If you are an iPhone user, you are probably using Safari as your primary browser. Given Apple’s decision not to allow users to set their own default apps, Safari is the smartest way to surf the web on iOS devices. However, if you prefer one of the third-party browser alternatives, Firefox is one of the best on iOS. Firefox is full of tips for surfing the Internet on your iPhone or iPad.
Here’s why you should use Firefox as your default browser in iOS.
Synchronization with other devices
One of its main advantages is its ability to synchronize with your Firefox account. You can then pick up where you left off on another platform. While there is no shortage of third-party browsers available on iOS, few offer open tab synchronization with their desktop counterparts.
1. To configure synchronization correctly, first press the menu button at the bottom right of the screen. It looks like three overlapping lines.
2. Tap on Settings then on the name of your account. (You will need to set up a Firefox account if you do not have one.) Note that on this screen you can also manually synchronize by tapping the line under the account name titled “Synchronize Now”.
3. Once you are in the account screen, you have the option to enable or disable a variety of synchronization options. This includes open tabs, which is the most valuable synchronization tool to pick up where you left off on another device.
Although tab synchronization is probably the best and most used synchronization aspect, your bookmarks should not be ignored. In this case, press the menu button again and select “Your library”. From there you can see all of your favorites, including those from the toolbar, those you have selected on mobile or even your most recent additions. On the same screen, at the bottom of the browser, is another tab for history, playlist, downloads, and synced tabs.
Organize your tabs
We’ve all been there. Too many open tabs can make your browsing life miserable. Fortunately, Firefox for iOS has one of the smartest tab management systems.
- The bottom bar of the Firefox browser offers a few options, but when you focus on the tabs, the square box with a number inside is the most important. This specifically concerns the number of tabs you have opened. Tap on it and you’ll immediately see all of your open tabs in bite-size preview windows.
- Opening a tab is as simple as tapping the “+” sign in the lower right corner of the screen. Tap it and you can enter a search or website URL from the Firefox home screen.
- Do you want to rearrange the tabs so that they are in a particular order? Simply hold and drag each tab to the desired location on the tab page.
- When you want to open a private tab and navigate without any history, just tap the mask icon.
- Another benefit of using Firefox on Safari is the ability to find your open tabs. Enter any term in the search field and find exactly what you are looking for.
Take confidentiality seriously
- The identifiers and passwords will allow you to save the identifiers that you wish to synchronize with other devices. If you don’t want Firefox to keep connections, you can turn off the feature.
- Touch ID and Passcode will allow you to require a password or the use of Touch / Face ID to access the application. You can even set the delay before a password is required to use the app so that you don’t have to log in every five minutes.
- Data management will examine any website so that you can enable or disable options such as clearing the cache, cookies, downloaded files, or your browsing history.
- Protecting against tracking is one of the main reasons to use Firefox for iOS. This helps reduce the number of ads you see and also prevents those ads from tracking your browsing history. Standard protection is set by default and opting for strict protection will allow more blockers to reduce ads, popups and trackers.
How far can you go?
Another big addition to Firefox for iOS is coming back to a site you’ve visited before. Let’s say you are visiting maketecheasier.com and have read five articles. You can press and hold the back or forward arrow and see a list of previous pages or sites. It’s a small but incredibly useful addition that makes browsing Firefox a major upgrade from Apple’s default browser. The fact that it works in both directions of navigation makes it one of those navigation tools you didn’t know how much you missed until you got it.
Make it your default browser
Although Apple’s iOS 13 does not allow modification of the default applications, this will change in a few months. When Apple launches iOS 14 worldwide, iPhone and iPad owners will be able to change both their default email and browser choices. This is great news for Firefox fans who so far have been blocked using Safari by default and then pushing links to Firefox.
Firefox is not a perfect browser, but it is a browser that excels in many ways, unlike Safari. The ability to use extensions also makes it one of the few mobile browsers that support extensions – not to mention that it is available for all platforms, making it easy to sync and use. The fact that you can use it by default is all the more reason to give Firefox for iOS a good look.
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