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FireFox Finally Arrives On iOS

FireFox Finally Arrives On iOS

Finally my favorite browser makes it to the hallowed walled garden that is Apple iOS.  I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time and it’s finally occurred FireFox for iOS.  So as it’s syncing all my data from my FireFox account I thought I’d jot a quick blog post.

Whilst I was waiting for this to happen I honestly thought it never would.  Apple have a strict process of getting apps onto the App Store and onto their iOS devices.  As a developer it’s actually quite  painful process of getting signing certificates and managing the various provisioning profiles required to even just simply compile code let along actually deploy something to a real device.

The main sticking point was the fact that Apple stipulate that browsers (or any HTML rendering app) must use the WebKit layout engine.  WebKit has been around for a very long time, the initial release, as KHTML, was 17 years ago at the time of writing.  FireFox has always used it’s own rendering engine Gecko, I say “it’s own” but Gecko was originally created by Netscape in 1997.

So, whilst it is FireFox it seems that v1.1 is still a bit short on features.  It may take a while for this version to catch up with Desktop in many ways due to the fact that the Gecko rendering engine has a feature/lanugage called XUL that is used by add-on developers to create their UIs and so forth.  This is not available in Gecko so it’s going to be interesting to see how/if the Add-Ons ever make it into this app.

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