Some of you might know Ghostery as a handy Chrome extension/Firefox add-on that blocks trackers on websites. What I forgot, though, was that there was also a mobile browser for Android and iOS and it's been around for quite some time. It just got an overhaul yesterday, complete with some enhanced privacy features if you're worried about being tracked online (and I don't blame you).

There are several key highlights that Ghostery notes here:

  • Built-in ad blocker & tracker visibility and control: By default, the Ghostery Privacy Browser removes intrusive ads and clutter, resulting in a cleaner and ultimately faster browsing experience. Users are given insight into who is tracking their data on websites they visit and can choose to block or unblock trackers.
    • Enhanced privacy features for Android: Android users can block and unblock trackers individually or in bulk, and enable the Smart-Blocking feature to optimize page performance. For additional privacy protection, users can switch on Enhanced Anti-Tracking, an AI-based technology that overwrites all potential personal data points.
  • Ghost Search: Ghost Search immediately suggests three dynamic result cards (websites or other content) as users begin to enter search terms into the address bar – providing smarter navigational options to get users to their destination with just one click.
  • Ghost Mode: In Ghost Mode, users can protect their privacy by preventing the websites they visit from being recorded in their browser history.
  • Enhanced protection: The Ghostery Privacy Browser contains a built-in anti-phishing security feature that protects users from malicious and fraudulent websites.
  • Start Tab with curated websites: When a user opens a new tab in the browser, Ghostery displays the user’s most visited websites and curated news from respected and trustworthy media outlets.
  • Mobile data saver: Users can choose to load pictures only on Wi-Fi networks to save on their mobile data usage.
  • Password manager: This feature facilitates logins with a master password.
  • Stop autoplay: This setting allows users to prevent websites from playing unsolicited videos.
  • Font size adapter: This feature enables better visibility of texts.

Most of the attention will fall on the built-in ad blocking, which is definitely nice — websites load very quickly. I also don't mind the Start Tab since it offers a wide spectrum of news publications and stories. What's super neat is the Ghost Search, which offers these cards as you type something in the URL bar. For example, I typed in "google" and it brought up the option you see in the third screenshot below, plus a suggestion for Google News and a story on Google from CNN.

  

Ghostery Browser is based on Firefox and so far, it's been a fast, cohesive experience. The default search engine is DuckDuckGo, but you can change it to Google or Bing in the settings. Like with the desktop extension/add-on, you have clear access to see what the browser is blocking and you can fine-tune your settings to fit your comfort level. Plus, it has a cute ghost icon that smiles at you every time you're on your homescreen or in your app drawer.

You can grab Ghostery Browser v2.0 from the widget below or from APK Mirror. I'm finding that I quite like it on my test device, so I just might see about switching to it full-time.

Ghostery Privacy Browser
Ghostery Privacy Browser
Developer: Ghostery, Inc.
Price: Free

Press Release

New York – September 19, 2018 – Ghostery, known for its free browser extension that makes your web browsing experience cleaner, faster and safer, today launched a new version of its Ghostery Privacy Browser for Android and iOS, bringing the full browser ecosystem of its parent company Cliqz to Ghostery users and providing a fast, private, tracker- and ad-free mobile browsing experience. Getting rid of the clutter on websites caused by trackers and ads means considerable savings in mobile data and battery usage.

Like all Ghostery products, the new mobile browser is open source. Its core technology and some features are based on the powerful Firefox technology developed by Mozilla, an investor in Ghostery’s parent company. Ghostery mobile users can opt in to contribute to strictly anonymous statistical data to improve Ghostery’s and Cliqz’s search and privacy products.

Equipped with comprehensive features that enhance user privacy for mobile browsing, the Ghostery Privacy Browser integrates the powerful ad blocking and tracker protection of the Ghostery 8 desktop extension control panel with improved browser functionalities.

Key features include:

  • Built-in ad blocker & tracker visibility and control: By default, the Ghostery Privacy Browser removes intrusive ads and clutter, resulting in a cleaner and ultimately faster browsing experience. Users are given insight into who is tracking their data on websites they visit and can choose to block or unblock trackers.
    • Enhanced privacy features for Android: Android users can block and unblock trackers individually or in bulk, and enable the Smart-Blocking feature to optimize page performance. For additional privacy protection, users can switch on Enhanced Anti-Tracking, an AI-based technology that overwrites all potential personal data points.
  • Ghost Search: The Ghostery Privacy Browser integrates the private search engine operated by Cliqz. Unlike other search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, Ghost Search immediately suggests three dynamic result cards (websites or other content) as users begin to enter search terms into the address bar – providing smarter navigational options to get users to their destination with just one click. Cliqz’s search engine is entirely independent and works with its own web index. Cliqz does not store any personally identifiable information and works with sophisticated anonymization techniques, meaning users’ search queries remain completely private.
  • Ghost Mode: In Ghost Mode, users can protect their privacy by preventing the websites they visit from being recorded in their browser history.
  • Enhanced protection: The Ghostery Privacy Browser contains a built-in anti-phishing security feature that protects users from malicious and fraudulent websites. It detects up to four times more phishing attempts than Google Safe Browsing and works considerably faster, uncovering phishing sites within an hour. The anti-phishing technology examines a website for any harmful data entry fields and mistrustful characteristics and displays a warning message if the website is considered suspicious. Furthermore, Ghostery Privacy Browser prevents crypto-miners from parasitizing device resources.
  • Start Tab with curated websites: When a user opens a new tab in the browser, Ghostery displays the user’s most visited websites and curated news from respected and trustworthy media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Reuters, AP, BBC and The Guardian.
  • Mobile data saver: Users can choose to load pictures only on Wi-Fi networks to save on their mobile data usage.
  • Password manager: This feature facilitates logins with a master password. On iOS, it works with Touch-ID and Face-ID.
  • Stop autoplay: This setting allows users to prevent websites from playing unsolicited videos.
  • Font size adapter: This feature enables better visibility of texts.

“Today’s mobile web is increasingly bogged down by a pervasive ecosystem of trackers that clutter websites with ads, consume huge amounts of mobile data, violate users’ privacy, and even drain batteries,” said Jeremy Tillman, Director of Product at Ghostery. “Users are paying for these unseen costs, not just in a poor user experience, but in their phone bills. The Ghostery Privacy Browser gives users a cleaner, faster, safer mobile browsing experience by combining Ghostery’s powerful anti-tracking and ad-blocking technologies with the state-of-the-art mobile browser developed by our parent company, Cliqz.”

The Ghostery Privacy Browser is free and available for download in 14 different languages for Android in the Google Play Storeand iOS in the App Store. Mobile users in select markets can also participate in the optional Ghostery Rewards program to receive discounts and deals as they browse and shop online. Ghostery Rewards is based on the MyOffrz technology developed by Cliqz. It provides tailored offers without compromising privacy.