So now I can only use Chrome with the next Android update?

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I really like using Firefox because I can block ads with ublock on mobile.  But Chrome on mobile doesn't (at least not that I've seen) allow extensions yet.  I really don't like my phone's battery or my time being wasted with ads.  But if that's the way CE has to run things to make things purified, then I guess I can do it.
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Ezra Miller

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steel

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I'll be a little more blunt: This is not what I expect of any company of whom I am a subscriber, but especially not one who is helping me to be more transparent with my life.

You guys (Covenant Eyes [Dev] Team) should have really given us users a heads-up, minimally, but more service-minded would have been a poll or questionnaire. I avoid using chrome due to privacy concerns with the GoogleMonster. (Ironic, I know, for an Android user to say that.)
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Steel

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Aaaaand the forum ate half of my post.

The larger issue is that I now have to choose between syncing all of my browser info with all of my devices, a function I've been using for a long time now, *or* accountability with covenant eyes. This is not an easy choice. I'd much rather be able to choose not to use filtering (which I already don't pay for), and continue not paying for it, and also continue to use my preferred browser. There really could be other options here, if the devs would permit it...

Not cool team, not cool.
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Ezra Miller

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I'm with you completely.  Google and Mozilla both release their source code, and CE could take the best of both worlds, and make a really cool browser that blocks ads, and is transparent for filtering and accountability.  "There is no way.  There just is no way.  You're talking nonsense sir."

I do realize that CE is not the end all, but I know that the XXXchurch app doesn't work, and their browser thing is/was horrible and mostly unusable.  And I have that ADD brain, so I have a very addictive personality.  With that being said, unfiltered unrestricted access is NOT an option.  I'll just get rid of my smartphone if that is the case.
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Steel

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I actually think that *is* an unrealistic idea. Browsers aren't quite the simplicity a non-developer would hope them to be. I'd be happy simply with a choice, but wasn't given one...
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Ezra Miller

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Sigh...I was hoping someone else would be asking questions besides you and me.  Apparently, either people don't know or don't care.  Guess I'll not be using my tablet or updating the CE app on my phone for now.  Ugh, the ads were just horrid trying to use Chrome.  I don't care about viagra pills or some other trash that I don't need.
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John Roberson

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Glad I'm not the only one annoyed by this.  A heads up really would have been nice.  The release notes mention it, but there's no info about why this change was made.  I'm pretty disappointed by this since Firefox is my browser of choice, and suddenly after the update I can't use it anymore.
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John, Official Rep

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Hey All.

This thread has gone unanswered for too long, and I want to apologize for that. I have moved off to another project, and as such and no longer the front runner for handling this. Still though, this thread deserves some attention, so I will do my best to shed some light on the situation.

@Steel. When Android 5.0 came out a few years back, Google removed the ability for Covenant Eyes to use a single process to look at all the data that came through the phone. We were forced to pivot and leverage newer technologies (specifically Accessibility) to be able to provide any coverage on the device at all. Since then Covenant Eyes has only been able to monitor the apps that we specifically can program Accessibility nodes for. Not all apps are created equal, and every time an app changes even a small part of the layout we need to reconfigure our nodes in order to make sure we can cover it. It leads to a never ending battle to support even a small number of apps for the purposes of accountability. The browsers we currently allow are the ones we were able to create filtering for, and reliably maintain accessibility nodes to cover. It does not mean that our coverage will not expand (in fact we want to expand it greatly) but this was a necessary step in order to provide strong coverage for the majority of users. I apologize for a lack of clear communication about our reasoning and functions until now, it was not our intention to blindside our members.

@Ezra It surprises me that ads are a problem for you in Chrome, as an Android users and longtime Chrome aficionado I have almost no exposure to those kind of ads (or many ads at all). 

@john Hopefully this will help clear up at least some of our reasoning.

Overall I just want to say that Covenant Eyes is committed first and foremost to giving our users the tools they need to overcome internet temptation, and to regain control of their online behaviors. Secondly, we desire to make software that meshes seamlessly with our users lives, and bridges the gap between technology and relationships. We view this as a step forward for Android in most cases (it was the last of our clients that did not support filtering) but we also know that it limits the choices of our users in the process. Expect us to continue to work on broadening our coverage and usability, as we strive to meet the needs of our users and help them stay safe online.
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John Roberson

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John,

Thanks for the reply.  Still disappointed to lose Firefox support, but I appreciate you taking the time to explain the reasoning behind the decision.
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John Roberson

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Hey John,

One more quick question.  I just noticed that now the Lastpass app is being block too, I think because Android treats it as a browser.  Is there any way for me to whitelist this app so that covenant eyes does not block it?
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Ezra Miller

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So I have galaxy S7. I tried rooting my phone after getting it in August. But it made my phone too unstable and almost bricked it. So I can't use adblock or Adaway to fix it. Anyway, chrome doesn't have extensions on mobile. So that's what my biggest gripe was.
To combat this, I use the reddit app for reddit.
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Ryan Sherrett, Official Rep

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Hello John,

Yes, you are correct in that Android treats this as a browser.  We've been working hard on pretty much just this issue for the last couple of weeks try to find a way to better monitor the browser traffic from LastPass.  We don't have an app whitelisting capability in our system currently, but we do have the option to block apps.  So we decided to take an approach from that angle instead.  We're going to allow LastPass, and rely on engaged partners/guardians to determine of the usage of the app is appropriate.  One example of that is time of use.  As a password manager, usage may be often, but should be rather brief.  Prolonged usage times of that app should be a red flag that someone may instead be using it as a browser in an attempt to browse privately.  

A new version is currently in our beta program that will allow LastPass.  It should be available as the default download soon, depending on the results of that beta testing. The changes in this are fairly minimal so I suspect it shouldn't have to sit in beta for too long (hopefully something like a week).

Thanks for your feedback and you willingness to adjust to stay pure. We'll continue working toward other browsers, like Firefox, as we move forward.

Thanks!

Ryan Sherrett
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John Roberson

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Ryan,

Thanks so much for your update on this.  Glad to hear about the progress on Lastpass.  I really appreciate your guys' hard work on this!

Thanks,

John
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Matthew Ramsussen

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Same with a basic search with the Bing search bar, it is an unsupported browser now, I only use Bing. You can monitor this on windows, hopefully you can change that on Android too. I have the Bing app to open searches in Chrome, but it won't even let me do the initial search (and I like those points I get for searching with Bing on mobile).
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Jeff Chin

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Ditto to this.  I am most disappointed that I can't use Bing/Microsoft Rewards on my phone any longer.  Also, I am an Opera user & would appreciate support for that.  This frustration has nearly brought me to uninstalling CE.  It's good to know they are working on this, however, I wonder how many of us use Opera as their browser besides me.