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Mozilla Says We Won't Be Seeing Firefox On iOS Anytime Soon

Mozilla will not be bringing Firefox, its popular desktop Web browser, to iOS. At least until Apple gives more leeway to third-party browsers, that is. CNET reports that Mozilla is "not currently building a version of its Firefox browser for iOS, nor does the company plan to." The announcement comes straight from Joe Sullivan, Mozilla's vice president of product, who spoke on a mobile browser wars panel at South by Southwest Interactive. Apparently, the holdout stems from Mozilla's inability to "build the browser it wants to for Apple's platform." But it should be noted that Mozilla is unable to do so not because of something that's lacking on its part. Rather, it's because of Apple's restrictions on third-party browsers on iOS. As explained by The Verge, Apple's mobile Safari uses a JavaScript rendering engine called Nitro that's faster than the engine allowed for use by third-party browsers. But Mozilla evidently wants to use its own rendering engine in building Firefox for iOS. Either Mozilla gets to do that, or it gets to do nothing at all. Going by what Sullivan said, it would seem that the iPad Web browser Mozilla demoed in June last year has been back-burnered. Mozilla used to maintain an iPhone app called Firefox Home, which could sync tabs from desktop to iPhone. But the app had been pulled by Mozilla in September last year.
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