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No Firefox For iOS, Says Mozilla's Product Head

timothy posted about a year ago | from the once-bitten dept.

Firefox 318

hypnosec writes "Jay Sullivan, Mozilla's VP of Product, has revealed that the non-for-profit organization is not going to build an iOS version of its Firefox web browser as long as Apple doesn't mend its unfriendly ways towards third party browsers. Speaking at SXSW in a mobile browser wars panel Sullivan said that Mozilla is neither building nor planning to build a Firefox version for Apple's iOS. Mozilla pulled Firefox Home from the App Store back in September 2012 following Apple's not so accommodating attitude."

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318 comments

Dear EU (5, Insightful)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43131033)

It's not just microsoft that engages in anti-competitive behaviour.

Re:Dear EU (5, Insightful)

tehniobium (1042240) | about a year ago | (#43131085)

If the EU force Apple to have a browser ballot on iOS, I do believe Steve Jobs will be turning ever so violently in his grave :D

On a more serious note: couldn't the fact that Apple forces all apps to be purchased through their own app store just as well be seen as anti-competitive?

Re:Dear EU (3, Insightful)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43131121)

Quite a thorny matter. It's just a matter of deciding wether the reasons that brought those fines to microsoft apply to apple too. And i don't see why they shouldn't. DISCLAIMER: i personally can't wait for the total demise of apple.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | about a year ago | (#43131209)

I was of the understanding that the reason Firefox hasn't been ported to iOS because it is open source. Same reason that VLC got yoinked from the App Store. Since there is no method to distribute the source from the same location as the finished product, it violates the F/OSS nature of the product.

Not saying I agree or disagree with it, just reporting what facts I know. Anyone who has different, factual information, please correct me.

Re:Dear EU (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131251)

Since there is no method to distribute the source from the same location as the finished product, it violates the F/OSS nature of the product.

You don't need the source and binary at the same place to be F/OSS.

Re:Dear EU (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131379)

Well that is inaccurate.

The reason there is no Firefox port on iOS is that Apple will not allow Firefox on iOS to actually be a port of gecko. Apple requires browsers on iOS to use their webkit backend, all browsers on iOS use the same rendering/javascript/etc engine.

The VLC snafu is due to the fact that Apple adds DRM and further more restrictive licensing terms on all appstore apps that are not compatible with GPL -this is a situation that could be fixed by allowing app authors to upload their own licenses, but so far that is not possible.

Re:Dear EU (4, Insightful)

Globe199 (442245) | about a year ago | (#43131383)

My understanding is that all browsers on iOS are required to use WebKit. Mozilla uses Gecko. Being open source isn't the issue.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131939)

It's not webkit - all browsers on iOS are required to be thin wrappers around Safari. For example, Chrome is Safari with Chrome's tabs and branding.

Re:Dear EU (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131425)

I was of the understanding that the reason Firefox hasn't been ported to iOS because it is open source. Same reason that VLC got yoinked from the App Store. Since there is no method to distribute the source from the same location as the finished product, it violates the F/OSS nature of the product.

Not correct. It does not have to be the same location. As far as I understood it, the very unfortunate VLC situation came about when a purist developer of VLC demanded that Apple would release VLC without DRM on IOS. But all apps on IOS use DRM, it is quite naive to assume that they would make an exception. And let's face it: IOS is a USER operating system, whether a free VLC has drm or not is even invisible.

Re:Dear EU (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43131987)

As far as I understood it, the very unfortunate VLC situation came about when a purist developer of VLC demanded that Apple would release VLC without DRM on IOS. But all apps on IOS use DRM, it is quite naive to assume that they would make an exception.

So what? He wrote the code, he released it for use under certain terms and conditions and those conditions were being violated. He wanted Apple to stop and Apple stopped, was he unhappy with that outcome? Did he expect something else? Of course it was annoying for everybody else but if people could just ignore the license when it was incompatible or inconvenient the GPL would have died out long ago.

