Mozilla reportedly planning return to iOS with Firefox Web browser

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2015
After steering clear of Apple's iOS for well over a year, developer Mozilla is said to be working on a flagship Firefox Web browser that may soon make an appearance on iPhones and iPads.


Source: Matt Ruttley via Twitter


While Mozilla has yet to issue a definitive public announcement, the pieces are falling into place for a Firefox debut on iOS, reports TechCrunch. The publication said the company discussed bringing its popular desktop browser to Apple's mobile OS at a closed event in Portland.

"We need to be where our users are so we're going to get Firefox on iOS," Firefox project manager Lukas Blakk said in a tweet. TechCrunch believes Blakk was paraphrasing earlier remarks from Mozilla VP for Firefox Jonathan Nightingale, who spoke at the event on Tuesday.

A subsequent Twitter post from Matthew Ruttley, manager of data science at Mozilla, contained the photo above in what appears to be Nightingale speaking in front of a slide clearly showing Apple's iPhone 6. Accompanying the photo was text that read, "Firefox for iOS!! Let's do this!!!"

If Mozilla is indeed working on an iOS-compatible Firefox app, it signifies a marked change in policy from the one instituted under former CEO Gary Kovacs. As reported by VentureBeat, Kovacs last year said in no uncertain terms that a Firefox for iOS app would not be considered until Apple relaxes its rules on third-party web engines. A month prior to Kovacs' statement, Mozilla's then-vice president Jay Sullivan said much the same.

Apple keeps iOS closed for various reasons, not the least of which being security. The company requires third-party developers use its own WebKit rendering engine and JavaScript components when building Web browsers for iOS. This means all iPhone and iPad browsers share similar ingredients, leaving little room for deviation.

Mozilla held a presence on iOS with Firefox Home, an app meant to sync Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and open tabs with Apple's portable devices, but the program was killed off in 2012.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    ?
  • Reply 2 of 25
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,451member
    Will it have a preference setting: "Make Firefox my default browser?"
  • Reply 3 of 25
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    I thought FireFox wasn't going to make an iOS browser?

    Why is it that AI posts news stories what seems like hours after everyone else?
  • Reply 4 of 25
    You can't beat Apple's implementation of WebKit, so they might as well use it for an iOS port.

    As long as they stick with their proprietary engine on the PC I'm fine with this.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    As long as they stick with their proprietary engine on the PC I'm fine with this.

    Please no.

     

    Gecko needs to die already. Give me a working Servo Mozilla.

  • Reply 6 of 25
    Firewho?
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

     

    Please no.

     

    Gecko needs to die already. Give me a working Servo Mozilla.




    Gecko works better than anything else, I haven't seen a page that doesn't work in FF since about 2009, when Microsoft finally got with the times and stopped requiring IE for everything. I don't want them to adopt Google's rendering engine like Opera did, who needs Google getting more of your data than they already do?

  • Reply 8 of 25
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,167member

    After what Mozilla and the homo-terrorists did to Brendan Eich, no way.

  • Reply 9 of 25

    Gecko works better than anything else, I haven't seen a page that doesn't work in FF since about 2009, when Microsoft finally got with the times and stopped requiring IE for everything. I don't want them to adopt Google's rendering engine like Opera did, who needs Google getting more of your data than they already do?

    Google's data collection is independent of the rendering and Javascript engines.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    macxpress wrote: »
    I thought FireFox wasn't going to make an iOS browser?

    Why is it that AI posts news stories what seems like hours after everyone else?

    I haven't seen this until now so if you are so knowledgeable and current, post to those sites and quit wasting your time here.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TimMyMan View Post





    Google's data collection is independent of the rendering and Javascript engines.



    I seriously doubt that.

  • Reply 12 of 25
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

     

    Please no.

     

    Gecko needs to die already. Give me a working Servo Mozilla.


     

    Remember when Gecko was our hope and savior? Moz let it slip badly.

     

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    Gecko works better than anything else, I haven't seen a page that doesn't work in FF since about 2009, when Microsoft finally got with the times and stopped requiring IE for everything. I don't want them to adopt Google's rendering engine like Opera did, who needs Google getting more of your data than they already do?


     

    Unfortunately, this is just not the case anymore. Gecko has turned into the red headed step child, as far as development is concerned. Several separate corporate resources allocated to Webkit have propelled it further than Gecko has come in a far less amount of time.

     

    You also realize that Google has been the largest contributor to Webkit in the last five years? Or that Google's rendering engine, Blink, is still Webkit, in the same sense as Webkit was still KDE after launch. In fact, you can get a list of changes to Blink's WebCore fork right here on the net and see exactly what has changed. 

  • Reply 13 of 25

    Yeah, have to agree. I'm afraid Firefox is getting a smaller and smaller share of the market. For all intents, any browser other than Mobile Safari on iOS is effectively a 2nd tier browser because of the constraints Apple places on browser iOS development. 

  • Reply 14 of 25
    netroxnetrox Posts: 759member
    "After what Mozilla and the homo-terrorists did to Brendan Eich, no way."

    Oh yeah? And why are you using Apple products made by liberal hippies and run by a gay CEO?
  • Reply 15 of 25
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by djkikrome View Post





    I haven't seen this until now so if you are so knowledgeable and current, post to those sites and quit wasting your time here.

     

    You must not look on other sites...or at least very hard. It was on 2 others (probably more) at least 12hrs before AI posted it. In fact, it was their top headline for most of the day yesterday. 

  • Reply 16 of 25

    You can't release a non-WebKit browser on iOS anyway so what's the point? (At least Chrome already uses it, Firefox would need to be ported.)

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    After what Mozilla and the homo-terrorists did to Brendan Eich, no way.


     

    Eat a bullet.

  • Reply 17 of 25

    Although Firefox is still second popular browser after Chrome, I think it will loose popularity in near future for lagging back in compatibility issue. That why I think, the inclusion of Mozilla apps in iOS is not necessary in the long run.

  • Reply 18 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    I seriously doubt that.




    Someone doesn't understand how a web rendering engine works. You realize Chrome and Safari both use Webkit right? You know, the engine responsible for rendering websites.

  • Reply 19 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by djkikrome View Post





    I haven't seen this until now so if you are so knowledgeable and current, post to those sites and quit wasting your time here.

    Are you too lazy to look it up yourself?  Posted 5 hours before AppleInsider copied and pasted the article.  You would have read this on Engadget last night.

     

    http://www.engadget.com/2014/12/02/firefox-ios-plans/

  • Reply 20 of 25

    I seriously doubt that.

    Your doubt means next to nothing. If I'm wrong it should take you no time to disprove me. Put up or shut up.
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