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Mozilla Firefox not coming to iPhone, iPad until Apple relaxes iOS browser rules

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
Apple is too unfriendly to third-party browsers, says Mozilla vice president Jay Sullivan, and Firefox will not be coming to iPads and iPhones until Apple decides to loosen the restrictions governing browsers iOS.

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CNet reported Sullivan's comments, which came at a South by Southwest Interactive panel on Saturday. Sullivan says Apple's current rules ? which forbid browsers that do not use Apple's version of WebKit ? make it so that Firefox cannot build the browser it wants to for Apple's platform.

In addition to the WebKit requirement, iOS prevents users from setting any non-Safari app as the default means of handling browsing. Apple's Mobile Safari is the top mobile browser according to industry reports, with about 60 percent share of all mobile browser usage.

Mozilla pulled its Firefox Home app from Apple's App Store in September of 2012. The company isn't working on an iOS version of Firefox and, according to Sullivan, doesn't have any plans to do so.

Another member of the panel, Dolphin Browser's David Dehgahn, lamented Apple's policy as inhibiting competition.

"Competition is critical to our survival," Dehgahn said. Sullivan and Mike Taylor from Opera Software ? which recently released a WebKit-based version of Opera for iOS ? agreed, saying that giving consumers browser choice was necessary in order to move the mobile web forward. Users suffer, they said, under Apple's closed system.

CNet's report says that the panel's moderator then performed a quick poll of the audience, asking how many of them were suffering being largely limited to Safari. Very few hands were raised.
post #2 of 70
No love lost there. Last thing I want on my iPhone is the irritating PC messages of why a site does not support Browser A vs. Browser B and I don't want to deal with a 3rd-party browser hijacking my default browser settings. It's bad enough on a PC, I don't want it on my iPhone.

Mozilla should quit their whining and get on the Webkit bandwagon. The same crybabies were harping on Apple for not supporting Flash so does Mozilla think Apple is really going to bend-over to their demands? Not going to happen.
post #3 of 70

Mozilla Firefox not coming to iPhone, iPad

 

So… that, basically.


giving consumers browser choice was necessary in order to move the mobile web forward.

 

Ten years ago I would have said so, back when Microsoft controlled everything and decided to make proprietary versions of everything else. 


But WebKit doesn't have that problem. And if anything, Safari's slow to adopt rather than quick. If everyone uses WebKit, that will only give more incentive to make Safari a better browser.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #4 of 70

And throw away the whole damn reason that makes Apple devices the success that they are?

 

See ya later Mozilla. Your browser wasn't on iOS devices up until now, I see no reason why users will care whether Apple moves full steam ahead *without* your non-Webkit (why??) browser. We already have a wide selection of browsers to choose from. 

 

Or is Mozilla just smarting like all hell from the rise of Chrome?  (which is doing very well with Webkit.)

 

"CNet's report says that the panel's moderator then performed a quick poll of the audience, asking how many of them were suffering being largely limited to Safari. Very few hands were raised."

 

Bingo. 

post #5 of 70
Good luck playing the waiting game on that one Mozilla. Apple don't care if you do or don't.
They want you to use Webkit as they control it so know what it does and that it's safe.
post #6 of 70

The concern is that Webkit is coming close to having a monopoly in the browser market. It effectively already does in the mobile and tablet space.

 

When one rendering engine has a monopoly, that engine becomes the standard, complete with its bugs and foibles. That isn't good for an open, progressive internet. Webkit may have fewer bugs than IE6, but web standards are evolving all the time and the risk is that the Webkit way becomes the only way.

post #7 of 70

Frankly, Firefox was a great choice over IE but Safari (desktop and mobile) is sweet. My only complaint is that there isn't a Windoze version so that I can use it on my job-issued laptop, too. 

post #8 of 70

As far as I know, the new MozillaOS for phones does not allow third-party browsers either.

post #9 of 70
"until Apple relaxes iOS browser rules"

This isn't about rules, or Apple trying to "control" you... Apple could just BAN 3rd-party browsers if they wanted that. But there ARE 3rd party browsers, and some are good, regardless of some JavaScript benchmark number. (However: Apple SHOULD let you pick a default browser, I feel. And email. Maps too--although that gets more complex due to the range of OS-level requests that a map service may need to handle.)