Re:Dear EU (5, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43132081)

. As far as I understood it, the very unfortunate VLC situation came about when a purist developer of VLC demanded that Apple would release VLC without DRM...

That one prefers to respect users & developers alike makes him a "purist"? I'm feeling better about my 20 year descision to avoid Apple products more and more.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131491)

The problem with GPL software and some app stores is that the GPL requires distributors to also provide the source code (for at least 3 years after they distribute the binaries), with Apple's app store they are the distributor but are unwilling to accommodate the distribution clause of the GPL, this is what causes issues with certain FOSS apps. I think, though I'm not sure, that Google sets up the relationship of their app store and developers differently, which would leave the responsibility of source code distribution under the GPL with the app developer and not the app store.

I haven't checked Mozilla's license for Firefox, so I don't know if source code distribution is an issue like it is for GPL software. But the real issue Mozilla have here is that Apple do not allow apps that can run random code*, this includes emulators and browser engines. All the browsers on iOS either use the built-in HTML and Javascript engines, or they have to do that processing on a server, like Opera does. Mozilla feels that if they can port a proper version of their browser to iOS, then it isn't worth doing.

* I'm aware of a Python IDE being available for Apple's app store, and I'm not sure how this squares with that policy of not allowing apps that run random code, I think they relaxed this policy a bit at some point, but not to the extent of allowing third-party web browser engines.

Re:Dear EU (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year ago | (#43131833)

The problem with GPL software and some app stores is that the GPL requires distributors to also provide the source code (for at least 3 years after they distribute the binaries), with Apple's app store they are the distributor but are unwilling to accommodate the distribution clause of the GPL, this is what causes issues with certain FOSS apps.

I don't think that's it. A simple link pointing to source code on the description page in the App Store would be enough to fulfill the requirements of either Apple or the developers.

Re:Dear EU (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43132037)

I believe that the claim is that the GPL (both v2 and v3) say you can't add additional licensing restrictions on end users when you distribute it, which distributing via the App Store does [as you have to agree to Apple's licensing terms to download apps].

Re:Dear EU (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131931)

But the real issue Mozilla have here is that Apple do not allow apps that can run random code

I think you mean "arbitrary code." In my experience, random code tends to not run very well!

Re:Dear EU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131509)

You don't have to distribute source from the same location, you only need to make it available upon request. VLC was pulled because one contributor among hundreds decided to be a dick and filed a complaint as partial copyright holder.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132021)

VLC was pulled because one contributor among hundreds decided to insist that Apple respect the terms of GPL and filed a complaint as partial copyright holder.

There, FTFY.

All Apple had to do was allow an exception to their TOS [fsf.org] for GPL'd software, and everything would have been cool. There's nothing in the GPL that keeps Apple from distributing. It's Apple who were being dicks.

Re:Dear EU (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year ago | (#43131801)

There are open source apps on the Apple iOS App Store. Only one that comes to mind is xpilot, but there's probably others.

Re:Dear EU (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year ago | (#43131365)

I don't think Apple has enough of a market share (yet) to be treated like a monopoly. But if they do manage to get it, the lawsuits should start pouring in.

Re:Dear EU (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#43131785)

Not on the desktop nor mobile markets, no. However, given that IOS, due to its widespread adoption, constitutes a big market for apps itself, and one that's artificially limited by Apple to have only one store - theirs. It could be argued that Apple's SDK provides a means to installing third-party apps, but it's not freely available. I don't see it as a big issue for consumers because it's easy enough today to jump to another similarly capable mobile platform (unlike moving away from PCs with Windows, which is/was a de facto standard).

Re:Dear EU (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43131923)

However, given that IOS, due to its widespread adoption, constitutes a big market for apps itself, and one that's artificially limited by Apple to have only one store - theirs.

