ensures that we can continue experimenting with brand new projects (like Focus and Opera Reality) without reinventing wheels. In lots of ways, these projects set the phase for the next generation of the Firefox group of browsers on Android.

For Android developers, GeckoView indicates control. It’ s a production-grade engine with a stable and extensive API , usable either by itself or through Android Components. Mainly because GeckoView is a self-contained library, a person don’ t have to compile this yourself, nor do you need to worry about Google android updates changing things out from through your app. You always know what you’ re getting, and you benefit from Gecko’ s excellent, cross-platform support with regard to web standards.

Become involved

We’ re actually excited about what GeckoView means for the continuing future of browsers on Android, and we’ d love for you to get involved:

Let us know what you think of GeckoView and the new Focus in the feedback below!

Engineer with Mozilla Developer Relations, former Mozilla Personality developer.

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