Mozilla shows off ‘Junior’ web browser for Apple iPad, slams Apple’s Safari for iOS devices

“Mozilla last week showed off a browser for the iPad, dubbed Junior,” Chloe Albanesius reports For PC Magazine.

“Junior is now a WebKit-based, full-screen browser that Mozilla said will be far superior to the built-in Safari browser Apple includes on its iOS devices,” Albanesius reports. “‘If you look at Safari on the iPad, it’s a pretty miserable experience, I think,’ Alex Limi, a product designer at Firefox, said during a recent presentation to co-workers. ‘It feels like it’s the one app where they took the desktop version, pulled out the UI, and slapped it into the iPad.'”

Albanesius reports, “As a result, Mozilla’s product design strategy team set out to build a better browser for the iPad. What they came up with is Junior, which ‘gives you a magazine-like feel,’ to Web browsing, said Mozilla designer Trond Werner Hansen… The iPad can also be a family device, used by parents and kids alike. As a result, Junior includes multi-user sign-ins (above), letting mom, dad, and kids preserve their own favorites and history. Junior probably won’t land in the App Store in the immediate future. It was built using Titanium, which allows for JavaScript coding. But it still needs to be ported into native code by iOS developers, ‘so there are still things to do,’ Hansen said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iOS-wide multi-user support is one thing where Apple has really dropped the ball. Guess what, Apple, parents don’t want their kids to have access to full Web browsing, emails, text messages, etc. when they hand over their iPads.


    1. Kids. iCab is remains an excellent alternative web browser. I own it! Both the Mac version AND the iOS version! I avoid Safari on iOS whenever possible. (And it’s not always possible, unfortunately).

      I also <3 the Dolphin browser for iOS. That one’s FREE! It also has a kewl voice recognition add-on module for 99¢.

  1. What a joke.

    They criticize Apple for cobbling, then tout ‘profiles’ as some innovation–the one feature I hate most about the Mozilla (Netscape) browsers.

  2. Safari is my default browser on my Mac, iPad & iPhone. I don’t see anything wrong with it. In fact I rather enjoy using Safari, having used Internet Explorer and Firefox before extensively. In fact I hated IE so much that Firefox was my default browser on my Windows machine. But since switching to a Mac, I’ve only ever used Safari although I do have Firefox installed as a back up. I took an immediate liking to Safari. I like the uncluttered, clean interface.

    Chrome is something I’ve not used extensively, not liking it at all when I first used it, so I’ve not bothered with it. Firefox used to serve my needs. Now Safari does. I especially like how Safari syncs all my bookmarks and reading list across all of my devices via iCloud. My bookmarks are now sorted out the way I like them and whenever I add a page I don’t have to bother adding it to my other devices.

    The only thing I don’t like about Safari on the iPad is the way it keeps refreshing previously fully loaded pages when I switch back to Safari after using another app. It doesn’t do this on the iPhone. The iPad 3 has 1GB of RAM. I don’t see why webpages can’t be kept in RAM until needed.

    1. Safari’s “problems” aren’t so much what it does, but what it doesn’t do.

      I use Opera on my Mac and love it because:
      – it remembers multiple log-ins for the same web site (e.g., my wife’s bank log-in and mine, multiple accounts on gaming sites, etc.)
      – it can group tabs and collapse/expand the group
      – single-click list of hundreds of bookmarks in a frame down the left side of the main window
      – single-click in address field automatically selects entire address of current window (which allows you to just start typing to replace it with a new address or copy it: on Safari I have to triple click).

      to mention but a few.

      1. Addressing a couple of points in your post.

        – I prefer having my bookmarks categorized in my bookmarks bar in Safari. I group them according to generalized categories and within the categories tab I create relevant bookmarks that take me to that page I want. It’s easier than having a mega drop down list on the left hand side because categories make it easier to search for a specific website I want. Bookmarks bar transfers across to all the iDevices via iCloud so that saves me a lot of time syncing between them.

        – You don’t have to click the address bar on Safari 3 times to type a new address or copy an address to it. Just click on the favicon, the little icon to the left of the address bar on Safari, and the entire address box is highlighted. So it’s a single click, not 3.

        I just like Safari for the thoughtful way it’s optimized for web browsing and gets out of your way while you’re browsing the webpage.

        1. Since you want to use your keyboard to type that URL, why not just use your keyboard to type Command-L? Command-L consistently highlights the address bar on all Mac web browsers and CTRL-L does the same on Windows.

      2. “single-click in address field automatically selects entire address of current window (which allows you to just start typing to replace it with a new address or copy it: on Safari I have to triple click).”
        Just single click on the favicon in the URL bar, that highlights the whole URL.

