Monday, June 18, 2012

Mozilla is Developing a Firefox Junior for iPad

Mozilla, the non-profit organization behind the open-source Firefox web browser is gradually putting its fingers into multiple mobile platforms. First, it came out with Firefox for Android phones and tablets. It already had Firefox Home for iPhone, but now, it seems to be targeting iOS with a(n almost) full-fledged web browser, dubbed Firefox Junior.
Mozilla released Firefox Home for iPhone and iPod Touch in 2010. It is still a free app (not iPad-optimized, even) that lets you access your bookmarks and browsing history from your Firefox Sync account. At the time, Mozilla had no plans to develop a Firefox web browser for iPhone because of Apple's restrictions around apps made for iOS.

Apple does not allow developers to use their own web browser engines in their apps. Therefore, any app currently available on the App Store that lets you access web pages uses Safari's engine. Any third-party web browser only has some extra features and a different look. It cannot be compared with Safari for performance. Maybe this is why the browser will be called "Junior". It's not a full-fledged browser with its own engine.

If Mozilla was about to make its own web browser, it would not be able to make anything but a glorified Safari. Moreover, users cannot change the default web browser on their iOS device (which will also stop me from trying Firefox Junior).

But now, there seems to be a Firefox for iPad on the way. While it won't be released anytime soon, being a work in progress, Mozilla did show it off.

Firefox Junior doesn't look like a traditional web browser. It does not have tabs (I'm guessing they'll probably put them in sometime) and almost no interface. It is a full-screen browser experience, with just a back button in your way and a "plus button" that lets you access more features, the URL/search bar, bookmarks etc. Currently, there is a lot left to work on, including some sort of progress bar.

Do you think such a browser will work? Hit the comments!

[via The Verge]