Mozilla: Don’t hold your breath for Firefox mobile browser for iPhone

Apple Online Store“The first mobile phone version of the popular web browser Firefox is ‘days away’ from launch, the head of the project has told the BBC,” Jonathan Fildes reports for BBC News.

“The browser, codenamed Fennec, will initially be available for Nokia’s N900 phone, followed by other handsets,” Fildes reports. “It is currently going through final testing and could be released before the end of the year, said Jay Sullivan at Mozilla, the group behind Firefox.”

“The organisation is also developing versions for Microsoft’s Windows mobile and Google’s Android operating system,” Fildes reports. “However, he said that it would be some time before iPhone users would be able to use the browser. ‘Apple is very restrictive. It doesn’t allow other browsers,’ he said. ‘As it’s a pretty closed platform we don’t see that happening soon.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Huh? What was that? Sorry, we were distracted by downloading the iCab Mobile Web Browser for iPhone and iPod touch (US$1.99) from Apple’s iTunes App Store. There are so many other Web browsers for iPhone and iPod touch, both paid and free, that we want to try, too, if we could only find the time! Okay, back to The Beeb’s article…

Fildes continues, “Fennec has been in development for the last year and a half. The new software has many of the features of the desktop version, such as tabbed browsing, and an address bar that doubles as a search box. However, the mobile version will also scale pages to fit the device and will support functions such as tapping the screen to zoom in on a page.”

Full article here.

22 Comments

  1. @MDN,

    What Rob said…for all your snarkiness, MDN, there are some things about Firefox that are superior to Safari. It is a shame that Apple won’t give users the choice (most likely)

  2. Maybe you should read what MDN’s comment was relating to…

    “‘Apple is very restrictive. It doesn’t allow other browsers,’ he said. ‘As it’s a pretty closed platform we don’t see that happening soon.'”

    Then MDN points out there are browsers other than MobileSafari for iPhone/iPod touch. They weren’t saying Safari was the best, just pointing out Mozilla is pulling statements out of their ass.

  3. I use Firefox on my iMac as I prefer it over Safari. On my iPhone I seldom use Safari because my apps are so good. After MDN’s response I opened the app store and searched for browser. Up came a whole list. I downloaded one and it worked as advertised. I call BS on Mozilla.

  4. @Ed

    And the other posters were claiming that the “other browsers” are based on Webkit, in other words essentially calling Safari to do the page rendering.

    I don’t know if that’s true, but it would make sense. I could see Apple allowing that before they allow competing rendering engines on the iPhone.

    ——RM

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