Firefox finally comes to iOS

If you use Firefox on a Mac or Windows you can finally get your browser of choice on iOS.

Mozilla Firefox

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Nearly a year ago Mozilla said it would bring Firefox to iOS, and earlier in the fall we got our first look at the popular browser on Apple’s platform. On Thursday, the stable version rolled out and is now available on the App Store for devices running iOS 8.2 and up.

Firefox for iOS brings all the standard features you’d expect from Firefox, including sync via a Firefox account for browsing history, bookmarks, and open tabs on other devices. The new mobile browser also has the non-syncable reading list feature.

Mozilla says private browsing tabs are also available on iOS, but I didn't see the feature in my tests. Either it’s been well hidden or Mozilla mistakenly announced the feature was ready. It’s also not clear if the iOS version of private browsing will come with Mozilla’s new tracking protection available on the desktop and Android.


Firefox for iOS.

The story behind the story: Firefox on iOS is the second time we’ve seen Mozilla’s famous brand show up in the App Store, but the first time the browser has been present. For roughly two years, Mozilla maintained an app called Firefox Home that allowed Firefox users to access their synced browser data on iOS and even view webpages. Firefox Home was mothballed in 2012.

The presence of Firefox on iOS is a major reversal for Mozilla. Previously, Mozilla objected to putting its browser on iOS because Apple’s development rules prevented Mozilla from using its own rendering and JavaScript engines on iOS.

Apple’s restrictions are still in place, but it appears Mozilla decided it was more important to have a presence on iOS than to continue to oppose Apple’s policies.

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