Mozilla Plans to Release Firefox for iOS
It looks like Mozilla’s position to steer clear of Apple’s iOS may be changing. The company recently talked about the need of bringing its popular desktop browser to Apple’s mobile operating system at a closed Mozilla event in Portland, TechCrunch reports.
“We need to be where our users are so we’re going to get Firefox on iOS,” Firefox project manager Lukas Blakk said in a tweet. TechCrunch believes Blakk might have quoted Mozilla VP for Firefox Jonathan Nightingale, who spoke at the event on Tuesday.
We need to be where our users are so we're going to get Firefox on iOS #mozlandia
— Lukas Blakk (@lsblakk) December 2, 2014
This was followed by another Twitter post from Matthew Ruttley, manager of data science at Mozilla, who shared a photo in what appears to be Nightingale speaking at stage with a slide in the background clearly showing Apple’s iPhone 6.
— 真秀 Matthew Ruttley (@matt_ruttley) December 2, 2014
Though Mozilla has yet to make a definitive public announcement, it appears Mozilla has solid plans to get its flagship Firefox Web browser to the iOS ecosystem.
That is the main reason which kept Mozilla stay away from considering a Firefox for iOS app, though it used to held a presence on iOS with Firefox Home which Mozilla pulled from App Store in September 2012.
Last year at SXSW, Mozilla’s then-vice president Jay Sullivan said that “Apple stacks the deck to make third party browsers feel unwelcome,” and insisted they would not develop an iOS browser unless Apple relaxes its rules on third-party web engines.
It’s unclear how Mozilla plans to bring Firefox to iOS, but considering Apple is likely to keep its platform close for third-party browser engines, it’s fair to say that they will be developing a custom version built on top of Apple’s tech. This way the company could still support Firefox accounts, allow users to sync their desktop bookmarks with Apple’s mobile OS, and ultimately retain their loyal iPhone and iPad users.
Update: Mozilla has now officially announced that it is working to bring its browser to the iOS platform:
At Mozilla, we put our users first and want to provide an independent choice for them on any platform. We are in the early stages of experimenting with something that allows iOS users to be able to choose a Firefox-like experience.
We work in the open at Mozilla and are just starting to experiment, so we’ll update you when we have more to share.