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Mozilla wants to finally bring Firefox to iOS

For a long time, Apple hasn’t allowed Firefox to appear on iOS as doesn’t want it to use a different web engine on the mobile operating system. Now, Mozilla wants to changes that. Speaking at an internal meeting, it’s claimed by TechCrunch that Mozilla’s VP for Firefox Jonathan Nightingale explained: “We need to be where our users are. So we’re going to get Firefox on iOS.” It’s unclear exactly how that will happen. It seems unlikely Apple will suddenly start allowing third-party browser engines, so it’ll probably have to work with Apple’s, figuring out how to have such a system support Firefox accounts, bookmark-syncing and the like.

For a year now, Mozilla has categorically stated that it wouldn’t release a version of Firefox for iOS because Apple won’t let it use its own web engine on its platform. With a new CEO on board, however, it looks like Mozilla’s position may be changing. At an internal Mozilla event in Portland today, the organization talked about the need to get its browser onto iOS. “We need to be where our users are,” Firefox release manager Lukas Blakk wrote on Twitter today (quoting Mozilla’s VP for Firefox Jonathan Nightingale, we think). “So we’re going to get Firefox on iOS.” Apple has been very restrictive with regard to third-party browser engines on its platform. Current third-party iOS browsers like Chrome or Opera can only operate on iOS because they use Apple’s own JavaScript and rendering engines, for example — or, as in the case of Opera, by rendering sites on a server and then sending them to the device. It’s unclear how Mozilla plans to bring Firefox to iOS, but given that Apple isn’t likely to open up its platform for third-party browser engines, it’ll likely have to work with Apple’s technology. With that, it can still support Firefox accounts, its bookmark-syncing tools and all the other features that Firefox for Android currently offers.

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