In a move that everyone had been looking forward to for years, Mozilla has announced that it will soon be releasing the Firefox web browser for iOS. Which means users or iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will be able to download a full-fledge Firefox browser on their device and use it just like they use Opera or Google Chrome. The revelation was made at Mozilla’s event, where the company talked about how important it was for them to bring Firefox to iOS.
Following the revelation at the event Firefox’s release manager Lukas Blakk tweeted “We need to be where our users are so we’re going to get Firefox on iOS #mozlandia”. This shows a shift in company’s attitude which previously insisted that Apple’s so called closed garden and restrictions were not suitable for its product.
The main reason why Mozilla was reluctant in bringing Firefox to iOS platform was because Apple forced developers to use its own web-kit engine. This also meant that third-party browsers could never be as good as mobile Safari due to limited resources that were available to their developers. That changed with the release of iOS 8 as Apple has finally updated the web-kit, which now allows non-Safari browsers to operate at same level of performance as the stock option.
The release schedule for Firefox for iOS has not been revealed yet however we suspect that it may arrive in the first half of next year.
Firefox’s arrival on iOS could significantly boost its ever declining marketshare, which has been taken over by Google’s Chrome on both desktop and mobile. Mobile Chrome is already the default browser on Android and is quite popular among iOS users. It would be interesting to see how Firefox approaches one of the biggest mobile user base of the world when it finally comes to iPhones and iPads. (TechCrunch)