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Firefox as default browser for Fairphone

I think Fairphone should have Firefox be the default browser that comes with new phones. The browser has a strong focus on privacy and user rights which would keep in line with the ethos of Fairphone as a company. Thoughts? Is this even possible?

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Presenting search app and browser options to Android users in Europe (blog.google)

Mozilla has serious problems these days > Mozilla cuts 250 jobs, says Firefox development will be affected | Ars Technica (Google has long been their only major source of revenue) – and those might get even worse > Mozilla worried it could be collateral damage in Google anti-trust suit | ZDNet.

Fairphone is not focused on privacy and user rights, btw, but on fair and sustainable production along the supply chain and repairability. Just saying.

Best wishes,
Thomas

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I see your point but I don’t think Mozilla being hurt because of Google’s Monopoly is a reason to go with them, rather I’d say it encourages the opposite. Google is currently being questioned about their attempt at giving a choice of search engine to European users being pay to win and not doing much for user choice.

I understand that Fairphone’s focus is on sustainable production. On the page outlining their story, they say

It’s no secret: we’re out to change the world. Fairphone puts people and the planet first.

We care about human rights and worker well-being.

The main way they are going at this is through sustainable manufacturing. There is more to human rights than only fair working conditions. While Fairphone is on their mission to push for that I see advocating for a browser that also respects human rights as a good way to help that mission.

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Agree on that although Mozilla also took quite a few questionable decisions regarding privacy in the past and I am never using Firefox without adjusting the configuration and installing some add-ons upfront. But the points are from my point of view:

  • As mentioned already by @teezeh: It’s not directly Fairphone’s focus as you can see e.g. at the spying 3rd party requests included here in the forum or also on their main page. Hopefully they will become more sensitive to the topic (they did a good step into the right direction with /e/) but at the moment they are very likely busy with other things, e.g. the problems with Android 10.
  • Most people don’t care too much about privacy, it’s more important that everything works out of the box and can be easily used, FB, Instagram, Spotify etc., all the good spying stuff and of course also the browser. And in terms of easy usage, compatibility, speed, Chrome appears to be the leading browser currently, although I do prefer Firefox.
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As far as I’m aware one of the requirements of being allowed to ship the Google Play Store with your device is making Chrome the default browser. You can thank Google for that. Fairphone has no choice but to comply because everyone gets their apps from the Google Play Store.

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Same story, different scene: The European Union once fined Microsoft because they bundled their “Internet Explorer” with Windows. It is just a matter of time after which Google is going to face equal regulations. Until then, every hardware manufacturer must play by the rules of Google.

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I prefer to use duckduckgo as a browser on my phone. It is light, fast and secure.

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Is the ddg browser just a fork of Chrome? I found the Github page for it but I can’t tell: https://github.com/duckduckgo/Android

If it is then it falls to the pitfalls that the desktop scene does, where everything is based on chromium and subject to the changes Google decides to make. Firefox makes their own engine, and while there might be arguments about speeds it does offer variance in the browsing environment.

I think many Apps which call themselves browsers just have a user interface and perhaps a set of some features built around the default browser engine or component on the phone, be it Chrome or Android System WebView or whatever.

Since Microsoft gave up, there’s not much engine choice anyway.

At least for now Firefox still uses its own engine on Android.

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That’s part of the reason I try to support them so much. It’s honestly lacking in some features when compared to the previous engine they had for android, but it’s so much faster and there are plans to add those features back so I’m in support of it.

I have my reservations about the handling of already loaded/displayed pages with the revamped Firefox 8x currently. Firefox 68 didn’t need to reload as much, by far. But I’ll survive.

At least 82 brought the option back to have the top bar static again, not hiding it dynamically anymore, phew, what a relief, I absolutely couldn’t stand that :slight_smile: .

Whilst I was a strong supported of FF, and always avoided Chrome, unfortunately web developers and Mozilla’s poor track record recently have stopped that.

Personally FF has become unusable, as it often doesn’t allow websites to function properly (I know that this may be a web designer’s fault, but I’m the one who suffers). The latest update to android was awful, and badly implemented (buggy, premature and too radical). I wouldn’t be convinced that there weren’t huge security holes as well.

I have managed to stay away from Chrome, but hunted out Chromium browsers. The new Edge is available for Android and seems pretty good with sync via Microsoft. However, I have gone for the Brave browser. Privacy focussed and based on Chromium. Seems very good, and responsive. A few developer tag tweaks (as you would with Chrome) and you get a better tabbed experience.

On the specifics of shipping a default browser, if there was a strong consensus, then an optional extra browser could be included. However, I’m more for give me nothing installed and I’ll make my choices. Those who want privacy will find their own balances and apps. Everyone else just wants it to work, even if that does mean selling their soul to Gole.

ddg is based on chromium…

Reconsidering my initial question, would you agree that having users pick their browser at startup as a better choice over having Chrome set as default without any user input? At least then users can get a choice at the start and know they have a choice.

Well that’s a bummer.