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Firefox Cellphones Iphone Mozilla Apple

Firefox Home Coming To iPhone, Browser Next? 170

Posted by StoneLion
from the where-the-heart-is dept.
siliconbits writes "Mozilla has launched an iPhone app called Firefox Home that gives iPhone users instant access to their Firefox browsing history, bookmarks, and the set of tabs from their most recent browser session. What's more, it provides Firefox Awesome Bar capability that enables people to get to their favorite websites with minimal typing." With the Mozilla blog promising "There will be more to come," can the full browser be far behind?

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Firefox Home Coming To iPhone, Browser Next?

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  • It's quite shocking to me that Apple is allowing any Mozilla software to come to the App Store from the get go; but regardless it's great news to have open source infiltrating Apple's proprietary market.

    • Re:Surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

      by delinear (991444) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:28AM (#32361832)
      It doesn't seem like much of an ifiltration if all it does (by the sound of it) is allow you to open your Firefox bookmarks, etc in the native iPhone browser and provide a search bar that does the same thing. Still nice to have the option to take your bookmarks across to the mobile device, though, and it might help win/retain a little FF mindshare but a far cry from the win that native FF on the iPhone would be.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dzfoo (772245)

      It's perfectly understandable. Most Apple-bashing zealots have assumed from the beginning that Apple is engaged in an all-out war against anybody and everybody, for some irrational control-freakery bout they have attained. So it may seem surprising when their entrenched, biased opinions are rattled by an otherwise business-savvy move that seems too rational.

              -dZ.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:41AM (#32362042)

        Slashdotters have an odd tendency to view things in terms of black and white, good and Evil-with-a-capital-E. Most corporations fall solidly within the Evil category. Slashdot assumes that companies are in business to screw their competitors and customers as much as posible.

        The idea that companies are in business to do business doesn't register.

        • The idea that companies are in business to do business doesn't register.

          Of course it does. However, some corporations seem to conflate the "do business" and "screw everyone" concepts. Some only do it once in a while and a few never does it. That's called "reality" and it doesn't come in black and white.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Chrisq (894406)

          Slashdotters have an odd tendency to view things in terms of black and white, good and Evil-with-a-capital-E. Most corporations fall solidly within the Evil category. Slashdot assumes that companies are in business to screw their competitors and customers as much as posible.

          The idea that companies are in business to do business doesn't register.

          The truth is that businesses are out to screw competitors and their customers to what ever extent will maximise their profit. That means locking you in to expensive apps and platforms works, as long as they are not expensive enough to drive people away.

        • by Gilmoure (18428)

          Sorta' like boobs or not boobs?

      • by MrHanky (141717)

        You really think so? I don't think you do. I think most Slashdotters know perfectly well that Apple looks out for Apple's best interest, and screwing the customer is something they do for profits, not for its own sake. Of course, with no rational defence for Apple, the fanboy resorts to strawman bullshit instead.

    • Today on Mac Rumors they posted a story saying that Steve Ballmer will be at the next WWDC keynote with Jobs showing "The new version of Visual Studio will reportedly allow developers to write native applications for the iPhone, iPad and Mac OS."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314)

        Yeah, unfortunately following through the links it seems to be entirely unfounded, and little more than a guess that Ballmer is going to turn up, followed by a guess it'll be about Visual Studio 2010.

        The wording also says "Chowdhry says the new version of VS will allow developers to write native applications for the iPhone, iPad and Mac OS.". Which we know is false because VS2010 is already out and has no such support, unless he's suggesting they'll follow it up with some downloadable addon.

        If Microsoft are

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Cyberax (705495)

          Technically, it's not that hard for MS to add this support. Objective-C/C++ is just a plain C with some preprocessor magic, and VS in its current iteration is quite extensible.

          Certainly, adding support for another language is possible as a simple add-on (for example, Nemerle language has one - http://rsdn.ru/article/nemerle/Nemerle.VsIntegration-en.xml [rsdn.ru] ).

          • With the silverlight on Mac efforts, and the fact that VS2010 has a lot of XAML/WPF and MEF goodness, maybe they've made it run on a mac, in which case they could pretty easily add compiler support for VS over the Apple compilers. I doubt it, but anything is possible. However, MonoDevelop already works on OSX if you want .Net, and MonoTouch already targets iPod Touch and iPhone.
          • by s73v3r (963317)
            Its a little more than that. However, given that the entire toolchain is open source, it should be easier for it to be integrated into Visual Studio. Hell, if it were anyone else, I would suggest that they just integrated the actual iPhone toolchain (Clang + LLVM).
      • by rolfwind (528248)

        If you're developing for the Mac OS... you should be working on a Mac. Not that it will be even close to your greatest cost, but just saying. Especially with UI considerations and knowing what your customer is used to and all that.

