Tor launches official anonymous Android browser

(Tor logo wia Wikicommons/Image by Greg Otto)

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Tor is coming to Android.

The popular anonymization technology will arrive on Google’s mobile operating system with the release of a mobile Tor Browser, Tor Project developers announced on Friday.

Although there has long been a slate of third-party mobile Tor apps, the official app is now slated to be released in early 2019. An early and unstable alpha version of the browser is available now in the Google Play store and on the official Tor website.

“Mobile browsing is on the rise around the world, and in some parts, it is commonly the only way people access the internet,” the developers wrote. “In these same areas, there is often heavy surveillance and censorship online, so in the past year, we’ve focused on better supporting these users.”

Apple’s iOS remains without an official Tor Browser, but Tor’s developers recommend the free Onion Browser as a replacement.

The project is still early in development. A future iteration will appear on F-Droid, an open source alternative to the Google Play Store that emphasizes user privacy and anonymity in a way that Google’s offering does not.

Tor’s newest endeavor also currently requires another app, Orfox, to initially connect to Tor, a complication the developers hope to drop in the full release next year. Orfox is the current most popular and highly recommended Android option for Tor. The developers say they’re excited for the newly announced official support of Tor, a move that will bring greater visibility and resources to the project.

The fact that Tor’s Android browser is so early in development means the creators are actively seeking feedback and bug reports on the new project.

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Android, Tor
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