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FireFox Finally Arrives On iOS

November 12, 2015 - Geek Bits
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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