back to article Mozilla to Apple: we don't care about iOS

Firefox won't land on Apple's iOS until the fruity company relaxes its rules about third party browsers, according to Jay Sullivan, vice president of product at Mozilla. Sullivan spoke on a panel at the SXSW music-and-tech-fest in Austin, Texas, over the weekend, and told the crowd Apple's refusal to allow the installation of …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's ok, we don't want your browser.

    Safari works perfectly fine on iOS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: That's ok, we don't want your browser.

      It's always amazing to me to see the huge number of apps I use routinely that are not available on iOS.

      What the fanboys won't tell you is that most of them are using Splashtop and Parallels to run their Windows apps on their iPads and Macs. They haven't really left Microsoft behind at all.

      1. Tim99 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: That's ok, we don't want your browser.

        @Andy Prough

        Perhaps most fanbois don't really need Microsoft. I run Debian and several Windows instances in Parallels on a couple of Macs. On these machines, I use Windows about once a fortnight for a few minutes to help maintain shrink wrapped (Windows) versions of software that I wrote. I find that OS X and Debian cover all of my needs, and that I don't use Windows for any other purpose.

        Admittedly I have retired and am now spared the festering frustration that is SharePoint, Exchanges, Windows Server and Office - Although I do volunteer to maintain some Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7 and 8 machines at a Council run over-50s centre (1200+ members), and am profoundly grateful that I no longer have to do this sort of thing for a crust...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Andy

        Wait, what? You're surprised that Windows apps are not available for iOS? I assume you meant OS X? Because I'm not seeing a great clamor for people to run Quickbooks or Turbotax on their phone or tablet, whether it runs iOS, Android or WP8. There aren't any more Windows apps available on Android than on iOS, and aside from Office and other MS apps, I really doubt the situation is any better on WP8.

        Setting aside your point about iOS and Splashtop, since there are more iPhone owners who don't own a Mac than do, I don't see why OS X owners booting Windows to run a few apps is a problem. They've left Windows behind as much as they can, but are currently unable to leave it behind entirely. You seem to see that a victory for Microsoft, but it is more likely a temporary situation they'll remedy over time.

        If you own Office on Windows 7 and later buy a Mac, maybe you don't want to pay for it again on OS X? But if/when you ever decide to upgrade it, you might buy it on OS X next time, or decide that the not-quite-100% compatibility offered by iWork or LibreOffice is "good enough". I have an iPhone and run a Linux desktop, but my laptop dual boots Windows 7. Mostly I just boot it for iTunes (oh, the irony) I used to use Office on Windows often but LibreOffice is so good now it doesn't matter anymore. I have an old copy of Office that I didn't even bother to install on Windows 7 because I haven't had any reason to do so yet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Andy

          Don't overthink it - I was talking about lack of iOS apps like alternate keyboards, of which my Android device has about 50 billion different ones I could download if I wanted.

          >"my laptop dual boots Windows 7. Mostly I just boot it for iTunes (oh, the irony)"

          I think you just made my point for me. Meantime, I can interact with the Google Play music manager or the Amazon mp3 cloud on practically any device.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      wtf ?

      16 downvotes for this ? Is it that you really want Firefox, or you don't believe Safari works fine or wot ?

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: wtf ?

        I reckon it's a little from column A, a little from column B, and some from column C, headed "no-one likes a fanboy smart-ass".

        Safari works "fine". Firefox and Chrome would work better, so they're banned. If you're OK with that, enjoy your iOS device.

        1. William Donelson
          FAIL

          Re: wtf ?

          I have an iPhone and a brand new Nexus 7 with the new Chrome. Chrome is crap. Viewport tiny on 1280 x 800 screen, tabs permanently in place, URL bar too, no full screen mode.

          I use Dolphin on the Nexus - 10x better than Chrome.

          1. 1Rafayal

            @William Donelson Re: wtf ?

            I also use Dolphin my android tablet.

            It is faster and a bit more stable in my opinion.