  • It would be nice if we could run javascript/html5/css3 code on Apple products (plus minor extensions for accessing local stuff etc), via Mozilla. Then we could finally write useful platform-independent apps that also run on Apple products.

    --
    while [ 1 ]; do curl "http://apple.com" > /dev/null; done

    • by BZ (40346)

      > It would be nice if we could run javascript/html5/css3 code on Apple products

      Apple's terms of service for the iPhone and iPad prohibit just this, so it's not likely barring an Apple policy change.

      • by s73v3r (963317)
        No they don't. HTML/JavaScript/CSS is one of the things you are allowed to write in. That, and the C/C++ and Objective-C languages.
        • by BZ (40346)

          The poster was specifically talking about doing it "via Mozilla". And a JavaScript interpreter (other than the one Apple ships) is one of the things you are NOT allowed to ship on iPhone OS by Apple. Nor can you ship an interpreter of any other kind. It's not clear to me that even an XSLT implementation would be acceptable (since XSLT is a Turing-complete functional language).

          So you could not in fact use Mozilla's JavaScript interpreter on iPhone or iPad.

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        What the fuck are you talking about? I don't know the state of Mobile Safari w.r.t. css3, but there's no issues at all using these technologies on the iPhone. Not only that, this was Apple's preferred method before they released the SDK and App Store.

        • by BZ (40346)

          I should clearly have quoted more of grandparent's post. He was specifically wanting to run JavaScript in the Mozilla JS interpreter, not the Mobile Safari one.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      Sure, ask the Mozilla Dev Team to write iFirefox to use WebKit instead of Gecko. There are other browsers for the iPhone, you know, but Apple requires them to use WebKit as the sole rendering layer.

              -dZ.

    • Like.. web apps? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Henriok (6762)
      Ah, so you mean like writing web apps? The plattform independent platform that is HTML5? The kind Apple thought apps was supposed to work for iPhone since day one, long before the AppStore was even invented? If you think that's a great way to go, just go ahead. It's been implemented in the iPhone the last three years. You don't need Mozilla for writing web apps. Safari is great for such things. It's a web browser you know, they run web apps.
    • by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:59AM (#32362246)

      It would be nice if we could run javascript/html5/css3 code on Apple products (plus minor extensions for accessing local stuff etc), via Mozilla. Then we could finally write useful platform-independent apps that also run on Apple products.

      Why not just build javascript + html5 + css3 web apps? You get full platform independence and no app store hassles.

      The iPhone supports HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. As for "local stuff," HTML 5 already has features that allows persistent local database storage. If your app need location awareness, the iPhone supports the W3C Geolocation API.

      You may not remember, but originally, Apple's official stance was that the only third-party iPhone apps would be web apps. Lots of people bitched and moaned [slashdot.org] about how Apple was not allowing developers onto its device, so Apple eventually caved and released its SDK [slashdot.org]. But there's no reason you can't still build web apps for the iPhone.

      • Actually, yes. But I think I should have put more emphasis on "with minor extensions for accessing local stuff". It might be of minor difficulty to implement this in a browser, but being able to access the local filesystem is a major feature which would allow web apps, like you mention, to behave more like native apps.

        So until something like google gears comes to the iphone, we're still mostly stuck with the proprietary api from apple.

        Also, I think for this to be practical, the browser, which acts only as a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jez9999 (618189)

        Why not just build javascript + html5 + css3 web apps? You get full platform independence and no app store hassles.

        If such apps started to get really popular, Apple would have to implement a mechanism to enable them to charge for access to them.

        • by s73v3r (963317)
          No. Web Apps were originally the only form of App development on the iPhone. And the developers are the ones that set the prices. Apple has nothing to do with that. Given that with a Web App, they don't have to do credit card processing, hosting or anything like that, they don't need to take anything off.
        • Why not just build javascript + html5 + css3 web apps? You get full platform independence and no app store hassles.

          If such apps started to get really popular, Apple would have to implement a mechanism to enable them to charge for access to them.

          You can sell apps on the app store or give them away for free. You can package Web apps as regular apps on the app store and sell them or give them away for free. You can put Web apps on the Web and charge for access or give them away for free. So how did your post get modded "insightful"? Apple wants and encourages developers to give apps away because it makes Apple money by motivating the sale of iPhones. You're clueless and so is whoever modded you up as anything but "funny".

        • by Dog-Cow (21281)

          Whoever modded you insightful is an Apple-hating, ignorant piece of shit. As are you.

