In September 2012, Mozilla ended the Firefox Home app from Apple’s Store and if you hoped things will be any different this spring, you’re in for a whole different story. Basically, if you’re using iOS, there will be no Firefox for you, says Jay Sullivan, vice president of product at Mozilla. And for the cherry on top: this is all Apple’s fault.
Mobile Safari might be the hidden gem of the Apple empire, but truth be told, this web browser has a lot of catching up to do compared to the level of functionality Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are offering. iOS users will definitely jailbreak their iPhone and iPad to remove Mobile Safari as their default browser and get one of the better alternatives instead. As for the common iOS user, according to Jay Sullivan, they will never again use Firefox on iPad or iPhone until Apple removes some of its restrictions.
Jay Sullivan, Mozilla vice president of product, dismissed rumors about the company having plans to issue a Firefox version for iOS. In fact, during the mobile browser wars panel at South by Southwest Interactive moderated by one of CNET’s senior reporters, Sullivan said Firefox won’t go back on iOS, at least until Apple changes its ways.
Apple’s favoring of Safari enforces third-party browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera and so on, to render webpages via UIWebView. This hinges third-party performance and keeps iOS users limited to Safari. Mozilla’s removal and disinterest in launching Firefox for iOS is a form of boycott that takes its toll on users. And it’s not the first of its kind. In the meanwhile, Sullivan’s statement at the SXSW 2013 sets things straight. The “Firefox browser will have no place on Apple devices so long as Apple continues its unfriendly attitude toward third-party browsers” reads CNET.
Several months ago, the iOS community suffered quite the shock when Mozilla announced the end of the Firefox Home in App Store. And it was quite a toll it took on users since it offered Firefox Sync too with open tabs and bookmarks on the go. Mozilla explained it decided to retire the Firefox for iOS, although it “provided valuable insight and experience”.