            1. Not also known as SC

              Re: @William Donelson wtf ?

              I've been very disappointed with the last few versions of Dolphin. It seems more unstable since Flash support was removed. Currently using Firefox, but would go back to Dolphin in a moment if they sort out the stability problems.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: wtf ?

          Christ on a crutch .. so much emotional investment in a damn phone .. may I humbly suggest that some of you really and truly need to get a life ..

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: wtf ?

          Did you ever read the article? Chrome isn't banned, it already has an iOS port. They just can't use V8, only JavaScriptCore. They already use Webkit anyways, so that's the same.

          Firefox is also not banned, they just refuse to port because they want to use Gecko.

          1. Greg J Preece

            Re: wtf ?

            Did you ever read the article? Chrome isn't banned, it already has an iOS port. They just can't use V8, only JavaScriptCore. They already use Webkit anyways, so that's the same.

            Firefox is also not banned, they just refuse to port because they want to use Gecko.

            Oh I do apologise - theyre only banned from using their own rendering engine. Not a big deal at all, forcing them to be a deliberately slower re-skin of Safari. Nnnnnope. Nothing wrong with that. How could anyone cry foul?

            And if you think all versions of Webkit are created equal, you're wrong.

            By the way, I did know all that, but 'as far as I'm concerned Safari re-skins don't count as separate browsers, so the real, full-fat versions of Chrome and Firefox are indeed banned from iOS, no?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: wtf ?

          "Firefox and Chrome would work better..." [citation needed]

          Also will Mozilla allow webkit based browsers on their mobile OS? Didn't think so...

          1. Bill the Sys Admin
            Mushroom

            Re: wtf ?

            Its a OS built in HTML5....hardly a fair comparison?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Re: wtf ?

              Hardly a fair comparison? Why? Surely what is good for the goose and all that? Mozilla need to put up or shut up. Frankly, I'd prefer the later until they are actually shipping devices.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: wtf ?

                So no then? Fucking hypocrites...

              2. Greg J Preece

                Re: wtf ?

                Hardly a fair comparison? Why?

                iOS is a traditional operating system, and Safari runs on top of it. Gecko *could* run on it, but Apple won't let them.

                B2G / Firefox OS is Firefox. The actual base of the OS you develop on is Gecko. Everything is rendered by it. It's like asking why you can't run Safari inside Firefox on the desktop.

                So, yeah. That's why.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Thumb Down

                  Re: wtf ? @Greg.

                  Nah-a. Let's keep those goal posts static. If Mozilla wanna play this game, they have to let other engines on. After all Gecko is sat on top of a Linux kernel, therefore it could run a webkit browser.

          2. Gio Ciampa

            Re: wtf ?

            More likely than the other way around I'll wager...

        5. This post has been deleted by its author

        6. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

          Re: wtf ?

          And there's "column D": we like to see competition.

          If Safari is the best, then it'll have no trouble out-competing rival browsers. And even if you prefer Safari, you must realise it's good to have other developers snapping at Apple's heels.

    3. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Devil

      Maybe the EU will work it all out...

      And threaten to fine the cr@p out of Apple - like they did Microsoft over the browser issue! Fair is fair! Right? ]:)

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Maybe the EU will work it all out...

        No, EU parliament members are too busy to surf the web on iPads paid by taxpayers to care about it.

  2. Efros
    Pint

    Is this a bit strange

    That Apple can dictate this and Micro$haft gets a half billion euro fine for doing effectively the same thing on Windows. EU are missing a possible income stream here

    1. tempemeaty

      Re: Is this a bit strange

      Yup!

    2. Chris 3

      Re: Is this a bit strange

      Well, except that Apple has never been shown to be using an effective monopoly on desktop operating systems to kill off competing Web browser companies, by pressuring computer manufacturers not to ship alternative browsers.

      Other than that, it's completely analogous.