  • Awesome Bar (Score:5, Informative)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gm a i l.com> on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:44AM (#32362090)
    Please, not more 'Awesome Bar' stuff, its the bane of my life. Heres my problem with the 'Awesome Bar':
    1. I start typing 'stackoverflow', with the intent of tabbing to 'stackoverflow.com'
    2. At 's' I get one URL suggested, but not the front page. I have visited this page once before in living memory. Its not in my bookmarks either.
    3. At 'st' I get another URL suggested, but not the front page. Again, I have visited this page only once before and its not in my bookmarks either.
    4. Repeat the last two steps until I get to 'stackoverf' when it finally suggests the front page of Stackoverflow.com to me

    And theres no way to turn it off. Fantastic. Highlighting the options in the url bar and hitting delete doesn't get rid of them either. Fantastic.

    • by thijsh (910751)
      Yeah, this pisses me off... why no expanding results that always include the 'smart' homepage like:
      - Stackoverflow.com (1 more) +
      --- Stackoverflow.com/ random_article_with_terrible_long_url_so_its_more_work_ to_select_this_and_go_back_home_than_type _stackoverflow.com_directly/2y498624392328874...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You just have to learn to train it. I removed my bookmarks toolbar shortly after the awesome bar came out.

      In your situation, type until you get stackoverflow.com, tab complete, hit enter. Do it a couple more times, s will tab complete to stackoverflow.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And theres no way to turn it off. Fantastic

      about:config
      browser.urlbar.maxRichResults - value=0

      Highlighting the options in the url bar and hitting delete doesn't get rid of them either. Fantastic.

      Highlight and delete definitely removes entries from the Awesome Bar database, just confirmed in 3.5 and 3.6.

      Just blame the software for your inability to use it. Fantastic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        about:config browser.urlbar.maxRichResults - value=0

        Suggested every time I mention this - it does not turn off the 'Awesome Bar', it just cripples it in some ways. It does not accomplish what I want.

        Highlight and delete definitely removes entries from the Awesome Bar database, just confirmed in 3.5 and 3.6.

        Just blame the software for your inability to use it. Fantastic.

        Wow, I've been getting it so wrong all these .... wait one moment, still doesn't work. Just confirmed it.

        Do you really think I hadn't actually tried what I posted? Really? You really think there is *any* possibility of user error in 'highlight and delete'?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by VGPowerlord (621254)

      I can't see why anyone would actually want to port the 'Awful Bar' to another device.

      No, seriously, I can't.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by HockeyPuck (141947)

      Add tags to your bookmarks, tags come up before cache hits.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by owlnation (858981)

      "Please, not more 'Awesome Bar' stuff, its the bane of my life."

      Couldn't agree more. Awesomebar is the single reason I have not, and will never, upgrade Firefox. I'm running the version previous to its addition, and am staying with it.

      Were it not for the plugins, Firefox would have been deleted off my system the moment they released the version with awesomebar. Once another browser develops a plugin system as good as that available for Firefox, it will most surely be gone.

      Awesomebar is symbolic for

      • There's always Chrome, most of the good extensions for Firefox have Chrome alternatives. Personally, it bugs me that the window chrome (the application window borders/titlebar) are overridden in chrome, also that the UI just feels very alien and is the biggest reason I don't use it. If they moved the tabs *into* the window, and used more native looking UI elements I'd probably have switched by now. It's actually one of the bigger reasons why I use Firefox... on OSX it looks like an OSX app, on Windows it
      • Re:Awesome Bar (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dog-Cow (21281) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @12:51PM (#32365054)

        I like the Awesome Bar. I think it's much more likely that you're an anal-retentive asshole.

    • Highlighting the options in the url bar and hitting delete doesn't get rid of them either.

      Use "Shift + Delete" while one of the items is highlighted and it will be removed. (Unless it's a bookmark, in which case you need to remove it from your bookmarks.)

      In your case, you could go to stackoverflow.com, then click the bookmark icon (the little star to the right of the address bar). This will give this URL higher priority. In fact you can add tags/keywords to the bookmark while you're at it, to identify the site by a more unique word that is easier to type. Or add the tag "stack" to it so that

  • Why not switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique (253895) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:47AM (#32362124)

    I honestly don't mean this as a troll. I just don't understand something here.

    If application compatibility is an issue for you, why not ditch apple's proprietary device and buy one of the many Android devices? Or if you're a *nix user, an n900?

    I'm truly baffled by the iPhone's continued popularity amongst my fellow engineers.

    • by DdJ (10790)

      If application compatibility is an issue for you, why not ditch apple's proprietary device and buy one of the many Android devices? Or if you're a *nix user, an n900?

      Because application compatibility is simply not the only issue. It's an issue, but one among many.

