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.