Programs that respect your privacy

Privacy Browser 3.5

Privacy Browser 3.5 has been released. It switches to using Android’s relatively new Day/Night theme, which constitutes the largest UI change since the original Privacy Browser was released. This fixes a longstanding bug with alert dialogs in the dark theme, makes the app font colors easier on the eye in dark mode, and fights burn-in.

Beyond the styling of the app itself, the dark WebView theme has also been switched from using a JavaScript CSS override, to using WebView’s relatively new built-in dark mode. The big takeaway is that JavaScript no longer needs to be enabled for the dark mode to work. In most cases, the resulting dark websites look better than they did before.

Privacy Browser now saves and restores its state if it is killed in the background by the OS. This is necessary to make switching between the Day and Night themes work correctly, but it also has benefits in a number of other scenarios. However, there are negative privacy implications of saving the instance state, which are discussed in dept in their own blog post.

Privacy Browser is now smarter about proposing names for file downloads.


Mojeek has been added to the list of search engines, and Qwant and Searx have been removed. The requirements for having a search engine listed are as follows:

  1. The search engine must work.
  2. The search engine must use HTTPS encryption.
  3. The search engine must function with JavaScript disabled.

Some search engines use different URLs when JavaScript is disabled and enabled. In those cases, as long as the JavaScript disabled version works well, I have included both options for those who do chose to enable JavaScript either globally or through a domain setting.

I don’t like any of them.

File uploading has been fixed for some sites. The disabling of swipe-to-refresh has been fixed in some scenarios. Custom headers are now applied when loading a link from the WebView and not just from the URL bar. And the context menu items have been reordered for consistency and priority.

All the translated strings inside the app were updated for this release except for Turkish. Due to the temporary unavailability of the French and Italian translators when the release was being prepared, the changelogs in those languages were not translated in time to be included, but they will be added in the future.

The next release will focus on cleaning up a bunch of little bugs and feature requests.

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