You don't come under monopoly laws for having control of your own product. That's why printer manufacturers are allowed to control inks for their printers, razor manufacturers are allowed to control blades for their razors and console manufacturers are allowed to control games for their consoles. Microsoft was different, because many manufacturers manufacture PCs, and they had monopoly levels of OS on all of them. If they manufactured their own computer, and just put their own OS on it, as Apple do with Macs and iOS devices, then they would have been in the clear.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131817)

Quite a thorny matter. It's just a matter of deciding wether the reasons that brought those fines to microsoft apply to apple too. And i don't see why they shouldn't. DISCLAIMER: i personally can't wait for the total demise of apple.

Thanks butthead, I make my living off Apple products

Re:Dear EU (4, Informative)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year ago | (#43131201)

It is. But since Apple don't have an overwhelming share of the mobile space, that's allowed: customers got other options.

MS got sued because on the desktop, there is no other option, and that OS monopoly gave MS leverage in other areas (browsers, apps...). Apple don't have that kind of power.

Umm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131249)

Microsoft is hardly the only game in town on the desktop... hardly a day goes by when I'm reading tech websites full of uptight Apple fans who declare that they have not touched a Windows PC in so many years.

Re:Umm.. (1, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year ago | (#43131477)

Try to buy a non-MS machine at any retail store other than Apple..... Yup... That's called MONOPOPLY . Microsoft's position is more absolute than when the Feds broke up Standard Oil or Ma Bell.

When I go to Newegg and punch up Desktop Operating Systems the ONLY results are MICROSOFT.

Re:Umm.. (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43131525)

Try to buy a non-MS machine at any retail store other than Apple..... Yup... That's called MONOPOPLY

No, it's not.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131751)

Antitrust law doesn't state you have to be a literal monopoly before the government can act. In fact you can have a small marketshare. You don't have to have greater than 50% marketshare for the government to act.

Re:Dear EU (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about a year ago | (#43131827)

It is. But since Apple don't have an overwhelming share of the mobile space, that's allowed:

This may be changing - in terms of usage, Android market share seems to be progressively taking more and more Apple market share (correct me if I'm wrong). However, in terms of developer mindshare, I would think Apple is still beating out Android, particularly in tablet space (source: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/divine-intervention-googles-nexus-7-is-a-fantastic-200-tablet/3/-lasttwoparagraphs [arstechnica.com]).

customers got other options.

It's not inconceivable that someone would be in a position where they have to buy an Apple product. I know of schools that have forced students to buy them. So no, customers don't always have other options.

what about windows phone and the win 8 app store (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43131517)

what about windows phone and the win 8 app store they may hit the same laws.

Competition Laws (2)

andersh (229403) | about a year ago | (#43131927)

the fact that Apple forces all apps to be purchased through their own app store just as well be seen as anti-competitive?

No, not according to the more pro-active EU competition/monopoly laws or similar US laws. Apple's market share is too small to fall under "monopoly" in any or all European countries, where the distribution is quite varied from nation to nation. Scandinavia is not at all representative of the European handset market as a whole, my dear neighbor.

Furthermore the fact that a product only supports its manufacturer's services is not a violation of any doctrine here or there. The cases involving Microsoft has confused the general public, it's not illegal to only provide your own service/software/accessories. It's when that affects the general market to such a degree that it become detrimental to competition in general. US laws treats and views this differently than the EU does.

In the EU a monopoly is by its very definition seen as detrimental to consumers and must be acted upon. Until Apple constitutes a monopoly or is the dominant force it's not realistic to imagine any action by the US or EU. Apple's great influence does not constitute market power. At the moment Google's Android has the clear majority of consumers in their hand, or rather vice versa.

If the EU force Apple to have a browser ballot on iOS, I do believe Steve Jobs will be turning ever so violently in his grave

What? The man who forced Microsoft to settle [the lawsuit Apple brought against them] in return for buying Apple shares, making Office for Mac and bringing Internet Explorer to Mac OS!

