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Firefox: We can’t bring meaningful choice to iOS

Luke Johnson by

Firefox explains why its not on iOS

Mozilla, the parent company of Firefox has laid the boot into Apple’s notorious App Store restrictions, telling TrustedReviews ‘we can’t bring meaningful choice to iOS’.

Despite offering a dedicated, and downloadable, Firefox browser app for Google’s Android OS, Mozilla has never released its popular browser for Apple’s iPhone or iPad devices. Now, the company has claimed Apple’s restrictions are too limiting on its system.

You don’t see us on iOS right now because every time we look at that platform we say we can’t bring meaningful choice,” Jonathan Nightingale, Mozilla’s Vice President of Firefox told us.

He added: “The rules of the iOS store say we’re not allowed to bring our technology.”

Highlighting the restrictive nature of the Apple App Store, Nightingale stated: “I’m confident I could get the Firefox icon into an iOS device but I think that’s about where it would end. It would be somebody else’s rendering engine, somebody else’s Java script.”

Although the company’s own Firefox OS continues to grow in popularity and availability, the Firefox VP has suggested that is no reason not to continue supporting its Android-based browser.

“For us, we look at the entire spectrum of where does the internet exist, where can we bring our values and meaningful user choice to people – that’s where you see us,” Nightingale said.

“Firefox for Android really reaches users who are in markets that have high power devices and what they want is the Firefox they know and love.

“They want that experience and they want the syncing with their desktop product but they are not ready, or they are not in a market where it is possible to switch to the Firefox OS.”

In recent weeks Mozilla announced plans to launch a $25 Firefox phone, a device which will bring the internet-based OS to a wider, more emerging market.

Read More: iPhone 5S review

Go to comments


March 11, 2014, 6:49 pm

I love Firefox on my desktop. Those add-ons are fantastic, but iOS is so by-the-book that Android really is its natural home for mobile. The priorities are different on each platform, I guess. On a PC, I want more capability, but with mobile, I'd trade that in for stability. It's hard to see any kind of intersect between the two companies' philosophies without a mobile Boot Camp equivalent which would never happen.

Prem Desai

March 12, 2014, 8:30 am

Come on Firefox developers. I understand the restrictions and limitations of iOS but this is a challenge. Don't lay down and die.

You're better than that. You are innovators!! Make it happen!!

Arnav Kalra

March 12, 2014, 10:25 am

Apple doesn't allow them to run their code natively. They are only allowed to run their own ui on top of an old version of safari.


March 12, 2014, 12:22 pm

Funny how apple is being anti-innovators.


March 12, 2014, 5:02 pm

There's no innovating around Apple lawyers...


March 12, 2014, 6:22 pm

Its a policy issue, not a technical issue.

Prem Desai

March 14, 2014, 7:44 am

They sort of are. The odd thing they innovate is copyrighted to the extreme and never shared. Even things like gestures, etc. if they could, they would copyright air and charge the world for breathing.


April 14, 2014, 11:49 am

'Nuff said.

Kate Branden

May 19, 2014, 5:43 pm

No FF on iOS = no FF on my computers.
I use Chrome on my iOS devices and like the sync that allows me to see the history and open tabs on my other devices. I know firefox has the same sync, but as I can't use the same browser on all my devices, I don't use FF on any of them.


May 21, 2014, 6:10 pm

This is my problem as well.

I don't *want* to use chrome, and I won't use Safari. The "meaningful choice" for iOS is letting us sync our devices with the best browser there is, or not. The third party browser options for this are terrible IMO.

Chrome doesn't have this problem. And yes - it is a problem.


November 23, 2014, 3:39 pm

Arrogance, the nail in the coffin for Firefox.

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