What this is about is a legitimate security concern--one which is very old news and long ago laid to rest:
http://daringfireball.net/2011/03/nitro_ios_43
(Interesting that even Apple-focused sites that should know better are failing to note this bigger context, and are parroting the misleading statements of Mozilla. Not just AI.)

Nitro (or a similar just-in-time compiler) in third party apps would mean they could put data into RAM and make it executable--a HUGE malware vector and source of risk. Unsigned native code can now run. The only reason Apple allows this risk in Safari is because they can work to keep Safari free of security flaws that would allow exploits. Apple can't control that in other apps, so they're not opening the door to such problems.

That's the trade-off: speed vs. security. Apple has found a good compromise I think, but yes, JavaScript will run slower in third party apps--in other words, at the same perfectly acceptable speed Safari did before Nitro (only faster because today's hardware is faster). I've used Chrome and Mercury on iOS, and haven't felt they were slow.

If Firefox thinks that loaded half-truths will get Apple to abandon security just to help Firefox hit a better-sounding benchmark number for the 17 people who choose a browser that way, then they're deluded. Firefox will need to play WITHIN the rules if those rules have a good reason. This time, they do.

I hope Firefox changes their mind and proceeds on iOS. We don't really need a non-WebKit rendering engine: WebKit is excellent. We certainly don't need security holes that turn iOS into the nest of malware that Android is. But we COULD use some choice in browsers--the experience/UI/features that surround our browsing and manage our pages/tabs/bookmarks. Firefox COULD make a WebKit Firefox for iOS, and I'd welcome the option.
post #10 of 70
Who the **** is clamoring for FF on iOS? There's a reason why opera just switched to WebKit. It's by far the best rendering engine around. There's a million browsers on iOS, the lack of FF is a much bigger blow to FF than it is for iOS. It's benefits are zero.
post #11 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

The concern is that Webkit is coming close to having a monopoly in the browser market. It effectively already does in the mobile and tablet space.

When one rendering engine has a monopoly, that engine becomes the standard, complete with its bugs and foibles. That isn't good for an open, progressive internet. Webkit may have fewer bugs than IE6, but web standards are evolving all the time and the risk is that the Webkit way becomes the only way.

I understand what you're saying, but WebKit is not a browser, nor is it proprietary, so it is unfair to compare it to IE6. WebKit is not controlled by anyone person. It is a rendering engine, and various WebKit browsers can be greatly different.

Do you think HTML has a monopoly that is harming consumers or that will cause stagnation? Nonsense. Similarly, there is room for much competition between the various flavors of WebKit. For instance, look at how Safari and Chrome, despite being based on the same engine, look and feel different and have rapidly progressed in competition.
post #12 of 70
Mozilla can eat sh.t. Apple tells you their rules up front. They should stop crying about it.
post #13 of 70

Who cares? Firefox 19.0.2 is still crap and crashes weekly on Linux.

post #14 of 70
Apple ain't really going to care since truth is, they would rather everyone use the one that is built in. If folks weren't so quick to scream antitrust they would just refuse to approve any third party web browsers, email apps etc

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #15 of 70
You'd think after they dug in their heals against H.264 they would have learned their lesson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

The concern is that Webkit is coming close to having a monopoly in the browser market. It effectively already does in the mobile and tablet space.

When one rendering engine has a monopoly, that engine becomes the standard, complete with its bugs and foibles. That isn't good for an open, progressive internet. Webkit may have fewer bugs than IE6, but web standards are evolving all the time and the risk is that the Webkit way becomes the only way.