No, I'm sorry, Safari is just a "pet project", Apple needed it to for their O/S to stay valid - and avoid Microsoft's grip. The very reason Microsoft was forced to open up by the EU was because their own browser skewed and hindered the market from developing. WebKit is an open source project, as Google and now even Opera proves. Apple doesn't have any greater advantage than say Google Chrome on Mac OS X. What possible arguments do you have?

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131089)

It's not just microsoft that engages in anti-competitive behaviour.

True. Many many companies are guilty of it. But, iOS doesn't have a monopoly, so it's a bit of a different situation. Also, Apple's "it's for security reasons" stance is much more defendable than MS's "why would anyone ever need another browser?" position.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131719)

wait wait wait... "It's for security reasons"? What kind of alcohol are you drinking for you to parrot that explanation?

Having a monoculture (all webkit) is significantly worse for security since all someone has to do is to find one security vulnerability and BAM, all browsers are affected.

Re:Dear EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131909)

Apple's claim is it will not allow "code execution" in any non-Apple apps for security reasons. Since browsers need to execute Javascript, well, they're just not going to happen.

There are alternate browsers in iOS, but they are all based off Apple's "blessed" webkit.

Re:Dear EU (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43131273)

No, but they've already said that it doesn't apply to Apple because they create "premium" or "niche" products (which is really just a nice way if saying their too insignificant to be relevant ... so I'm kind of OK with the subtle insult to Apple)

That was a few years ago, however, and I suspect that may have changed by now.

Re:Dear EU (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43131385)

If the EU ever wants to step up to the Apple store it's more likely going to be about the non-negotiable monetary conditions they foist on programmers and publications.

boo fucking hoo. fine stay away (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131053)

considering how sluggish firefox runs on my netbook, maybe its a good thing they keep their sludgy code away from iOS. please, foist your slow-ware elsewhere, like android.

Not Objective C (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131067)

They can't port it anyway. Firefox is written in XUL, not Objective C as required by Apple.

Re:Not Objective C (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | about a year ago | (#43131113)

So, by that reasoning, Opera is written in Objective C, seen as it does have an iOS version?

Also, Firefox can hardly be said to be written in XUL, it's more than likely written in C/C++ and uses XUL internally for user interfaces.

Re:Not Objective C (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year ago | (#43131239)

It's not so much about language: you have a choice of several. It's about the rendering engine: Apple only allow their own on the platform.

Chrome (and Opera Mobile, if it's available for iOS, not sure) use Safari's rendering engine; only the user interface is different.

Opera Mini (as opposed to Mobile) does its rendering on Opera's servers, which then send over a compressed and simplified version of the page, and apparently that's allowed... or not, and maybe Opera Mini also uses Safari's renderer.

Re:Not Objective C (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#43131537)

Chrome on iOS uses the same WebKit version as Safari?

Re:Not Objective C (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131781)

Yes, although with a less optimized javascript engine, as the more optimized Nitro version is only available in native Safari, at least without using a jailbreak tweak [idownloadblog.com].

Re:Not Objective C (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132027)

Chrome on iOS uses the same WebKit version as Safari?

Yes - but with a worse javascript engine (only Apple's javascript engine is optimised on iOS) and you also get to send all your data and browsing habits to Google for Google to sell.

No-one sensible would use Chrome over Safari on iOS.

Re:Not Objective C (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year ago | (#43131411)

Opera is not available on iOS. Opera Mini is available, but it is not a browser strictly speaking.

Once Opera converts from Presto to Webkit it may have an iOS version.

Re:Not Objective C (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131191)

Firefox is written in XUL

So that's why it's the shittiest browser in world.

Cydia please. (1, Interesting)

DarkVader (121278) | about a year ago | (#43131069)

Dear Mozilla,

Please don't worry about what Apple wants, release Firefox for iOS in Cydia.

Open Source please (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43131103)

Dear Apple customer,

Please don't give money to Apple, they will use it to dissuade competition.

