Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
IOS Firefox Handhelds Mozilla

Mozilla Launches Firefox For IOS 96

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today launched Firefox for iOS worldwide. You can download the new browser for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch now directly from Apple's App Store (iOS 8.2 or later required). Until today, Firefox for iOS was available as a public preview, and only in New Zealand. Also at Ars Technica.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mozilla Launches Firefox For IOS

Comments Filter:
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @11:22AM (#50915007)
    iOS 9's content filtering only works on Safari. I use Firefox on the desktop and was hoping this iOS version includes built-in blocking support, which it doesn't appear to have.
    • by pla ( 258480 )
      So no plugin support either?

      DOA. I really can't stand Safari, but I loathe ads a lot more.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Kagetsuki ( 1620613 )

        FF on Android supports quite a few addons, including ABP.

        • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

          Who modded this informative?

          Adblock Plus for Android only works via Wi-Fi and requires proxy configurations to install. Instead, to get ad blocking on Android, we recommend installing Adblock Browser. If you still wish to install Adblock Plus for Android, ensure that app installation from Unknown sources is enabled. To enable, open Settings and tap Unknown sources.

          https://adblockplus.org/androi... [adblockplus.org]

          • I've only seen it in the add-on listing, I've never actually used it. Why would they even list it for mobile (you set what mozilla clients you support in your extension information file) if it's this much of a pain to use?

            There are a few other ad-blockers and privacy extensions available for FF mobile though, so even if ABP doesn't work there appear to be other options.

            • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

              Which adblockers for FF mobile are there? Or for any browser?

              • You're free to download it and check yourself. FF extensions are set up so they can easily be multi-platform, so there's a variety of them available on mobile. Personally I don't use a mobile browser enough to have found the need to install one, I only have a few addons installed.

                • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

                  You are right and I am an idiot. Thanks for setting me straight.

                  • I'm not accusing you of being an idiot; I think you just assumed I knew what I was talking about - which I certainly do not :P

                    • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

                      No, I am accusing myself and I am right. I thought I knew what I was talking about but didn't. Somehow I had gotten it into my head that the Android store crackdown on generic adblockers also affected browser add-ins. No idea how this happened, I should have noticed that I still don't see ads in FF on the tablet but do on the new phone, where I didn't check for ADB add-on based on this assumption, instead being very angry about the deteriorated experience.

                    • Wait, there was a crackdown on adblockers on Android? I didn't even know about this. As I mentioned I don't browse on my mobile so much I've ever felt the need to block advertisements -- but when you think about it Google makes a lot of money off Android specifically through advertisements and advertising related activities... so it would make sense they would have tried to ban them. Though the existence of that ABP browser on Android seems to indicate they've maybe given up on that?

                      Either way FF is my choi

                    • by Knuckles ( 8964 )

                      On the crackdown - it's not very recent, I don't know how it is now: https://adblockplus.org/blog/a... [adblockplus.org].

                      I agree with all you said, and am somewhat in the same boat wrt to tracking on PC and phone, though I am still searching for the best balance for myself. Though to me Opera is still be best mobile browser - the main reason I use FF is tab syncing with the PC. The most glaring hole for me in FF is the absence of a top/bottom button when scrolling through a long page. Opera has a nice overlay button when you

          • Don't confuse Adblock Plus for Android (an app) with Adblock Plus for Firefox for Android (the Firefox extension). ABP for Firefox for Android works as it would on desktop.
      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        I don't believe developers are allowed to provide programmable applications on IOS, or at least, weren't until recently if that's changed.

        • by MouseR ( 3264 )

          Programmable apps are OK for as long as they dont download code. Even scripting applications (I have one on the AppStore that even has an Obj-C bridge).

          It's a bit of a non-sensical rule given the web's use of JavaScript. Previously, so long as your app used the system-provided JS engine in the various web views available to developers (such as the WebKit), your app was sufficiently protected (and so was the user) because Apple took the grunt of the sandbox protection.

          According to the link in the original po

          • by hawk ( 1151 )

            >it still includes features that Firefox users have come to expect,

            The primary thing I expect from Netscape, err, Mozilla, err, Seamonkey, err, Firefox is to be able to block plinky-things.

            *Everything* else is secondary.

            hawk

    • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

      It's because they are using WKWebView to render web content instead of the newer SafariViewController. SafariViewController requires iOS 9 and Firefox supports iOS 8.

  • According to the Ars-ticle this is supposed to be "the first version of the Firefox browser that does not use the Gecko layout engine, instead using iOS's built-in WebKit-based layout engine". How soon before Mozilla ditches desktop Gecko as well?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Apple prevents them from using anything other than Webkit on iOS.

      • Opera Mini does not use WebKit. Instead, it uses the equivalent of Remote Desktop to a rendering server. There are three ways that Mozilla could have used a rendering server instead of WebKit, but each has flaws.

