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Mozilla finally launches Firefox web browser for iOS

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Firefox

Mozilla has finally released a version of its popular Firefox web browser for Apple iOS devices.

You can now download Firefox from the App Store for free. It doesn't appear to provide any particularly unique features over its rivals, but then that's not what this is about.

The main draw will be to those millions of people for whom Firefox is their chosen desktop web browser. They'll now be able to sync their bookmarks, history, tabs and passwords to their iPhones and iPads.

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Prior to this point, if you've wanted to use a popular web browser on your iOS device, it's basically been a straight choice between Apple's own Safari or Google's Chrome. Maybe Opera, at a push. Mozilla and Firefox have been notable by their absence.

Early last year, Mozilla explained its continued reluctance to supply an iOS version of Firefox to TrustedReviews. "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," vice-president Jonathan Nightingale told us.

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Apple supplies severe restrictions for any would-be iOS web browser app developer. As Nightingale put it, any Firefox iOS app would need to use "somebody else's rendering engine, somebody else's Java script."

Mozilla finally relented in December of last year, when it admitted that "we need to be where our users are, so we're going to get Firefox on iOS." It's taken just shy of a year from that pronouncement, but Firefox-favouring iPhone users now have what they want.

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