Re:Open Source please (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43131259)

Apple IS competition. There are two very strong platforms for smartphones right now, and they both improve almost daily because of intense competition.

Re:Open Source please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131317)

Sure, but Apple is also anticompetitive. Why fight on their terms when they won't fight fair? Better to support the more-used platform and demonstrate that Apple isn't as hot as its cracked up to be, and force them to innovate, rather than wasting resources playing their game on their terms. Mozilla simply has better things to do than release a crippled version of their product on a technically inferior OS that has to be walled off to prevent it from getting any worse. It's a lose-lose proposition to have a Firefox on iOS.

Re:Open Source please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131401)

Sure, but Apple is also anticompetitive.

So as a customer I don't care.

Re:Open Source please (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131749)

So as a customer, you enjoy paying the 30% in-app tax for *EVERYTHING* (main reason why Amazon nor Google apps have any purchase links anywhere). Enjoy paying for accessories like routers that are twice as expensive as similar or better featured items.

Re:Open Source please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131407)

By that measure so is Google. If you want to release a phone with googles apps, you have to be a member of the 'open' hand set alliance. If you're a phone company that wants to fork Android, google won't let you produce an Android phone that's already happened in China. That's entirely anticompetitive

http://marketingland.com/google-acer-android-aliyun-21631 [marketingland.com]

Re:Open Source please (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131741)

No, any company is free to fork Android. Take a look at Amazon. They seem to be perfectly content right now.

Oh wait, you're talking being in the inner circle where they're privy to what's being developed before it's released and dropped to the AOSP. Explain why anyone should help the competition? Putting the code to AOSP is currently miles ahead of most other companies.

Re:Open Source please (2, Interesting)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#43131861)

Not the only competition, though, If that's a factor on your choice of phone, wait a bit and buy comething with Tizen, Ubuntu, Firefox OS etc. Because, from an user's - and society's - point of view, there's good and bad competition. And competition that litigates aggressively to ban competitors, like Apple, or to extort competitors, like Microsoft, is surely bad competition.

Re:Cydia please. (1, Troll)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43131167)

Dear apple customer, since you already shown us that you have more money than brains, please refrain from engaging in illegal (in the US, of course) activities such as 'jailbreaking'. We already know you can afford to pay: don't be a cheap ass! Also, you are unknowingly causing steve job's corpse to spin around its horizontal axis.

Re:Cydia please. (-1, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43131985)

"you have more money than brains" (or sense) is something that's only ever said by people who can't afford to buy the product in question.

Not everyone has to be a cheapskate.

Re:Cydia please. (1)

Richard_J_N (631241) | about a year ago | (#43131295)

I agree. Having been given an unwanted present of an iPad (and now I can't get myself a real tablet for fear of offense), I'd really like to see a port of Firefox to Cydia. Actually, given that the GNU utils and X server already exist, why not port a window-manager too, and run a real OS on it?

Re:Cydia please. (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#43131395)

Choice of tablet is a fairly personal decision. Why are you worried about offending anyone? Just buy yourself the tablet you want and be done with it. Just be honest if asked. "This tablet does things I can't on the iPad," " This tablet has better specs than the iPad," etc. There are a LOT of reasons to want an upgrade from an iPad to something non-Apple.

Re:Cydia please. (3, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#43131973)

That's what I hate about perceptive generous people and their expensive and thoughtful gifts. They always manage to get whatever you need almost right. That "almost" part is enough to leave you slightly uncomfortable with what you have but not enough to invest money into something better, since your gains would now be disproportionate to the amount spent. Just give me a cheap, ugly fucking novelty tie I can throw away and we'll both be a lot happier.

Re:Cydia please. (-1, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43132007)

Having been given an unwanted present of an iPad (and now I can't get myself a real tablet for fear of offense)

First world problem.

Re:Cydia please. (0)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year ago | (#43131303)

Dear Mozilla,

Please don't worry about what Apple wants, release Firefox for iOS in Cydia.