You say all this as if WebKit is closed. If you see a bug you report it and you can fix it. It's GNU LGPLv2.1 (JavaScriptCore & WebCore components) and BSD v2.0 (remainder of browser engine). IE6 never had any of that. On top of that IE is a proprietary browser, yet we're talking about a layout engine despite I never see Trident, also closed, never getting mentioned.

The future is a much brighter place with less layout engines for developers to code and test for. There are still version variances, different layouts for JS and CSS, and idiosyncrasies with the apps themselves but it's never been better and I don't see how it won't continue to get better.

For instance, now that Opera has moved to WebKit they don't have to deal with much of the issues with building all of Presto to compete with WebKit but can now extend their long history of innovation to more efficiently adding the features they want to support Opera's development.

Here are a couple links that should key you into how WebKit is drastically different from IE to wit Trident



edit: Doh! Pipped by Pendergast.
Edited by SolipsismX - 3/10/13 at 8:42pm

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post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dookie Howsre View Post

Mozilla can eat sh.t. Apple tells you their rules up front. They should stop crying about it.

Mozilla is also upset by MS not allowing it with Windows RT, but aren't they trying to make a mobile Firefox OS? Does that mean they'll allow any browser engine to run on their platform? I haven't heard anything yet to that effect.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 70
┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐eat this Mozilla!
post #18 of 70
Originally Posted by SomeHumanBeing@Aol.com View Post
┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐eat this Mozilla!

 

I suppose it's… sunglasses? Or breasts in a bikini? Though that would probably be (◣Y◢).


Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
Mozilla is also upset by MS not allowing it with Windows RT, but aren't they trying to make a mobile Firefox OS? Does that mean they'll allow any browser engine to run on their platform? I haven't heard anything yet to that effect.

 

Does Chrome OS allow you to install Safari? lol.gif

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #19 of 70
If Fire Fox wants to stick a finger up at Apple, just write an app and release it in Cydia.
post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

This isn't about rules, or Apple trying to "control" you... Apple could just BAN 3rd-party browsers if they wanted that.

 

Maybe, maybe not.

 

When Microsoft controlled a humongous portion of the desktop OS market, they got in trouble for leveraging this position in their competition between their web browser and others. And that was just including the browser with the OS. You could still run any other web browser you wanted on your Windows PC, regardless of if it used the Trident engine or not. And you could make any of them your default browser.

 

So when you think about it, Apple is being even more abusive than Microsoft.

 

As iDevices get more popular and if Apple continues to expand their market share in these areas, it could -- nay it should be held up to the same standards for anti-competitive behavior.

post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeHumanBeing@Aol.com View Post

┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐eat this Mozilla!

Wow that is an old username for only a couple posts. What are some of your other usernames?

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dminnici View Post

If Fire Fox wants to stick a finger up at Apple, just write an app and release it in Cydia.

My first thought was that it's not worth the effort but my second thought is that it isn't such a bad idea. I bet I could be convinced it's actually a feasible idea that will make them money. Jailbreaking is pretty easy and I have to think that many that would want Firefox on iOS aren't going to be too turned off by jailbreaking to get it, especially if it included 3rd-part extensions for Firefox that aren't possible otherwise. If such an option existed I might jailbreak again just for that.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

What are some of your other usernames?

He has them listed over at his GeoCities webpage and on his LiveJournal account.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #24 of 70

Just a coincidence that this comes on the heels of the Microsoft fine from the EU? Maybe Mozilla is trying to provoke the EU to attack Apple…

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post #25 of 70

Cydia has standards too!  

Quote:
Originally Posted by dminnici View Post

If Fire Fox wants to stick a finger up at Apple, just write an app and release it in Cydia.

Edited for a stupid autocorrect!


Edited by wizard69 - 3/11/13 at 1:33am
post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Frankly, Firefox was a great choice over IE but Safari (desktop and mobile) is sweet. My only complaint is that there isn't a Windoze version so that I can use it on my job-issued laptop, too. 

