back to article Fruity Firefox: Mozilla caves to Apple, unveils iOS-friendly browser

Two years after dramatically challenging Apple to open up iOS for its browser, Mozilla has slipped out a fruity-friendly Firefox. It was briefly serving ex-Moz chief Gary Kovacs who in April 2013 said there’d be no Firefox for iPhones and iPads unless Apple relented on its WebKit-first policy. “iOS has a policy, generally …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Safari is absolute crap and I don't expect FF on IOS to be any better.

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      Safari is absolute crap and I don't expect FF on IOS to be any better.

      I didn't realise how crap it was.

      I run a number of forums and recently re-skinned them with a more mobile friendly theme. We are all Android here so I checked it out with an iPhone emulator and it looked all fine. I went live extolling the virtues of the new theme. Instantly I got crapped out by the iPhone community. It wasn't there or it didn't work. I couldn't believe it - phones with, supposedly, twice the the screen resolution of an old Moto G had difficulty showing half as much.

      My daughters and partners have various iPhone models so I checked it out with them for real. I was amazed. The web browsing was very limited. They didn't even realise it was bad. They thought it was the norm for a phone. They still do!

      Moral is never trust an emulator.

    2. jzl

      I like Safari

      It opens web pages and displays them. What's not to like?

      1. MrWibble

        Re: "what's not to like?"

        The way it does the second half of that sentence.

  2. Alan Denman

    Feature copies. Great !

    "a problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded"

    I can't wait to see a repeat of this great IOS 8.02+ feature.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firefox skin arriving to iOS soon!

    What's the point?

    1. asdf

      Re: Firefox skin arriving to iOS soon!

      The point is Apple doesn't have a lot of faith in its mobile OS it seems if it is scared of other rendering engines. That and it has enough money and influence to get FF to bend over.

  4. Velv

    Chrome is forked from WebKit anyway so stands a reasonable chance of interoperability with minimal impact.

    Come on Apple. Let third party developers help push your technology to its best

  5. Nathan 6


    Now that Firefox OS has failed to gain any traction I guess Mozilla is a bit desperate to gain some kind of foothold in the mobile API space.

  6. Adam Jarvis constantly crashes on iOS

    "a problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded"

    Seem to be seeing this constantly on iOS 8.4.1, since iOS 8 upgrade on my Retina iPad

    If you have more than one browser tab open, Safari crashes everyitme I open I'm starting to think its part of their combined Apple / Guardian promo, to get iPad users to upgrade to Apple's latest tech. Making you believe there is a problem with your tech when its been 'site engineered', either that or some dodgy ad engine, but its pain, and its been months now.

    1. James O'Shea

      Re: constantly crashes on iOS

      Most intriguing. I have the Guardian's site up in Safari on my iPad Air right now. Didn't crash on going to the site, hasn't crashed on going to a few stories ("USA Welcome Australia to Chicago with Rugby World Cup in Mind", "When you're as bad at campaigns as Scott Walker, you should just give up", a few others) though I have noticed that the Guardian really, really, REALLY wants me to get 'the Guardian app' and blinks the screen, showing the app ad full-screen and then going down to merely eating the top inch or so when I first go to the site (every flipping time) and whenever I load a new story (again, every flipping time). I suspect that what you're seeing as crashes may be related to the Guardian's attempting to flog their useless app. I have ten browser tabs open, including (ick) an Outlook Web Access (or whatever new name Redmond's come up with now) tab and one pointing to Wiki and another to one of the company's systems over the VPN.

      Does anyone have any other sites which repeatedly crash Safari in iOS? Really interested in finding a few, as I've never had that happen even once. Ad-based annoyances, yes, roll on iOS 9 and nuking all ads, but no crashes.

      1. asdf

        Re: constantly crashes on iOS

        Well you can always go the Opera Mini route (rendering done on remote server). The lack of ad blocking is annoying but as a fallback plan for a few sites it might be acceptable.

  7. wolfetone Silver badge


    I can't wait for this, I loved it as a browser on Android and since moving over the the iPhone I've had to endure Safari. Although it's nice to know Apple is consistent with Safari, it's s**t on the iPhone and it's s**t on the Mac.

    Daniel O'Donnell on Strictly Come Dancing and Firefox on iOS? What a time to be alive!

    1. getHandle

      Re: Finally!