And while you're at it, stop blocking other browser on Firefox OS - not that anybody will care.

Critical Mass Needed (1)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43131353)

Firefox may be open source, but Mozilla has demonstrated their need to divert resources where they count the most. This is, for instance, why Firefox is no longer developed on Maemo.

So beyond the potential political or legal ramifications, the sliver of market share that Cydia possesses is simply not worth the engineering effort. And the gamble that releasing it for iPhone would somehow influence Apple to allow third-party browsers, given Apple's stubborn history, would likely be foolhardy.

aside: I have an iPhone and would love if Firefox existed on it.

Ideals (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43131109)

I wish more large developers would do the same. All they need to do is allow an 'install external app' checkbox to make most happy, but that would break the app-store lock-in. Personally, I think your business should rely on people wanting to use it, not being forced to. The app store has value, but to me it's unacceptable to have no alternatives.

Re:Ideals (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year ago | (#43131265)

the risk to the 99% of users who don't care is too high, for only 1% of users who care (though that 1% is very vocal, especially on nerd sites)

Re:Ideals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131403)

Then there's still something called disabled by default.

Re:Ideals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132001)

I guess I am one of the 99% of the users who does not care a damn if mozilla even survives - forget coming on iOS or Mac Os.

The damn thing is like Adobe - there are updates every other day... and chrome wallops it easily!

Not a problem for Chrome (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131111)

Somehow it doesn't seem to be a problem for Chrome, even if Google is competing directly against Apple with Android. Their browser still runs on iOS and pretty much all other platforms. They also have iOS apps for pretty much every other service they have (gmail, maps, search, etc)

Sorry Mozilla but sometimes you just have to suck it up. Especially if you want to get on locked mobile devices.

Re:Not a problem for Chrome (4, Informative)

Predius (560344) | about a year ago | (#43131319)

Well, save for the fact that 'Chrome' on iOS is just a skin over Apple's WebKit with the slower JS engine Apple 'graciously' lets apps us vs the faster one their browser can access on the same device.

Meanwhile (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131115)

Meanwhile, in Firefox OS, alternate browsers will thrive.

http://samuelsidler.com/2013/03/firefox-os-and-browser-choice/

Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131119)

I'm running chrome on my iOS device right now. I must be missing something about the inability to run third party browsers.

Re:Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131257)

Third party browser engines, actually. Both Chrome and Safari are based on Webkit, whereas FF is based on Gecko.

Still not Chrome (1)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43131679)

True, but it's still not really Chrome as it doesn't use their version of webkit or their JS engine.
Just a skin.

Firefox - all negative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131131)

Many years ago I used Firefox almost exclusively and IE just for banking. Firefox rapidly started losing its appeal when Chrome came out. Then just last week the copy of Firefox on my work computer suddenly started hanging for no clear reason. I did a reset, then upgraded it, and it was still non-functional (JS errors). I could have spent an hour or two tracking down the problem but I realized I just didn't need it anymore. Exported my bookmarks and uninstalled it. I used it off and on for almost ten years but at this point I will probably never use it again. There was a time when Firefox was awesome but now it's just a sad example of "too many cooks". Note that Microsoft ripped off Chrome's interface for their latest version if IE. That speaks volumes.

Re:Firefox - all negative (1)

ricklow (124377) | about a year ago | (#43131231)

Counterexample:
My employer has deployed a heavy-handed security environment on all Windows workstations along with an antique version of IE. Chrome consistently crashes and hangs to the point that it's unusable. Firefox runs like a champ and has become my browser of choice at work.

Anyone can find a single sample to prove anything.

Re:Firefox - all negative (1)

lucm (889690) | about a year ago | (#43131281)

My employer has deployed a heavy-handed security environment on all Windows workstations along with an antique version of IE.

Forcing IE5 or IE6 for security reasons is, at least, unusual.

OK then... (5, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#43131217)

... will they allow other browsers on their new mobile OS?