There is, but they don't update it anymore
http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1531?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
40MB .exe
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeHumanBeing@Aol.com View Post

┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐eat this Mozilla!

Eat that Mozzarella!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Does Chrome OS allow you to install Safari?

I would presume so, if Wiki is any good:
"Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work exclusively with web applications. Google announced the operating system on July 7, 2009 and made it an open source project, called Chromium OS, in November 2009."
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

He has them listed over at his GeoCities webpage and on his LiveJournal account.

Showing your age. Oops.
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post #27 of 70

Maybe but you can only cry Wolf so many times.   Besides the situation is entirely different, Apple has not said you can't build your own browser for iOS they just have specific requirements on its interface to supplied libraries.  I really don't see where this is a huge problem.   This is especially the case with something like Firefox which never really stabilized as a browser.   

 

It has been a long time since I looked at developer agreements with respect to iOS, but the last time I looked they had a requirement that you make use of the built in JavaScript interpreter.   I don't see where this is a bad thing.  Firefox demands sound a bit like demanding that Apple use an i86 processor instead of an ARM.  I suspect there are a lot of die hardship working on Firefox that just don't want to give up on their aging code base. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eluard View Post

Just a coincidence that this comes on the heels of the Microsoft fine from the EU? Maybe Mozilla is trying to provoke the EU to attack Apple…

post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaFox View Post

 

Maybe, maybe not.

 

When Microsoft controlled a humongous portion of the desktop OS market, they got in trouble for leveraging this position in their competition between their web browser and others. And that was just including the browser with the OS. You could still run any other web browser you wanted on your Windows PC, regardless of if it used the Trident engine or not. And you could make any of them your default browser.

 

So when you think about it, Apple is being even more abusive than Microsoft.

 

As iDevices get more popular and if Apple continues to expand their market share in these areas, it could -- nay it should be held up to the same standards for anti-competitive behavior.

 

It's not really the same thing.

 

Microsoft did not make the PCs, so they were competing in the market for PC operating systems.

Apple makes the whole device, so they are competing in the market for smart phones. They are not competing in the "browsers running on iOS" market because there isn't really any such thing, and as long as you stick to their rules you are free to build an alternative browser.

 

MS attempted to use IE to force competition out of the PC operating systems market.

Apple's decision to only allow Webkit browsers does not harm other competitors in the smartphone marketplace. In fact, you could argue that limiting choice actually disadvantages Apple in the face of the competition.

 

Moreover, Apple does not have a monopoly in the smartphone market, so the "anti-competitive" argument is unlikely to stick.

 

Apple's top priority is to maintain a uniform experience for its consumer customers. It is not going to risk that experience just to pander to Firefox and a relatively small group of vocal geeks.

post #29 of 70

Wow, there's a lot of grouchy people in this thread. Lighten up, people. :)

post #30 of 70

The only monopoly left in the post PC world is search (google). Give Apple some time, and they can fix that problem too, like they did with maps, like they are doing with desktops, like they did with phones and tablets.

Now we are seeing products, complete integrated products (nexus, surface, macs, pixel, idevices) and those that create them have every right to choose what they allow and what they don't allow to be installed. If Apple or Microsoft thinks that Safari/IE provide the browsing experience they want on their devices, they have every right to ban other browsers if they want.

 

Don't like it? Buy another product.

 

Now... Search and how google uses that to "enforce" other devices/"choices"? That's a crime right there, not to mention the "dark" ads. Try and download (on windows) Ccleaner. They will bombard you with chrome... Now for the piracy:

- Download utorrent. Google sponsors them and they will try to install chrome.

- go to pirate bay. They will say your browser should be UPGRADED to chrome. Google pays.

- Go to MEGA. They will say only chrome is good enough. Google pays.

- Heck, even adobe.

