Firefox may be coming soon to an iOS device near you

November 24, 2014


Remember Firefox? The browser is still surprisingly popular, with about 13 percent of the global browser market last month compared to Internet Explorer’s 59 percent and Safari’s relatively small 6 percent share. Well, you may soon be able to browse your favorite websites with an iOS version of Firefox according to TUAW sister site TechCrunch.

At an internal Mozilla event in Portland, Oregon yesteday, Firefox release manager Lukas Blakk tweeted that “We need to be where our users are so we’re going to get Firefox on iOS”. The company acknowledged that it is “experimenting” with the iOS platform in an official statement:

At Mozilla, we put our users first and want to provide an independent choice for them on any platform. We are in the early stages of experimenting with something that allows iOS users to be able to choose a Firefox-like experience.

We work in the open at Mozilla and are just starting to experiment, so we’ll update you when we have more to share.

The term “experimenting” is an interesting choice. Apple has major restrictions with regard to third-party browser engines on iOS, requiring that they use Apple’s own JavaScript and rendering engines. Chrome does use Apple’s engine, while Opera actually renders sites on a server before sending them to an iOS device.

Mozilla doesn’t say how it plans to bring Firefox to iOS, but most likely it will have to work with Apple’s technology. As with Chrome, that restriction still means that the browser should be able to support Firefox accounts and bookmark syncing.

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