        Hope that saves you some time.

  3. “Guess what, Apple, parents don’t want their kids to have access to full Web browsing, emails, text messages, etc. when they hand over their iPads.”

    While I agree MDN’s take on a personal level, I totally disagree as an Apple stockholder. From a sales perspective, why should there be 1 iPad per family and not 1 per family member? Apple is a business, and I personally know many families (sadly we’re not one of them despite owning 11 Apple products) who have more than 1 iPad. That’s more $ for Apple and I think they know it and will probably put off multi-user as long as they can…

    In the end, a multi-user iPad will reduce sales but it is the morally right thing to do (especially for those who cannot afford to buy everyone their own).

    1. @macman1984
      “n the end, a multi-user iPad will reduce sales but it is the morally right thing to do ”

      So it is immoral for Apple to sell iPads as they are?

  4. In terms of multi-user support, I can see how Apple might over complicate things, both in terms of how people manage users and of the space used on the device – I know loads of people who just don’t use user accounts, everyone in the family uses the same account. What I think would be nice is a Guest account so that you can just hand it over, restrict it to certain apps, and everything is just wiped when they log out. Especially when used in a communal setting this would offer a non-individual based approach to using the device – even an iPhone.

  5. Mozilla has never supported Apple products UI wise over the years F’ them, if they want something they should build their own device, a mobile browser can’t be same as a desktop browser there are many programs that should not be executed on a mobile device (flash?, java?) without control.

  6. I like Safari, its not bloatware like Mozilla browser was and Firefox has become. Chrome is taking Firefox’s place. So far Chrome has been a plain basic browser along with Safari and I hope they stay that way.

  7. Someone here recommended Dolphin , and it iS my choice over safari .

    As a multi iPad family, I hate how iCloud DL’s everything my kids install on my iPad and my wife and I iPhones

    1. @ Hotinplaya
      I hate how entire families will use one single AppleID and then complain.
      Get a separate AppleID for each user. You kids will thank you when they move out and can take their own media with them.

  8. Uh, isn’t it telling that Mozilla has to use Apple-open-sourced Webkit to build a decent mobile browser? Kind of says something about their own desktop code, doesn’t it?

    I like the competition, don’t get me wrong. But don’t call out Apple like they suck or something and then use Apple’s technology without even a hint of irony.

    1. That is the only way they can build a browser and put it in the App Store. Apple doesn’t really allow building browsing functionality outside of the Webkit. Essentially Mozilla is developing a skin for the OS component…

  9. Junior can’t be “far superior” to Safari when they’re both just Webkit under the hood.

    I know you know better, Mozilla. Stop borderline-lying.

  10. I think Mozilla should shut its trap and actually have an iOS-ready browser before it starts talking smack, particularly since they’re using WebKit to create their “superior” browser. Time will tell if they can port their Javascript browser to iOS, or if it is just a bug-infested wet dream.

    Whenever a company has to sell its goods by first slamming another’s product, be careful.

  11. I hate dumbed down browsing experiences where they dictate what I want to do on an iPad as being different to that on my MacBook Pro. What I love about Safari on my iPad is that my bookmarks are all there synced via iCloud from my MBP. I have tabs, I need tabs!! I downloaded and looked briefly at Opera on iPad, ripped that one off as it just wasn’t me, didn’t like it on the MBP either. Looking at this Firefox Junior it has to be the worst looking browser experience, I wouldn’t even consider downloading it should Apple approve it for inclusion within the App Store.

  12. To the MDN Take, multi user isn’t a consideration with a single user device, which most cell phones are, the mistake was not recognizing that iPads are difficult to NOT share.

  13. I used to love Firefox when it first came out. It was fast didn’t have all the bloat of netscape and safari was lacking features. Then it became bloated and slower and less stable. I dumped it for Safari and once Safari extensions came along I was able to give safari the one thing it was missing: an ad blocker for pages like this one….

    1. Actually, if you try the current version of Firefox, you’ll find all the bad-old-days memory hogging and instability are essentially gone. They’ve done some kickass recoding of Firefox over the past year.

      I for one welcome Firefox for iOS.

      Meanwhile: What’s the one thing that makes Safari damnably unstable? Safari extensions. User beware. Some a great. Others are fracking deadly. However, I too am a fan of that [censored for your protection] ad blocking add-on for Safari. I update it every day. 🙂

  14. …will be far superior to the built-in Safari browser Apple includes on its iOS devices

    That’s not hard to do. It has already been done by the two web browsers I prefer on iOS:

    1) Dolphin Browser (It’s FREE).
    2) iCab Browser (It’s $4 and worth every penny).

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.