      1. LDS Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Is this a bit strange

        Apple has the same monopoly on tablets, and Cook often says it himself - what better proof? Thereby why EU keeps on fining MS which no longer has any monopoly in the browser market is really beyond understanding. Moreover while Windows came with IE preinstalled, *it never forbade to install another one*. While Apple does that exactly, and EU doesn't complain - it's really strange....

        1. 1Rafayal
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Is this a bit strange

          You are, however, forgetting that Apple will be elected to the role of Pope this week.

        2. JDX Gold badge

          Apple has the same monopoly on tablets

          Really? El Reg readers are always super keen to point out this isn't the case, and that the fact everybody you know uses iPad is just a bad sample based on you being a hipster knob with other hipster knob friends.

    3. stanimir

      Re: Is this a bit strange

      iOS is not monopoly, if it were Apple would be facing fines in the US of A as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this a bit strange

        > iOS is not monopoly, if it were Apple would be facing fines in the US of A as well.

        Only if they are found to be abusing their monopoly position.

        That was what Microsoft was accused of, not being a monopoly per se.

  3. Seanie Ryan
    WTF?

    oh holy jesus !!!

    just when Anna departs and I start looking forward to some fresh writing , now we have this eejit start using the same old, same old, same old, tired and used-to-death line of "fruity company"

    1. GBL Initialiser

      I got this one.

      Let me explain

      See, Apple is the name of the company that produces iOS but it's also the name of a fruit.

      Now pay attention as this is where it gets a bit botanical or what have you.

      The thing about your basic apple (the fruit) is that it has a quality that could be described as "fruity" and the thing about Apple corp, your basic Apple corp thing, is that it's named after said, fruity fruit. So the writer of this article decided - and I hope you are prepared for this humdinger of a pun realization - to use the term to describe Apple.

      I hope I have been able to put your mind at ease by explaining this clearly enough. If you need further assistance the El Reg news desk may be willing to borrow Anna on a consultancy basis so she may try her hand at explaining.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: I got this one.

        I hope we can fall back to "Foxconn rebadger".

        1. Tim99 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I got this one.

          @Destroy All Monsters

          "I hope we can fall back to "Foxconn rebadger"."

          Yes, but ( according to Wikipedia), that could be:-

          Acer Inc. (Taiwan); Amazon.com (United States); **Apple Inc. (United States)**; Cisco (United States); Dell (United States); Google (United States); Hewlett-Packard (United States); Microsoft (United States); Motorola Mobility (United States); Nintendo (Japan); Nokia (Finland); Sony (Japan); Toshiba (Japan); or Vizio (United States)

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: I got this one.

            "I hope we can fall back to "Foxconn rebadger"."

            Yes, but ( according to Wikipedia), that could be:- [nearly anyone]

            That's why the only acceptable, precise alternative is "fruity Foxconn rebadger". That should make the OP happy.

            ("Your Honor, I object! Counsel is rebadgering the witness.")

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              Re: I got this one.

              "fruity fox con rebadger?"

      2. JCitizen Bronze badge
        Devil

        Re: I got this one.

        Is she good looking? I'd like to try her hand too! }:)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      While we're here

      I get 'fruity company' and I get 'chocolate factory' but what's the acceptable put down for Samsung ?

      1. frank ly

        @Nicho Re: While we're here

        Smugsam? Snugsam? (I know, I'm not making a real effort.)

      2. Andy Christ

        Re: While we're here

        Samesung

        1. Lallabalalla

          Re: While we're here

          samesong

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: While we're here

        @Nicho

        I occasionally pop over to the Mac Daily News website to remind myself what true, unrestrained mac zealotry (bordering on a mental disorder) looks like. They always shove tons of 'trash talk' names in article tags and based on article comments the term you are looking for is "Samdung". High brow wit, as I am sure you will agree.

        1. Paul 135

          Re: While we're here

          It isn't only MacTards. It is healthy for consumers interested in competition to mock Samdung ($amdung) or ¢rApp£€) who both manage to produce mediocre products but take a disproportionate share of profits.