Re:OK then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131347)

Nope. Not only that but they're spreading themselves far too thin. Focus on making desktop Firefox better than Chrome, and worry about market share there before looking for crumbs on Andorid, iOS or even worse, their own smart phone platform.

Re:OK then... (2)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43131367)

re: ... will they allow other browsers on their new mobile OS?
:>)
Why wouldn't they? That's the whole premise of free software: the freedom to be able to do what one wants and needs, not just the "free" aspect of its cost being zero. If it's possible to build a browser in javascript or java, then you could run a browser in a browser. And you could run a browser in the mozilla mobile OS. [warning, i am not a spokesgirl for mozilla, firefox, godzilla, gojira, or any other software projects other than MyOwn ( (tm), moi) ]

Re:OK then... (-1, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43132067)

If it's possible to build a browser in javascript or java, then you could run a browser in a browser.

If it was possible to run a browser in a browser, then you could do it on iOS too. There's no restrictions on web apps.

Interesting how you were prepared to make the most ridiculous excuses for Firefox OS though.

Re:OK then... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131569)

They've neither forbidden it nor made it extra difficult, though it may not be easy.
Have a look at the comments over at http://samuelsidler.com/2013/03/firefox-os-and-browser-choice/.

Re:OK then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131595)

Well, yes and no.

Yes, because you can write a browser in HTML + CSS + Javascript

No, because you'd have to write a browser in HTML + CSS + Javascript.

No, because the browser IS the OS, so changing the browser would mean changing the OS.

Yes, because they'll let you change the OS, both in the sense of installing something different on your physical device, but also in the sense of changing the opensource code.

Yes. (1)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43131605)

Anyone is welcome to make their own alternate browser for Firefox OS. (Mozilla would surely encourage it it.)

Re: OK then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131839)

does chrome OS allow other browsers? If the browser is the desktop, does it have to be replaceable? This doesn't seem the same as Microsofts tacked-on browser, which they called the desktop, in order to avoid monopoly charges.

Apple is good (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131263)

Apple takes care of me -- I don't have to thiwnk about words like standards, or openess, to see the content Apple provides. All my friends like Apple too. Apple is the only company whom provides a user esperience -- I don't need anything else -- people think I'm cool.

Re:Apple is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131363)

Your sarcasm makes me believe you are likely a rather insufferable person.

Re:Apple is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131619)

Your intolerance could lead one to believe you have objectionable relationships with sheep - or should I say Apple users. it's easy to tweek the nose of one so easily offended. Apple acts as parent, and you like it -- so much the shame for you -- others appreciate living free.

Re:Apple is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132051)

Apple takes care of me -- I don't have to thiwnk about words like standards, or openess, to see the content Apple provides. All my friends like Apple too. Apple is the only company whom provides a user esperience -- I don't need anything else -- people think I'm cool.

You should more like a fan-droid sheeple to me. Enjoy life as a product for Google to abuse and sell at their convenience. There's word for that - slave.

News? (3, Insightful)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43131267)

How is this news?
a) Why would Mozilla build a browser Apple has already said it won't allow?
b) This same stance has been repeated by Mozilla multiple times.

Re:News? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131669)

How is earthquakes news?
a) Scientists claim that there will be earthquakes in the future.
b) The earth has had earthquakes multiple times before.

Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131269)

And this is why I switched to chrome.

Samsung Style (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131359)

I said it before and I said it again! Tim Cook has to make licenced mac clones again! A samsung licenced macbook air with ultra high defintion retina is worth the wait!

Now keep calm and carry on. Every day new patents expire, new processors are made, and more new inventions are created. Samsung will be best friends with Apple again one day!

