Saturday01 April 2023

No Firefox for iOS in the near future

Reading time is around minutes.

Although users would like to see Mozilla and Firefox on iOS platforms, this might not happen in near future, maybe even never. The problem is Apple's insistence that other web browsers for iOS need to browse the web using Apple's UIWebView component, while Apple for their web browser saved advanced Nitro JavaScript engine.

Uniqueness of Nitro is the optimized work of JavaScript, which is why it has better performance than UIWebView. This way Safar is faster running the JavaScript (interactive web pages, games, etc.) from for example Google Chrome. Apple does not allow producers of alternative Web browsers  access to Nitro, but they also do not allow them to use their own JavaScript engine.

Mozilla, who wanted to use  the Firefox JavaScript engine in the iOS platform, or to be more precise JavaScript compiler IonMonkey, does not agree to this blackmail, and its vice-president, said that Firefox for iOS will not be as long as Apple does not slacken a bit with their terms for alternative Web browsers. With somewhat similar problems Mozilla has encountered and on Windows RT, in which Microsoft has disabled access to the Win32 API for alternative browsers so even under Windows RT they can not use IonMonkey.

[Ed - Both Microsoft and Apple will begin to feel the effects of locking down their tablet operating systems. As the tablet moves from a companion device to a real productitivy item more and more people will want to use the browser (or applications) that they want. This will push them away from the close worlds of iOS and WindowsRT. What surprises us is that this has not happened sooner considering the rise of the tablet over the last two years.]

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 13:38

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