          1. Seanie Ryan
            Black Helicopters

            Re: While we're here

            @GBL Initialiser

            no explanation needed, I get the reference... my issue is that when you use it 100,000 times, article after article, it gets kinda boring.

            It would be great to have writers with just a *tiny* bit more creativity in their slags.

            it used never be this bad, there was a time, sniff sniff, i miss those days... witty writers, great one liners, titles WITHOUT random words capitalised...

      4. Paul 135

        Re: While we're here

        Samdung

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opportunity to attack apple

    Many people who read this web site have tendencies towards open source and although a little distorted sometimes, overall a sense of fairness - hence stories like this being popular.

    I think it is very interesting to view Apple with their almost anti-opensouce approach and from a tech and a business point of view how Apple are managing with so much self censorship of other technologies.

    Sure we can all manage without flash, but now we can't have adblock (because it runs a local proxy) ... oh and here goes firefox ... I already gave up trying to watch movies and tv shows on my ipad because I dont have the time or disk space to re-encode everything for iTunes.

    Apple are just the grumpy rich kid in the playground who only lets you play with his power rangers if you promise not to like smelly steve balmer....

    1. Jason_H

      Re: Opportunity to attack apple

      If you're wanting to just drop files onto your ipad try iFiles. Works great most of the time.

      If you want to stream from a network share, try Air Video Server (which works brilliantly) or one of many others.

      If you want to stream from a DLNA share try iMediaShare.

      Lots to chose from, and the iMediashare thing works from android too.

  5. AidanCheddar
    Thumb Up

    Way to go Mozilla

    I'm glad to see Mozilla sticking up in the face of Apple.

  6. jubtastic1
    Trollface

    They should strike back

    By making their own Mobile OS and only allowing Gecko based browsers.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: They should strike back

      So you can't run Safari on a Mozilla-phone? Gosh, if true, that would mean the Mozilla foundation are hypocrites ...

  7. Greg J Preece

    Just how advanced? We're glad you asked, because WebKit is so advanced even Google's market-leading Chrome uses it

    I'd love to know what one has to do with the other. I can remember a not-particularly-advanced browser that had a stranglehold on the market.

  8. William Donelson
    Stop

    Don't let this happen to iOS devices...

    The number of detected mobile malware attacks continues to skyrocket. McAfee counts over 36,000 mobile malware threats—almost entirely targeting the Android OS.

    1. hungee
      FAIL

      Re: Don't let this happen to iOS devices...

      OK... I'll bite.

      1. Nothing to do with this article.

      2. Most of that malware is circulating in China and is focused at non-google branded devices. So.. For example, a nexus 7 is fine, and finally if you stay on safe android stores such as the play store the worst problem you are likely to have is some adware. As compared to iOS app store were you are likely to contract a bad case of the up-yourself-itis or perhaps a severe case of infection from the closed-mindedness strain of the jerkwad disease.

      Reality distortion field much?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't let this happen to iOS devices...

      I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?

      1. Arctic fox
        Headmaster

        Re:"I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

        I do not normally do grammar Nazi corrections but that one gets so far up my nose that I cannot help myself this time. "You're" is a contraction of "you are", it is not the fucking personal pronoun "your". Non-specific Deity on a prosthesis! That one really makes me feel as if someone is slowly scratching their finger nails down a blackboard.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

          I find the opposite version slightly more annoying. [ie. using "your" to mean you are]. But both pale into insignificance next to using "then" instead of "than" as a comparitive or saying you "could care less" about something when you mean the exact opposite.

