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Mozilla has long stayed away from bringing its Firefox web browser to iOS, however it’s looking to change its plans to “be where our users are”.

The company’s release manager, Lukas Bakk, took to Twitter on Tuesday announcing the company will develop Firefox for iOS. He didn’t provide word on when it may be released, or if it’s even in development yet, but it’s definitely comforting words for the Firefox fans out there – which includes our own Sebastien Page. 

Mozilla has stayed away from iOS over the years because of Apple’s restriction on which browser engines can run on its mobile software, as TechCrunch points out. Mozilla will likely have to use WebKit if it goes through with its new plans. Presumably it would offer the account and bookmark syncing available on Firefox for Android, giving Safari and Google Chrome a run for their money.

Mozilla hasn’t completely neglected iOS in the past, however. It once offered Firefox Home, that let you have access to your Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and open tabs on your iPhone. The project was ended in 2012.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on more details about Firefox for iOS. Listen to plenty of Firefox discussion on our recent podcast, where Sebastien challenges Jeff to use Firefox on his Mac for an entire week straight.

  • Cody

    About time!

  • Julian

    Stoked!

  • Andrew

    Friggin finally. I used to use Firefox all the time, but I gave up on it because I could get my Safari tabs over the air from any device.

  • iNeedANameHere

    I’m so excited I’ve been waiting since the launch of the App Store for this

  • Captain Canada

    lol Sebastien will be so happy.

  • SBG

    The best browser on iOS great. I hate bookmarks management on safari.

  • Chris

    Interesting, wonder what made them change their mind about using the WebKit engine.

    • More than likely the fact that on iOS 8 apps can use the same rendering engine as Safari meaning they could theoretically run as fast as Safari. I think Mozilla didn’t want to be in the position where Firefox would run slower than Safari purely on the basis that Apple says so…

      • Chris

        Regardless of that Mozilla said a few years back that unless they could use their own rendering engine they would never make their way to iOS.

        Also Safari is much faster than Chrome so it will be interesting to see what they do to improve overall experience.

      • Mozilla has also displayed their disapproval of DRM in the HTML 5 spec yet implemented it anyway. In order to stay relevant Mozilla will have to make a few compromises whether they like it or not…

      • Andy

        Actually apps in iOS 8 still have to implement the new Nitro enabled webview to actually use it. I don’t think I’ve seen any app updates in the App Store that specifically mention they’re using it.

      • I doubt it’d be mentioned. It’s not something a normal user would understand or even be aware of if they saw something along the lines of “Updated to use WKWebView”…

      • Andy

        No, but they could say something like “Updated to use Nitro engine”

  • using namespace std

    In other words, they need to catch up to Chrome…

    • Chrome on iOS is just awful for a number of reasons…

      • using namespace std

        But at least they have an iOS app. Chrome is much more popular.

  • Ian Leon

    Safari is extremely high performance but not as productive as chrome
    Chrome is slightly more productive than safari but it’s second place in terms of performance; however it has flash built In, which I suppose is more secure than installing standalone flash.
    Firefox is that browser that I just keep around because I still need those add ons that I got used to back when Firefox 3 was king.

    I use them all. They all have their place. But Safari is default.

  • rockdude094

    Please thank God !

  • aw81

    Several years too late for me…

  • Keith S.

    I have always been a huge advocate of Mozilla and Firefox (and still use it almost exclusively), but my reaction to this is simply this: too late. Firefox Home was killed off, but lived on for quite a while, until they shut off the old sync servers in favor of the new ones. But ever since the iCloud Bookmarks extension came out, there’s far less need for it only to access open tabs and history. Add to that the fact that they can’t use their rendering engine, which means NO ADD-ONS, and I fail to see what Firefox can bring to iOS.

    It’s a shame, because their user base has steadily declined over the last year (mostly to Chrome’s gain), and I feel like trying to pretend iOS did not exist was just one of their many serious missteps.

  • KyleVPirate

    I wonder if it’ll have the features that the Android version has with full support of extensions. If it does, then it’ll be awesome to have Adblock installed.

  • Firefox iPad out now! get the latest on Firefox for iPad and download it on the Mozilla app store