        • Providing a public rendering server would weaken the privacy aspect that Mozilla is shooting for because the rendering server necessarily acts as a MITM.
        • Providing tools to run a private rendering server on your home PC might lead to a poor user experience as novices fail to understand how to forward
    • Re:Webkit rules (Score:5, Informative)

      by Schnapple ( 262314 ) <[tomkidd] [at] [viatexas.com]> on Thursday November 12, 2015 @11:30AM (#50915073) Homepage

      How soon before Mozilla ditches desktop Gecko as well?

      It's not using WebKit on iOS because it doesn't want to use Gecko, it's because it can't use Gecko. You can't release a web browser with its own rendering engine on iOS, you have to use the built-in WebKit The Chrome app for iOS also does this. What you're getting with Chrome/Firefox for iOS is the synchronization with your bookmarks and whatever other niceties you get with different interface styles.

      The one exception is the Opera browser on iOS, but it also doesn't use its own rendering engine on the phone. It renders the page on a server and then sends your phone an image of it. This is a workaround and it also makes browsing really fast but it has zero privacy or security. You probably wouldn't want to browse anything sensitive like your bank info since Opera would get to see it too. This is assuming that Opera Mini hasn't changed any, that is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by atari8bit ( 2559171 )
        Which is why it's no use trying to find an alternative to the godawful Safari Mobile. Any other browser available in iOS will suck in the same way, just with some extra suckiness (like less interoperability with other apps) layered on top.
        • Which is why it's no use trying to find an alternative to the godawful Safari Mobile. Any other browser available in iOS will suck in the same way, just with some extra suckiness (like less interoperability with other apps) layered on top.

          First off: Mods, why is this "Interesting"? It's just complaining.

          Second: In what ways SPECIFICALLY is Safari Mobile "Godawful"? Mobile browsers are generally a little-less feature-laden than desktop browsers; but other than that, it seems to do its job fairly well. It took me a little while to get used to the Tab interface; but it certainly isn't "Godawful".

          • Safari on iOS is awful, it does exactly as the op said, reloads tabs every time you change. Complete utter crap browser.
            If you didn't have your head up your ass you would notice.

            • Safari on iOS is awful, it does exactly as the op said, reloads tabs every time you change. Complete utter crap browser. If you didn't have your head up your ass you would notice.

              And if you didn't have your head up your ass, you'd notice that I stated that I had just tested it.

              I had three tabs open (actually many more, but I just tested with 3):

              1. A Slashdot Comment Thread.

              2. The Slashdot "Stories" Page.

              3. A Walmart "product" page.

              All three were scrolled-down to a random point, so it would be REALLY obvious if they reloaded.

              I clicked back and forth between the three tabs, in no particular order, and each came to the foreground instantly, with NO (perceptible) Reload, and wit

          • "A problem occurred with this web page so it was reloaded." Since the initial iOS 8 upgrade we get this very frequently on our household iPads (2 & 4), severely limiting their usefulness of web browsing and causing problems for apps like Facebook that render pages in an embedded browser view. It's obviously related to JS and primarily seems to involve AJAX calls, but I've had even bare-bones pages crash on me. Plus there are other lovely behaviors like portions of longer pages going blank as you scrol
            • My wife's older iPad 2 seems to be having lots of problems with the newer iOS versions in general so we've been thinking of upgrading, but without a guarantee of significantly fewer browser issues I'd seriously consider going with an Android tablet instead.

              Have fun!

  • As Firefox usage downtrends towards 10% [networkworld.com], Mozilla may need to pull more than a rabbit or two out of its hat.

    Firefox again flirts with dangerous 10% user share level

    .
    ...Unless Mozilla can again retard Firefox's 12-month average rate of decline, the browser will fall under the 11% bar in December, and slip below 10% in April, joining Safari (with a 5% user share in October) and Opera (1.3%) in the single-digit club. If the trend continued even longer, Firefox on the desktop could drop under 9% as soon as August 2016. Mozilla and Firefox face a tough future: The desktop browser continues to shed share -- often quickly, sometimes at a slower pace -- and the company's mobile projects, including Firefox on Android and Firefox OS, the lightweight operating system pitched to low-end smartphone makers, have not been able to make up the difference. ...

    • Too little, yes, but it's never too late to stop being a Chrome clone and go back to the roots of a reliable browser.

      • It's more than being a chrome clone. I've ditched Firefox on several systems and stopped installing it on client PCs in favor of chrome for a couple reasons. I even actively recommend people pass it by if they ask what browser to use.

        First, it is easier to sync book marks and crap with their android phone and other computers and a lot of them are more accustom to the layout. The second is the crap where the new CEO Brendan Eich had to resign over a political contribution that should have been anonymous to t

        • by Anonymous Coward

          So basically your reasons for not using Firefox aren't because Firefox is bad, but because if people are stuck in Google's ecosystem they might as well use Google's browser, and because you think that the Brendan Eich thing has any bearing on the quality of the browser itself.

          Thanks, but after playing with the Android Firefox, I don't see any technical reason not to use it instead of Chrome if you just want to sync your data around, especially now that they have an iOS version too.