          The weird/annoying/puzzling thing is that, no matter how many times these retard errors are pointed out , people still continue to repeat them over and over and over again. I guess some people are just so monumentally thick that learning the correct spelling of a couple of very very commonly used 4- and 5-letter words is beyond their intellectual abilities

          1. Dave Robinson
            Happy

            Re: I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

            "The weird/annoying/puzzling thing is that, no matter how many times these retard errors are pointed out , people"

            If there's one thing that really winds me up, it's adding a space between the end of a word and the following comma.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

              Touché —needless to say I only noticed that after I hit submit. However, I think it's pretty unsporting of you not to abide by the commandment "Thou shalt make a grammatical mistake thyself, in any post criticising other peoples' grammar", in your own post.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

                "Thou shalt make a grammatical mistake thyself, in any post criticising other peoples' grammar"

                Yes, but your error was one of typography, not grammar.

                (Conjecture: The series of English-usage pedantry corrections does not converge.)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Headmaster

                  Re: I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

                  Actually my error was caused by the fiddliness of trying to belatedly insert the comma into the text at the proof-reading stage, using my iPhones tiny screen and hence iOS's fuckwitted text-selection/insertion methods.

                  I don't really know* what that has to do with the argument in question but "So there!" anyway.

                  *[and yes, I split the fuck out of that infinitive too!]

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Facepalm

                    Re: I heard 90% of all statistics are made up. So, is that you're only source?"

                    ...and I missed the apostrophe in iPhone's

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Volunteers?

    "[Mozilla's] status as a not-for-profit also helps it to ignore iOS. Browser-makers all crave market share and make a little coin, if they are so inclined, by getting device-makers to bundle their products with their devices. Mozilla's exempt from the sales side of things, and while it is currently advertising a Sales Engineer's role that job is focussed on enthusing partners rather than bringing cash through the door."

    So everyone who works at Mozilla works there on a volunteer basis, without pay? That Google contract brings in a lot of money. Are you under the impression that it all goes to UNICEF?

    1. ShadowedOne
      FAIL

      Re: Volunteers?

      Are you trolling or are you really just *that* stupid?

      1. El Andy

        Re: Volunteers?

        It's a sarcastic, but fair, point. "Not for profit" just means they don't (intentionally) attempt to earn more than they spend. It does not mean they aren't trying to pull in as much money as possible. There are lots of "Not for profit" organisations which are anything but charities and it's stunning how many people don't seem to realise the difference (the author of this article apparently being a pretty good case in point)

  10. Kurt 4
    Windows

    kurt@delanoy.name

    Are they making FF for Windows Phone 8? Does WP8 work like android or does it have the same issue as ios?

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: kurt@delanoy.name

      I certainly hope that FF on WP8 does *not* work like FF for Android.

      I would hope, for your sake, that it works BETTER.

      FF on Android is pitiful. As an FF desktop user, it was a massive disappointment. I really tried to like it, I really did. Sync was great but the rendering was so painfully slow that I was forced to abandon it for Opera Mobile.

      Thank goodness. Salvation!

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: kurt@delanoy.name

        Hmmm, speaking of Opera as if it were Jesus. This sounds familiar.

        When was the last time you used Firefox on Android? The beta? It's kinda-sorta completely different these days. Faster than the native browser on my devices.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: kurt@delanoy.name

          I switched from FF to Opera just under 2 months ago; FireFox's rendering was simply too painful to bear any longer.

          I don't CARE if people believe that FF is better due to plugins and greater user controls (it does). The main function of a browser is to RENDER, and FF is a complete speed failure in that regard. Waiting twice as long as just about any other browser for a web page to appear gets old, no matter how much I wanted to support the project.

          Sometimes, the wankers on this board lose sight of the forest through the trees.i

          1. Greg J Preece

            Re: kurt@delanoy.name

            Sometimes, the wankers on this board lose sight of the forest through the trees.i

            Well, thank you for that little pleasantry. You clearly missed the part of my post where Firefox is nice and fast for me.

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: kurt@delanoy.name

            I don't CARE if people believe that FF is better due to plugins and greater user controls (it does). The main function of a browser is to RENDER

            The main function of a browser is to please the user. Since there is a great variety of users, it is hardly surprising that there should be some difference of opinion as to which is the most pleasing.

            Thus anyone insisting, here or elsewhere, that one browser is objectively superior to the others is clearly committing a fallacy.