Mozilla has been in decline due to poor dev (4, Insightful)

jnull (639971) | about a year ago | (#43131527)

I switched to Firefox so many years ago for innovative features, but both Chrome and Safari have beat them out in performance and integrated capabilities. How many BS Firefox updates were there last year with nothing significant delivered. Once big fan and now I don't care what system they are on. Perhaps they should pull back and focus where they may be able to be good again. (my .02)

And Android Rules (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about a year ago | (#43131715)

In terms of shipped mobile operating systems, most of the universe out there right now is Android.

Now Android has it's own issues - namely upgrade paths. But it does run your choice of browser without complaint.

I remember when I got my Android phone - I worked with a bunch of iPhone users. I used to listen to them complain about they couldn't install cool app x, and said I had no trouble putting on my Android phone.

Re:And Android Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131875)

"Most of the universe" also recognize Call Me Maybe before they recognize anything by Beethoven. Most of the universe believe in the flying spaghetti monster. Most of the universe runs Windows. Most of the universe drinks Coors. Most of the universe is full of morons with little to no idea of what they're doing. Somehow I take some level of comfort in not subscribing to what is right and good according to most of the universe. Most Fandroids I know can do nothing more than root their phone but act like they actually are part of the geek culture. I could teach my mom how to root a phone in about 15 minutes. It's not a big accomplishment.
 
As for Firefox not being on iOS? I see that as a positive for iOS if nothing else. Firefox is highly overrated.

Re:And Android Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132091)

You are an idiot and a liar.

Good riddance to an anti-consumer product (-1)

gig (78408) | about a year ago | (#43131773)

What's next? Mozilla won't run on OS X because Apple won't let them replace the TCP/IP stack?

A Safari user can run Safari on every form factor and sync bookmarks between them. A Firefox user could easily do the same. The fact that the rendering engine would be Gecko on their PC and WebKit on their iPhone just doesn't fucking matter. Especially not when Gecko runs like crap on mobiles.

It really shows that Mozilla's focus is on themselves and software developers, not on the consumer end user, who has been running Firefox on their PC for years now and Safari on their iPhone for years now and just wants a Firefox interface and bookmark syncing on their iPhone.

If that is Mozilla's focus, then they don't belong on iOS and good riddance. On iOS, the end user is at the top of the hierarchy, and software developers and content producers all work for the user. The user already has an HTML5 renderer in their iPhone, they already have a TCP/IP stack. You do not need to replace them to build a browser, and in fact, it is much better security that you can't replace them. That is what is best for the consumer: a secure renderer that is highly-optimized specifically for their device.

> as long as Apple doesn't mend its unfriendly ways towards third party browsers

That is just propaganda. There are hundreds of 3rd party browsers on iOS, many with very innovative features. Like Skyfire, which converts Flash Video to ISO standard video on a server and essentially enables you to run Flash on iPhone or iPad. There are browsers that are exploring lots of gestures, or deep social integration. Mozilla is missing out on all of that because they are pouty, entitled developers who want their feet rubbed and cheeks kissed before they deign to bless us with their bloated, mangled code. And of course, Mozilla knows better than Apple what Apple users want. As if.

And finally, Mozilla's hypocrisy: note that the one and only HTML renderer on Firefox OS is Gecko. And Firefox OS has zero 3rd party browsers as of right now.

Re:Good riddance to an anti-consumer product (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year ago | (#43131803)

Must.... Resist.... Urge... To... Respond.... To.... Troll.....

Re:Good riddance to an anti-consumer product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132103)

How is that a troll? Or are you referring to your own post?

Who cares? (1, Insightful)

DavidinAla (639952) | about a year ago | (#43132065)

As an iPhone user, I can't see why I'd possibly want Firefox. We've really reached the point that browsers are commodities for almost every user. I know some people are so in love with the idea of user-selectible choice that they can't imagine that a unified user experience is a good thing, but for the vast majority it's the best way to go. If you truly have some specialized need for a browser function that doesn't come with the WebKit-based Safari, you're probably already using another platform anyway. This just isn't the big deal it was back in the day when some companies thought they could control the web by controlling the browser. But some people haven't figured that out.
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