back to article Mozilla, like Google, is looking ahead to the end of Apple's WebKit rule

Mozilla is planning for the day when Apple will no longer require its competitors to use the WebKit browser engine in iOS. Mozilla conducted similar experiments that never went anywhere years ago but in October 2022 posted an issue in the GitHub repository housing the code for the iOS version of Firefox that includes a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mozilla is dead

    No idea why anyone listens to Mozilla any more. Their mobile browser is useless as it doesn't do zoom and reflow rendering.

    1. RyokuMas

      Re: Mozilla is dead

      Being independent of Google is a pretty strong argument IMHO

      1. U1traVio1et

        Re: Mozilla is dead

        90% of their funding comes from Google

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Mozilla is dead

      Menu > Settings > Accessibility.

      Behold, zoom.

      If you want reflow, try Reader mode.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: If you want reflow, try Reader mode.

        There is no reflow in any mode on Brave, Chrome or Firefox. Mobile browsers seem broken as Zoom in never reflows to fit the screen.

        You can go to settings and change font size, but why not have it work like the desktop? 10″ tablet is still rubbish to use a browser on compared with a smaller Linux Netbook. No wonder there are Android apps for lots of sites that ought to work on a browser.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: If you want reflow, try Reader mode.

          I raised the font size to 200% and used reader mode on this page, the text was reformatted to fit the screen width. Unless I'm wrong, that's text reflow.

          Even not in reader mode with text at 200% I don't need to scroll left and right on this page, but that could be the page design instead of Firefox.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mozilla is dead

      Least of mobile Firefoxes issues.

    5. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

      Re: Mozilla is dead

      No mobile browser - except for Opera on Android - does zoom and reflow rendering. Safari also doesn't.

      Source: (ctrl + F for "reflow")

  2. Czrly

    Will I then be able to disable the sponsored search engines?

    Will I then be able to disable the sponsored search engines?

    In its current state, iOS Firefox will automatically enable sponsored links on the home page – to Amazon and other evil actors – and require to you manually turn those of and it will also include sponsored search engine plugins to those same evil actors that I can't find a way to disable. These buttons appear when you activate the search/address bar and, as I said, I can't find a way to turn those off.

    Firstly, enabling and supporting evil actors like Amazon should not be done. Secondly, why can't I turn those OFF?

    Until Mozilla allow me full control of and confidence in my browser, once again – or, even better, just not include those traps and parasites at all, ever – I honestly do not care what rendering or HTML engine is running behind the scenes. Frankly, Mozilla also have bigger problems, elsewhere, including the state of Desktop and ESR Firefox.

    The end of the rule of Apple's WebKit is great but it is not the end of the problems browser users (that's everyone) face, today. In fact, I would even doubt it is the most significant!

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Will I then be able to disable the sponsored search engines?

      Without being a iOS device owner I don't know how the current iOS version of FF works, but I believe its just a wrapper on top of Safari with a few Mozilla extra setting such as syncing your bookmarks and history and better privacy handling cookies and trackers. But it doesn't seem to support extensions, which means no Ublock Origin which is one of the best reasons to be using FF on mobile over Chrome.

      Hopefully if they do get a native FF port for iOS that will support extensions such as Ublock Origin and I can then recommend to my iPhone owning friends and family to install FF and stop using Safari.

    2. toomanylogins

      Re: Will I then be able to disable the sponsored search engines?

      So who is going to pay for the development? In order to achieve your goal the browser should be a paid software which I would advocate. The same applies to search and social media. This whole its free but the people are the product has to stop otherwise we will never get a functioning market.

    3. Proton_badger

      Re: Will I then be able to disable the sponsored search engines?

      I don't think it's a problem. I have set search to DDG which seems to work fine and I have in fact turned off evil google/amazon/ebay/etc in search settings. That's good enough for me.

      The homepage can also be customized in settings, I've removed Recommended by Pocket and Sponsored Shortcuts, only thing I have is recently visited which I like.

      It all seems very reasonable to me.

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Will I then be able to disable the sponsored search engines?

        Thank you,

        I'd become so jaded by the assumption that I couldn't (easly) remove these that it never occured to me to look.

  3. captain veg Silver badge

    mobile browsers

    Can't speak from experience about what goes on in iOS, but on Android I find the most frustrating thing is that none of the usual suspects* comes anywhere near to the functionality of their desktop versions. I'm at a loss to explain why this should be. Modern handheld devices are certainly powerful enough.

    My definition of "functionality" here mostly involves the total lack of extensibility (plugins) and developer tools. YMMV.


    *If you know of an unusual suspect that is not crippled in the manner described, do tell.

    1. logicalextreme

      Re: mobile browsers

      For plugins, best that I've found is Fennec via F-Droid. I use it for bypassing half-arsed paywalls and such.

  4. James O'Shea

    Bah. Humbug

    If Firefox created a version which ran on iOS and which could handle the plug-ins and extensions that FF on desktop can, particularly UBlock Origin and NoScript, I'd change in a flash. The adblockers which run on iOS at present are nearly useless.

    Memo to Mozilla: I'd actually pay for a web browser which could do adblocking/scriptblocking on iOS. (Google need not apply. I don't trust them.)

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