Tag Archive for ‘Web Browsers’

Apple Considering Dropping Requirement for iPhone Web Browsers to Use WebKit ➝

Joe Rossignol, writing for MacRumors:

As part of a larger story about Apple’s plans to allow third-party app stores on the iPhone and iPad in EU countries, _Bloomberg_’s Mark Gurman claimed that Apple is also considering removing its requirement for iPhone and iPad web browsers to use WebKit, the open source browser engine that powers Safari.

Gurman said this potential change comes in response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act. It’s unclear if Apple would drop the requirement in other regions.

This would be an excellent change.

(Via Michael Tsai.)

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Extension Fingerprints ➝

From the webpage:

Chrome extensions can be detected by fetching their web accessible resources. These are files inside an extension that can be accessed by web pages. The detected extensions can be used to track you through browser fingerprinting.

This is a pretty nifty tool to help illustrate browser fingerprinting based on extensions. When I open this in Brave on my Mac, I’m seeing that 0.002% of users share the same extensions with me, that seems like it would be pretty accurate for targeting.

➝ Source: z0ccc.github.io

Each Firefox Download Has a Unique Identifier ➝

Martin Brinkmann, writing for gHacks:

Internet users who download the Firefox web browser from the official Mozilla website get a unique identifier attached to the installer that is submitted to Mozilla on install and first run.

The identifier, called dltoken by Mozilla internally, is used to link downloads to installations and first runs of the Firefox browser. The identifier is unique to each Firefox installer, which means that it is submitted to Mozilla whenever it is used.

Cool. I guess this is just another reason to use something else.

Update 3/26/22: Michael Tsai points out that this is unlikely to be the case with Firefox for macOS because it would be difficult to accomplish with notarization.

➝ Source: ghacks.net

Firefox Removes Yandex and Mail.ru Search ➝

Rick Findlay, writing for Reclaim the Net:

Mozilla has pushed a new release of its Firefox browser with one notable change; it will no longer have Yandex, the Russian search engine, and Mail.ru as options.

That’s fine. If Mozilla decides to remove these as options for search within Firefox, they have every right to do so. But it gets worse.

From the release notes:

If you previously installed a customized version of Firefox with Yandex or Mail.ru, offered through partner distribution channels, this release removes those customizations, including add-ons and default bookmarks. Where applicable, your browser will revert back to default settings, as offered by Mozilla.

Again, removing the built-in option from the browser is fine. Users could always add it as a custom search engine, if they so choose. But for people who are already using Yandex or Mail.ru as their search engine, have these add-ons installed, or have the bookmarks they’re referring to — it’s more than a little over the line for them to just remove them with an update.

A much more gracefully way to handle this would have been to display a modal to the affected users the first time they launch the browser after upgrading, asking if they’d like to change their search engine, remove the add-ons, and/or bookmarks. But the user should have the option to decline this change.

I don’t use Yandex or Mail.ru and don’t have any of the unnamed add-ons or bookmarks in my browser — I don’t even use Firefox anymore — but I find it incredibly distasteful that a browser maker would just change defaults on users like this without their consent.

➝ Source: reclaimthenet.org

Web Developers Form Advocacy Group to Allow Other Browser Engines on iOS ➝

Tim Hardwick, writing for MacRumors:

Apple is being challenged by a group of developers to end WebKit’s dominance on its mobile devices and allow other browser engines on iPhone and iPad, following accusations that the current situation amounts to anti-competitive conduct.

For those unfamiliar with WebKit, Apple’s browser engine powers Safari and other areas of the operating system where web content is displayed. Apple requires all third-party browser apps on iOS and iPadOS to use WebKit, but many browser developers are not happy with the limitations this imposes on them.

The latest pushback comes in the form of “Open Web Advocacy” or OWA, a project launched by UK-based developers who want third-party access to all the features that Safari enjoys but which are not available in WebKit.

One prevailing argument opposing this is that Chrome would become the dominant web browser on iOS in addition to its existing dominance on all other platforms. But the solution to that isn’t to prevent Chrome from existing on iOS or artificially hindering its abilities. The solution is to build better alternatives and convince people to use them.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Chrome Team Approves Patch to Block ‘View Source’ ➝

mhoye, writing on Mastodon.social:

Seriously, the Chrome team just landed a patch that lets sites block “View Source” right in the middle of the Chrome Dev Summit.

If not for “View Source”, I wouldn’t have learned HTML and CSS, I wouldn’t have built my own WordPress themes, and I wouldn’t be working at Automattic right now.

There is no rational reason for doing this.

➝ Source: mastodon.social

Apple Teams Up With Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft to Improve Browser Extensions ➝

Filipe Espósito, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

As reported now by CNET, Apple and other big tech companies have discussed at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) how they can make the process of developing web extensions easier by reducing the differences between web browsers. The idea is that these universal extensions work effortlessly in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

I’m not holding my breath on these efforts bearing fruit on iOS. But as a recent convert to Firefox — on both Mac and iOS — I would really appreciate some improvements to the third-party browser situation on iPhone and iPad.

➝ Source: 9to5mac.com