Here's a quick update on where things stand with the next generation of Onion Browser:
I’ve been working quite a bit with the Guardian Project (the fine folks behind Orbot & Orfox, the Tor apps for Android) and several great collaborators (Benjamin Erhart and Carrie Winfrey) on some key parts of the Tor integration:
POE is a module that helps guide a user through Tor and Tor's connection settings the first time they open the app (and whenever you hit the Tor connection settings after that). It goes hand-in-hand with Tor.framework, the module that bundles a little Tor client into the app.
These improvements not only make it easier to maintain Onion Browser going forward, but eventually they’ll make it easier for other developers to integrate Tor networking into their own apps.
As I've likely mentioned before, Onion Browser 2 is based on an open-source browser called Endless. Through Endless, Onion Browser gets a nicer user interface with tabbed browsing, and a host of other great features: HTTPS Everywhere, some built-in ad-blocking lists, per-site privacy settings, and a decent SSL certificate viewer.
You can see a little bit of this work in the attached screenshots. (POE: screens 01 through 04. Browser user interface: 05-08. 07 shows the default DuckDuckGo-over-Onion search engine being used. 08 notably shows the SSL viewer in action.)
Some good news: Supporters at the "Beta Tier" now have access to an early test version of Onion Browser 2. If you're a supporter at this tier and you're not yet registered for TestFlight but you want to be, please double-check your Patreon direct messages (I may have asked you some questions). Or, simply message me and let me know what your Apple ID e-mail address is. (Because lots of folks use different e-mail addresses for different things — and because there’s a cap to how many e-mail addresses I can add for testing — I don’t automatically sign you up for the beta without double-checking with you.)
(Same goes with the $5 tier: If you'd like to be credited as a supporter in the app credits but you haven't seen a Patreon direct message from me, feel free to reach out.)
Anyway, I'm really happy with the progress we've made so far and I'm very happy to finally be sharing this with all of you. I'm especially grateful for Benjamin, Carrie, and Nathan at the Guardian Project, without whom this project wouldn’t be anywhere near the shape it’s in.
Looking forward to sharing more with you soon!