Mozilla enhances mobile browser offering with new application for iOS devices

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The Independent Tech

Mozilla, maker of the second most popular web browser on the market, Firefox, has released an application for iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) that enables users to access their browsing history, sync bookmarks, share tabs between devices, and have direct access to their favorite sites regardless of their location.

Firefox Home brings users seamless and continuous browsing across desktop and mobile devices - a feature that enables you, for example, to start searching on your desktop for a good place to have lunch and to continue browsing their menu on your iPhone in the car on your way there.

The application works by securely storing your information in the cloud and sharing it between two or more devices.

Mozilla has also been working on a full mobile browser called Firefox for mobile (or Fennec). Fennec is currently available for Maemo on Nokia N900 and is at a pre-alpha stage for Android devices.

Apple's strict application policies prevent the company from releasing a full Firefox browser for the iPhone, much to many iPhone-owning Firefox desktop users' dismay. Due to these policies, Firefox Home currently renders web pages in Apple's proprietary mobile browser, Safari Mobile.

"Mozilla is currently not working [on] a version of Firefox Mobile (codename Fennec) on iPhone due to the restrictions of Apple's SDK license agreements," Pierre Le Leannec, a PR spokesperson for Mozilla, told Relaxnews in a July 15 email.

"The iPhone SDK Agreement requires browsers to use Apple's own JavaScript engine, or none at all (like Opera Mini, which downloads pre-rendered pages from Opera's servers and cannot run JavaScript code on the iPhone). Because of this, we have no supported way to distribute Firefox's rendering and JavaScript engine to iPhone users."

In April rival browser maker Opera Software released Opera Mini for the iPhone - a mobile web browsing application that provides users with faster, cheaper tabbed web browsing.

"Firefox Home [does] not really compare to Opera Mobile for iPhone" said Le Leannec. "Opera is more like a pre-rendering browser - not a native browser."

"Firefox Home is an application [that] synchronize[s] Firefox Bookmarks, Browsing History, Tabs, etc and make[s] the transition from Firefox on Desktop to the iPhone easier."

Firefox Home is available as a free application and can be downloaded from Apple's App Store here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/firefox-home/id380366933?mt=8

https://www.mozilla.com/en-US/mobile/home/

 

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