      Nope, can't tell if you're being serious or not... I rather fear the former!

      1. asdf

        Re: Finally!

        Well I guess the UI is different at least even if the rendering engine isn't. On Android at least FF UI is definitely better than stock.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finally!

        can't tell if you're being serious or not

        Mr Wolftone often comes across as an IRA nutjob so maybe his professed love for Daniel O'Donnell is quite genuine.

    2. Sleep deprived

      Re: Finally!

      So far my Firefox experience on Android has been pretty unconvincing (even though it's my browser of choice under Windows). I find it much slower than Chrome and it doesn't offer search suggestions as I type. What do you prefer over Chrome on Android?

      1. asdf

        Re: Finally!

        >What do you prefer over Chrome on Android?

        Well for one FF is on F-Droid and does not require a Google account in the phone or a risky apk sideload off the web to download. Besides even without a Google account its probably doing a fair amount of phoning home. FF is sadly moving in that direction more and more though too now.

        1. asdf

          Re: Finally!

          Was refering more to the stock Android browser in prior versions as opposed to Chrome as well. Chrome is slick but then again Google's spyware often is.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. John 110

    I give it 10 minutes...

    ...before Firefox ditches Gecko for webkit everywhere and plunges the world into a browser monoculture. We're doomed, doomed I tell you!!!!

    What, Microsoft have a browser?.....

    1. asdf

      Re: I give it 10 minutes...

      >What, Microsoft have a browser?.....

      Yeah too bad on mobile it is a dead man walking.

      1. Alistair

        Re: I give it 10 minutes...

        >Yeah too bad on mobile it is a dead man walking.

        I find it hard to call that walking. More like oooozing. Like slime.

  10. jelabarre59


    Really, if Firefox is not using Gecko as it's rendering engine, just how is it differentiated from any of a multitude of *other* WebKit browsers? So we'll end up having a monoculture of browsers, and make it all that much easier for the malware writers to attack web browsers.

    Thank goodness it's only on the iFad/iOS devices, a platform I would never use anyway. Hopefully the Mozilla folks won't be snookered into doing the same on the rest of their platforms. Mozilla should have held out, and *let* the AppleZombies suffer.

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Only the one Apple way

    The scary thing about iPhones is that they're extremely expensive and there's never a Plan B. Got a bug? No workaround. WebKit crashing? No workaround. 0-day? Maybe you can wait for an update to come out or maybe the upgrade is nothing less than buying a new phone.

    Android OSes tend to be lower in quality but there's always a workaround for major problems. It's essentially a fancy little Linux computer so you can swap the OS and apps without much hassle. Some phone makers let you download chip firmware too, so if the shiny new 2.x doesn't work you can go back to the old reliable 1.x.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only the one Apple way

      Really? What was your workaround for the string of security issues a couple weeks ago that affected the majority of Android devices 99% of which haven't been patched against it?

      1. asdf

        Re: Only the one Apple way

        Yep in general iOS is more polished and I would argue more secure (especially if you don't jailbreak it) but you do definitely feel that you are under the thumb of one often patronizing company. Pick your poison between the two or go with a dying platform.

        1. asdf

          Re: Only the one Apple way

          > iOS is more polished

          One big example for the mildly paranoid full disk encryption is garbage on Android.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only the one Apple way

      The issues on manufacturers failing ton update android have been pretty well documented, it's hardly an area to boast of an advantage over iPhone.

      As for custom OS/firmware well you can also jailbreak an iPhone which amounts to the same thing.

  12. bobgameon

    Coming Soon

    A blog post by the firefox CEO about how difficult it is to change the default browser on iOS only to realize it can't be done. And then another rant about choice.

  13. cd

    Safari is the short bus of web browsers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      bring on the downvotes KDE bloatards

      Maybe on mobile. On the desktop that would be Konqueror and the 1 gig of libraries you had to download to use it.

  14. Nifty Silver badge

    Tried FF for IOS - the show so far - Rubbish!

    Been using Mercury browser on IOS but ever since recent XcodeGhost security concerns of Chinese-written apps, been looking for another one. FF on Windows has quite rich functionality. On IOS it has nearly none except for browsing. First thing I looked for: Settings > Security > Passwords, so as to secure my web passwords away from casual iPad-borrowing fingers. Not there.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022