          And whether Eich wanted to

          • So basically your reasons for not using Firefox aren't because Firefox is bad, but because if people are stuck in Google's ecosystem they might as well use Google's browser,

            Did you stop reading when you got to the point you knee jerked or something? I specifically stated "hird, Firefox has had some turd releases in which it ran like shit on older systems and hogged memory on newer ones".

            and because you think that the Brendan Eich thing has any bearing on the quality of the browser itself

            It has absolutely no

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I personally love the continuous subtraction of useful features that I get with firefox. Losing the ability to go back/forward, the ability to view page source, the ability to quickly and logically get to what I need through a meaningful user interface -- those upgrades were great, but what really made me a fan for life is when they removed the ability to stop a page from loading. Nothing puts a smile on my face more than waiting it out for a rogue webpage, watching my computer slow to a crawl, powerless to

      • When did you lose the ability to got back/forward and view page source? Or navigate by typing a URL (or, rather, part of a URL as there's a helpful dropdown that lists past entries) or clicking a bookmark? Or to stop a page from loading? The current version of Firefox does all of these things unless you horribly, horribly break it with add-ons and/or vir(uses|ii). From what I've seen in the developer preview, these features aren't going anywhere, either, and your last complaint will be a thing of the past a
    • In a desperate effort to follow the "trendy" herd they've made the browser much harder to use. eg: Bookmark folders - good luck trying to create them in the latest versions on OS/X.

      We don't want trendy - we just want a browser thats simple and easy to use. Its the web page contents I'm interested in , the not browser developers showboating efforts.

      • In a desperate effort to follow the "trendy" herd they've made the browser much harder to use. eg: Bookmark folders - good luck trying to create them in the latest versions on OS/X.

        Granted I haven't created a new one in years, but I tried Show All Bookmarks, Right-Click, New Folder.

        I'll agree that it should probably be labelled as something like "Manage Bookmarks", and maybe not hidden in a context menu, but it wasn't that hard.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Talks to 178.162.219.0/24 over 443
    Talks to app.adjust.com over 443

    Adjust = "adjust is a business intelligence platform for mobile app marketers, combining attribution for advertising sources with advanced analytics and store statistics."

  • by Karlt1 ( 231423 )

    The only purpose I could see for wanting FF on iOS that has to use WebKit and doesn't support native content blockers would be syncing bookmarks. You can sync bookmarks from FF or Chrome for Windows by using Apple's iCloud extension for Chrome and FF.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]

    https://chrome.google.com/webs... [google.com]

    My bookmarks are synced between FF and Chrome for Windows, Safari for iOS and Chrome for iOS.

    • "Awesome - ok... Does it allow addons?" A: No

      "Does it block ads?" A: No

      "Does it sync?" A: Well, kind of - if you use iCloud.

      "I don't want a Safari clone with a Firefox branded UI. Shoot..."

      I'll try it, but it sounds like it'll be in vain. I've used Mozilla and then Firefox since the dark Netscape 4.x days... and even knowing this was the likely end result, this is still probably the most disappointed I've been about Firefox during that decades-long run. I do not want to switch to "Google Owns You" Chrome, a

      • "Does it sync?" A: Well, kind of - if you use iCloud.

        Actually I just used the built in Sync for firefox and it did sync my bookmarks. Otherwise I'm not really sure what the point of it is and I use Firefox as my primary browser. (Chrome is buggy, IE is Windows Only and Safari is Mac only) I'm pretty much exactly who would think about using it and I don't see much point.

      • "Awesome - ok... Does it allow addons?" A: No

        "Does it block ads?" A: No

        "Does it sync?" A: Well, kind of - if you use iCloud.

        "I don't want a Safari clone with a Firefox branded UI. Shoot..."

        I'll try it, but it sounds like it'll be in vain.

        At least you haven't already decided that it sucks...

  • Delete app ... back to Safari

  • So I installed this iOS app, logged into sync, and nothing happens. It says "Last sync: just now" (without delay, which raises doubt) but there are no bookmarks, history, or anything else to prove it synced. Well shit.

  • Important to understand that due to Apple's restrictions, this is not a port of the Gecko engine to iOS. It simply embeds a Safari's UIWebView into Firefox's 'skin'. Same goes for Chrome on iOS. Furthermore, Apple uses unexposed JavaScript optimizations to make Safari faster and doesn't allow those same optimizations in a UIWebView embedded in third party apps. So, unfortunately, Safari will always be the fastest browser on iOS. Yay, Apple. http://www.extremetech.com/mob... [extremetech.com] http://www.engadget.com/2011/0 [engadget.com]
  • For me, using iOS and waiting for Firefox on iOS was a conscious choice, and I will try to explain why I disagree with the majority here that the synching feature is unimportant because FF on iOS is using Gecko:

    - On iOS > 8 Apple is encrypting the important files with the user password, so that they can not circumvent the encryption. So I can be shure that when entering a fife eyes state without a resetted device I will only be sent home when asked for my password for my switched of iPhone, not having th

  • As far as I'm concerned, high quality text reflow is the only essential feature in a mobile web browser. Unfortunately, that means Opera is currently my only choice. I remember a development version of Firefox had a shitty version of text reflow, but the feature was removed, presumably because if you're not gonna do it right, just don't do it.

"Ada is PL/I trying to be Smalltalk. -- Codoso diBlini

Working...