 

I really believe Apple has a pair of aces for search. They will bring it to google and I'm not talking about using Bing as the default search engine, even if that is enough to hurt google (and maybe even a nice deal with microsoft). Such hypocrisy, they are bad.

post #31 of 70
Oh noes, you mean we won't be getting a version update everytime we fire up our browser? Mozilla is late to the party. If they knew there was a party.
post #32 of 70
Choice is bad. When will the world learn than? Dammit. Only one browser is good for you. You will use it or die.
post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie Goo Goo View Post

Choice is bad. When will the world learn than? Dammit. Only one browser is good for you. You will use it or die.

In this case, yes it is bad. The advantages of the current method are what makes Apple earn 15 billion net profit each month. Controlled and healthy environments that provide a much better product. In fact, it pisses me off that they sell so many devices, when much people have no idea about what they are buying. It cheapens the product. The iphone is a marvel, it shouldn't be sold to teenagers and persons that only buy it just because they can, without a rational reason... Ok, if we use this metric, no one would be buying a s3, but still...

 

Anyway, you can buy an Android phone if you want. There's a lot of companies there that need your help/money.

post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euphonious View Post

The concern is that Webkit is coming close to having a monopoly in the browser market. It effectively already does in the mobile and tablet space.

 

When one rendering engine has a monopoly, that engine becomes the standard, complete with its bugs and foibles. That isn't good for an open, progressive internet. Webkit may have fewer bugs than IE6, but web standards are evolving all the time and the risk is that the Webkit way becomes the only way.

Webkit is open, so who gives a damn? This is not the same situation as Explorer.

post #35 of 70

What I really want from a mobile browser is the ability to block ads.

post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral View Post

What I really want from a mobile browser is the ability to block ads.

Turn of JavaScript in Settings and browse for a day. See if you're missing out much, perhaps a viable option...

@Goonie: please become a Goner.
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post #37 of 70
Why would I care that the slow, huge and bloated desktop browser Firefox isn't coming to my ios device (which already has a browser I like well enough, aside from regular crashes new to it since ios 6)? I'm not interested in further fragmentation of my user experience. It's bad enough that some of my apps are clearly android ports with miserable GUI behaviors (I'm looking at you, Verizon, OKC, State Farm and nextag). All I ask for is Apple to fix crashing in safari (and that web designers stop using infinite pages!!!). I don't want other browsers. I didn't buy an android phone for a reason. I'm ditching Windows for a reason. I don't use Linux. For a reason. While I'm readily acknowledging the frustration of getting data in and out of iPhone with iTunes, I'm otherwise quite comfortable with this walled garden thing and am happy to see some of these concepts moved to OS X. When the device behaves as a tool to get stuff, rather than as a platform for development, the users benefit. As techy as I used to be, I am not at all embarrassed to admit to considering myself a born again user.
post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaFox View Post

Maybe, maybe not.

When Microsoft controlled a humongous portion of the desktop OS market, they got in trouble for leveraging this position in their competition between their web browser and others. And that was just including the browser with the OS. You could still run any other web browser you wanted on your Windows PC, regardless of if it used the Trident engine or not. And you could make any of them your default browser.

So when you think about it, Apple is being even more abusive than Microsoft.

As iDevices get more popular and if Apple continues to expand their market share in these areas, it could -- nay it should be held up to the same standards for anti-competitive behavior.

As Rayz already posted, there is no comparison between MS and Apple in this regard.
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post #39 of 70

I wonder how long till Google pull the plug on Mozilla?

post #40 of 70
@nagromme In practice, they banned third party browsers, by making it impossible to make a complete browser. You can make something that looks, feels, sounds like a browser. It is not one.
Rest of your post is extremely interesting 1biggrin.gif


What i'm most concerned with is that Apple seems to be Internet-Explorer-Six-ing the iPhone, and since Apple has much better UI/design/usability capabilities than Microsoft ever had, nobody cares about the issue...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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