Firefox for iOS preview launches in New Zealand, to hit App Store by year's end

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2015
It appears that Mozilla is making progress with its Firefox for iOS browser, as the company launched a limited trial program in New Zealand to shake out bugs and gather data ahead of a planned worldwide debut later this year.




Mozilla announced availability of the first Firefox for iOS preview through its blog on Thursday, noting testing will expand beyond New Zealand to other unnamed countries before a full public launch.

With a test build out in the wild, Mozilla gather data and user feedback to inform the development of new features. Among the current features undergoing testing is Intelligent Search, a suggested search tool that surfaces relevant results from a user's chosen providers. Firefox Accounts provides portable account management and cross-device syncing of browsing history, passwords and tabs.

Mozilla is also collecting feedback to help squash bugs and optimize performance so it can get Firefox in the iOS App Store by the end of 2015. Users can respond directly to the company via an in-app message submittal system.

While Apple's Safari makes up the lion's share of mobile Web browser usage, but Firefox is still a popular desktop alternative to competing products. In 2013 Mozilla famously said it had no plans to port a version of Firefox to iOS until Apple loosened restrictions on Web browsers marketed through the App Store. The company subsequently reversed course and late last year announced plans to bring Firefox over to iOS.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    And not a f*k was given.
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Why would anyone put that atrocious browser on their iPhone? Safari is perfect as far as I'm concerned, even on Mac.
  • Reply 3 of 28

    Precisely

  • Reply 4 of 28
    Is this just a front end for WebKit like Chrome for iOS, or does this actually use the Mozilla engine?
  • Reply 5 of 28
    rexbinary wrote: »
    Is this just a front end for WebKit like Chrome for iOS, or does this actually use the Mozilla engine?

    I think the rules still require the use of WebKit, so...
  • Reply 6 of 28
    1) Firefox's reign is all but gone, but according to StatCounter's latest results at least German and the Central African Republic both use Firefox on the desktop more than any other browser.

    2) I don't think that many use Chrome over Safari on iOS so I wonder how much money they expect to gain from this. I guess the creation costs are pretty low but it all just seems sad considering how late they are to the party.

    pigybank wrote: »
    Why would anyone put that atrocious browser on their iPhone? Safari is perfect as far as I'm concerned, even on Mac.

    That's not exactly an objective comment. Are you seriously asking why other web browser front ends on iOS would be desired?

    I think the rules still require the use of WebKit, so...

    That still afford the Firefox user specific features that aren't offered by Safari, just as Chrome for iOS does.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member

    Wow for once I will get a product on my iThing before anyone else in the world. Even if it is something that no one really gives a hoot about.

  • Reply 8 of 28

    I'm so angry about this. Cuts cuss cuss. 

  • Reply 9 of 28
    If FireFox would simply require a password at the opening of the browser, then FireFox could be used to as 'Special' browser that device owner's kids or spouses would never be able to get into and track history or bookmarks.
    This would make FireFox a must have for those who wish to have a truly private and protected internet browsing experience.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adhir View Post



    And not a f*k was given.

     

    This sums it up perfectly. Not sure what Mozilla hopes to accomplish. 

  • Reply 11 of 28
    Who cares? I'm waiting for Epiphany Webkit2 to reach 3.0 so I can dump Firefox. It's a pig on Linux and I sure as hell don't care about it on OS X, never mind iOS.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    I use Firefox on pc. So I'm looking forward to seeing it on iOS. What browser is most popular that people use on PC? I always use safari on my phone and it's great.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    Who cares about window dressing on the iron curtain. Its well known its not a level playing field for browsers on ios. Why anyone bothers is beyond me.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    subbies wrote: »
    I use Firefox on pc. So I'm looking forward to seeing it on iOS. What browser is most popular that people use on PC? I always use safari on my phone and it's great.
    I use Chrome and Safari on my PC. Safari and Chrome on my MacBook. Safari and Atomic Web (password protected browser) on iOS.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    ksecksec Posts: 1,551member
    Quote:


     2) I don't think that many use Chrome over Safari on iOS so I wonder how much money they expect to gain from this. I guess the creation costs are pretty low but it all just seems sad considering how late they are to the party.


     

    This isn't even about money. It is ( in my opinion ) about surviving. With Chrome and Safari, or even Opera, you have a way to Sync all your Reading list, Tabs, History, Bookmark across your Tablet, Mobile and PC. The only major browser lack this features is Firefox.

     

    *Mozilla previously had an iOS app but they stubbornly decided to close it down. They thought their close to 30% Desktop Market share will make Apple reconsider their position and opened up for third party Browser Engine.

     

    By having Firefox on iPhone, Mozilla hope their market share decline on Desktop will be slowed down, since there is one less reason to dump Firefox.  And hopefully when e10s ( Tab Per process ) Ship they will gain some share from Chrome.  

  • Reply 16 of 28
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Thanks to Apple insisting on web standards with Safari/iOS, and refusing to support Flash and Java, the web is a lot more standardized than it used to be. In terms of how pages render, it doesn't really matter any more what browser you use.

     

    I just use whatever's bundled with the OS: Safari on my Mac, Firefox on Ubuntu, Edge on Windows. That way you're sure to get security updates.

  • Reply 17 of 28
    Absolutely pointless.

    They should focus on the desktop to keep being my favorite and main browser.
  • Reply 18 of 28

    Too late. Irrelevant. Move on.

  • Reply 19 of 28
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    tenly wrote: »
    I use Chrome and Safari on my PC. Safari and Chrome on my MacBook. Safari and Atomic Web (password protected browser) on iOS.
    Apple ditched safari on PC many years ago. I suggest you do the same.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    I use Firefox everywhere. Adding it to iOS will hopefully allow full synchronization of bookmarks, settings and whatever else makes sense to synchronize. Although I'm very happy with Mercury browser, I'll certainly give Firefox a try.
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