      2. ScissorHands
        Devil

        Re: kurt@delanoy.name

        @Snake: Enjoy your new, lobotomized, OperaKit.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: kurt@delanoy.name

          I AM, thank you very much.

          If you want to feel superior while waiting for FireFox to load a page, while I, running Opera, am already *reading* that same page, be my guest.

          Yes, FF has extensions and more features but too bad using it simply sucks. Non-intuative bookmarks, manual scroll all the way back to the top on a long page (is Opera-style 'super jump to top/bottom' arrow really too much to ask?) and painful load times on complex pages made it simply too unpleasant to use every day.

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Someone mentioned "fruity company"

    But I think they got away with it.

  12. Mike Bell

    Optional

    I wonder if iOS will survive without Firefox. You know, I think it just might...

  13. Dave 126 Silver badge

    > Any link in email or another app therefore opens in Safari, even when Chrome is present.

    The Android approach is to present the user a choice every time a relevant link or file is tapped... ie, click a link, and asked which browser to use. Is there any way to set a 'default action' in Android?

    1. Bit Brain

      Setting default apps

      "> Any link in email or another app therefore opens in Safari, even when Chrome is present.

      The Android approach is to present the user a choice every time a relevant link or file is tapped... ie, click a link, and asked which browser to use. Is there any way to set a 'default action' in Android?"

      Either click the checkbox for "always use" or click the "always use" or "this time only" button, depending on how old a verzion of Android you're using. IIRC the latter method is valid for ICS and later.

      1. PC Paul

        Re: Setting default apps

        "Is there any way to set a 'default action' in Android?"

        I was confused by this for a while. Every time I clicked the 'Always use' choice I got a popup telling me to clear default associations in some other menu. And next time I needed a browser it would give me the same choice, so it didn't seem to be working.

        I think (ICBW) that you get the choice for every new file type - so .htm, .html, .php etc. all get the choice popup the first time you see them, although because it doesn't say what it's asking about you don't see that, it just seems to be asking every time.

        I've taken to picking the same browser always and over a week or so it does seem to be setting them for most variants and I'm getting asked less.

        It's a pity browsers don't come with a decent set already configured, or offer to take over a group of associations like IrfanView does for images instead of having to pick them one at a time...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Is there any way to set a 'default action' in Android?"

      Yes, pre-version 4 it was a checkbox on the very dialog of which you speak. Version 4+ they changed the buttons to 'Just once' and 'Always' when you make your choice.

    3. Jaques Croissant

      "The Android approach is to present the user a choice every time a relevant link or file is tapped... ie, click a link, and asked which browser to use. Is there any way to set a 'default action' in Android?"

      They're called "intents", and the requester that pops up offers you a list of handlers and buttons for "Always" and "Just Once". The "Always" thus is stored as a default action for that type of intent (and can be reset in system settings).

      HTH

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    The irony here…

    Webkit started out as a fully open-source rendering engine called KHTML, it was the basis of the Konqueror web browser in the KDE desktop.

    Gecko started out as a re-write of the Mozilla rendering engine which was the proprietary engine in Netscape Navigator.

    Curious indeed.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Who cares

    If you don't like an OS which puts restrictions on what software you can run, don't use it.

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  17. Manny Bianco
    Boffin

    Apps *can* open links in other browsers...

    "Any link in email or another app therefore opens in Safari, even when Chrome is present."

    // Open a link in Chrome, if it's installed

    if([[UIApplication sharedApplication] canOpenURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"googlechrome:"]]) {

    [[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:[NSURL URLWithString:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"googlechrome://%@", theUrl]]];

    } else {

    [[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:[NSURL URLWithString:theUrl]];

    }

    Also, here's a reasonable explanation as to why the Nitro JS engine isn't open to other apps: http://daringfireball.net/2011/03/nitro_ios_43

    It's all about the malware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apps *can* open links in other browsers...

