Great news for users who want to
hide their location when surfing the web and prevent websites from tracking
their activity: Tor, the online security and privacy-focused browser, is now
available on Android, the development team announced in
a blog post on Tuesday.
“Mobile browsing is
increasing around the world, and in some parts, it is commonly the only way
people access the internet,” Tor said. “In these same areas,
there is often heavy surveillance and censorship online, so we made it a
priority to reach these users.”
Until the alpha release in
September, the browser was available only for desktop users. It can now be
downloaded for mobile from Google Play or from F-Droid, a free Android
application repository. An iOS version is not available “due to restrictions by
Apple,” but Apple fans can use the “Onion Browser developed by Mike Tigas with
help from the Guardian Project.”
With software based on Mozilla
Firefox, the Tor Browser 8.5 is the “first stable release for Android” since
September’s incomplete alpha, with “improved accessibility support for Windows”
and in-built multi-layer encryption.
Developers have worked on fixing
the bugs to make it reliable, but they are still working on bugs related to WebGL-related
fingerprinting and saved logins and passwords. The browser, which comes with
new logos, matches Firefox’s Photon UI for an upgraded user experience.
“We made sure there are no proxy
bypasses, that first-party isolation is enabled to protect you from cross-site
tracking, and that most of the fingerprinting defenses are working,” Tor explains.
“While there are still feature gaps between the desktop and Android
Tor Browser, we are confident that Tor Browser for Android provides essentially
the same protections that can be found on desktop platforms.”
Apple has not released a
statement on the browser.