      Related concept: the FSF recently asserted that Apple sets up the iPhone ecosystem so that Apple's interests come first, and the interests of Apple's business partners come second, and the interests of the actual end-user buying the device come th

  • Why the iPhone? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday May 27, 2010 @09:54AM (#32362196) Homepage Journal

    Considering that the iPhone is limited to AT&T (the network I hate most) and is completely closed, why not Android? Android is open source and on many different networks.

    I wish I could get FireFox on my i776, it has perhaps the worst browser I've ever seen (OpenWave). Maybe they designed it to be bad, so it wouldn't be used much, since it's Boost Mobile and has unlimited everything for a $50/month flat fee with no contract.

    I'm getting tired of hearing about the iPhone. Come on, Mozilla, get with the program -- ANDROID!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BHearsum (325814)

      Because the full featured Firefox browser is coming to Android.

      http://blog.vlad1.com/2010/02/02/android-progress-more-pixels-edition/ [vlad1.com]

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I hope I can get an Android phone that will work on Boost then. Not holding my breath, though. I looked into tethering it with my netbook, and found out that tethering is against their terms of service. They don't want TOO MUCH "unlimited" service, apparently.

  • ...as long as it comes equipped with AdBlock.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jo_ham (604554)

      Why is the parent flamebait? It's a serious concern. It's silly that my iPhone's browser displays more adverts than my desktop copy of Safari, and the phone's screen is smaller and is often browsing via 3G, so is even more annoying for downloading content that I do not want. At least the flash ads are a non issue.

  • by Trufagus (1803250) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:13AM (#32362510)
    This is not news. Mozilla is free to put as many apps as they want on the iPhone so long as they follow Apple's rules. Unfortunately, Apple won't tell us what those rules are, but we have a pretty good idea that you can't say anything bad about Apple or powerful people, and you can't compete with any Apple technologies or strategic plans (e.g. what Google Voice did). So, it would be news if Mozilla puts Firefox on the iPhone without stripping out their HTML5 Ogg support since Apple has a financial interest in H264. If Mozilla gets Firefox on the iPhone by agreeing to tailor Firefox to Apple's wishes (e.g. strip out Ogg or anything else that Apple doesn't like) then that would be a total sellout on Mozilla's part.
    • f Mozilla gets Firefox on the iPhone by agreeing to tailor Firefox to Apple's wishes (e.g. strip out Ogg or anything else that Apple doesn't like) then that would be a total sellout on Mozilla's part.

      Mozilla can get Firefox on the iPhone the same way Opera did, by following the rules. No interpreted code, which probably means a complete rewrite of the Firefox architecture. Mind you, there are apps to play Ogg on the iPhone, so I doubt that would be an objection. Apple doesn't seem to have any problem with Ogg in general, they just want to use a hardware optimized format as much as possible for defaults.

      Apple has a financial interest in H264

      You should probably do some more research. Apple makes little or nothing in H.264 licensing. They're a

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      "Financial interest in H.264" - you mean 1 patent, out of the thousands in the pool.

      I'm sure they bet the company on that one!

  • Opera Mini (5 beta, available from the market) can make use of Opera Link, keeping bookmarks and co. in sync through all desktop and mobile instances configured for the same user.

    In addition to what Fx and Fx Home do, it also includes a fast rendering engine, better UI, snappier JavaScript, a better developer console, an awesomer bar and a bunch of other stuff. With alternatives like Chrome and Opera, when can we finally put that XULly abomination to rest?

  • No (Score:3, Informative)

    by netsharc (195805) on Thursday May 27, 2010 @10:24AM (#32362654)

    From their Wiki [mozilla.org]:

    Does this mean Firefox will be available on the iPhone?
    No. We do not have plans to ship the full Firefox browser for the iPhone. Due to constraints with the OS environment and distribution, we cannot provide users the full Firefox browsing experience on the iPhone. For details, see Mobile/Platforms.

    Reading is so passé, why have YouTube if you have to read? 3-step instruction? Don't read, listen to some nerd with dweeby voice ramble about it for 10 minutes on YouTube!

  • It makes even the smallest advances in technology major breakthroughs on a platform...

  • If they intend to bring FireFox to the iPhone, they've got to get a handle on it's memory gobbling first. It has gotten better over the last while, but leave FF open for any length of time and you suddenly have several hundred megabytes of RAM chewed up, especially on OS X where it stays resident even if you close all tabs.
    • I have to conditionally agree to this, though I have a lot of RAM on my Win7 desktop, and a fair amount on my Macbook and honestly don't notice it, it's there. I have to say it's leaps and bounds better than IE has been, and Chrome can be more bloated than either (while running), so it's a toss up and depends on your usage. Haven't used Safari enough to comment on it though.
  • I figured iPhone would already have Firefox's Fennac browser that the Droid has. It's a little slow, but nice.

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