      Are you saying that every application must have a condition for every possible browser that the user has installed? Does this also handle the "default" browser if the user has multiple third-party browsers installed? Is the googlechrome:// schema an "application" schema or a hack Chrome has used to allow links to be launched?

      I know, lots of questions, I'm genuinely curious, I'm an Android dev but not iOS, this seems almost clunky.

      Android you just "open" the URL and the OS takes care of what applications can handle that URL and the default choice.

      1. Manny Bianco
        Go

        Re: Apps *can* open links in other browsers...

        No, not all. Just correcting the story, as it said all email links and apps open in Safari.

        My apps can check for the presence of a bunch of browsers, then allow the user to pick their desired browser to open links with. It's a few minutes of coding.

        I do agree that Apple should have a default browser switch in the Settings though.

        1. Jason_H

          Re: Apps *can* open links in other browsers...

          F*ck me. Thank you Manny & A/C.

          It's taken a long time for the grown-ups to arrive at this thread.

  18. Oilee80
    WTF?

    Similar to M$

    Isn't this similar M$ and IE, surely the inability to allow another browser to be made default could be classed as anti competitive under the EU law the same way as M$ has gotten done a few times.

    With regards to not allowing other rendering engines surely so long as it isn't gaining access to anything that Webkit cannot access then again this could be classed as Anti Competitive.

  19. Seanmon
    Meh

    Arf.

    As if iPhone users know what flavour of browser they're using.

  20. Tony Paulazzo

    I hate Safari on the ipad, did get momentarily excited when they announced fullscreen surfing in iOS6 but turned out to be solely for the iphone - no choices bruv. The back button on Safari is the only badly-designed-for-touch feature in the entire operating system - and the only way to go back a page...

    I installed iCabMobile as a great replacement (downloads, full screen option, two finger tap to go back a page), but you're 'not allowed' (what am I, fucking 6?) to use it as your default browsing software, natch.

    If I jailbreak (I did it once, I felt so naughty), I can setup my personal browser preference, or even install a trick that gives you Safari full screen and finger based back-a-page goodness, but losing the JB on every update got old. Fast.

    1. Psycho Flump

      I look at the time spent jailbreaking as an investment, once payed I don't get annoyed EVERY. SINGLE. TIME a link opens in Safari rather than my prefered AtomicWeb browser. That I can then enable the Nitro JS engine so the aforementioned browser isn't being run deliberately piss-slow.

      Don't be so quick to run an update every time Apple forgot to test something, half the time you might find it won't affect you anyway.

  21. sleepy

    Alternatives are good?

    Apple's choice is to hold constant the appearance and behavior of core features such as phone, email, web, and to prohibit arbitrary code execution except by the Apple JavaScript engine (thus minimizing the exploit attack surface). Whereas Android users must observe certain behaviors for matching benefits. Those behaviors may be natural for Reg readers, if not for the billions of ungeeky. It seems to me there are benefits in both approaches, but the chances are that millions of Android users will at some point in the coming decades be using an exploited smartphone, beyond Google's or their own control, even if that outcome is exceedingly unlikely for readers of the Reg.

    Apple's approach has its place in the market.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iOS *DOES* allow default browser setting

    Tough spot for Mozilla because iOS market share is still ramping up and can't be forced to offer browser-engine choice yet (outside of a cloud-based browser like Opera Mini -- which is fantastic for faster 3G browsing or saving 80% on your mobile data plan).

    @Simon:

    You should update your article because iOS *does* allow changing the default browser setting to Chrome or Opera Mini, if desired; i.e., see settings panel in Instapaper.

  23. cd

    Safari, the short bus of browsers

    That is all.

  24. Rushyo
    Stop

    "The foundation is, however, happily producing an Android version of Firefox, so isn't missing out on the surge towards mobile entirely."

    And... y'know, producing a competing operating system that actually _is_ Firefox. That might have some impact on their mobile footprint. Slightly. It reads like the author doesn't even know Firefox OS exists. That would be.... special.

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