Mozilla exits iOS as it retires Firefox Home
Ends two-year dalliance with Apple's iPhone
Computerworld - Two years after it managed to place a browser-related app on the iOS App Store, Mozilla last week announced it was retiring Firefox Home and yanked it from Apple's market.
The move was only the latest in a string of messages that the open-source company has sent over several years that it is not interested in developing a version of Firefox for the iPhone or iPad.
Firefox Home, which was approved by Apple on July 16, 2010, was not a full-fledged browser, but instead was a spin-off of the bookmark and tab synchronization technology Mozilla offered as an add-on, then later built into the desktop browser. The app gave users access to their browser bookmarks and history, to the open tabs from their most recent Firefox sessions, and to Firefox's "Awesome Bar" -- Mozilla's name for the address bar -- that let users search for previously-visited pages using keywords or characters in the URL or page title.
On Friday, Mozilla, saying Firefox Home had been "an experiment in bringing part of the Firefox experience to iOS," called it quits.
"This project provided valuable insight and experience with the platform, but we have decided to remove Firefox Home from the Apple App Store and focus our resources on other projects," Mike Connor, director of services engineering at Mozilla, said in an Aug. 31 blog post.
Search engine caches show that Firefox Home was pulled from the App Store on or after Aug. 30. With its retirement, Mozilla has abandoned the iOS platform. But it left the door open for a return: "[We] will continue to explore the best ways to provide great experiences to iOS users," Connor said Friday.
Although Mozilla has repeatedly rejected calls to offer Firefox on iOS, rival Google has decided otherwise.
While Mozilla labeled Firefox Home as an experiment on Friday, it had bigger plans for the app when it launched the synchronization software.
"We are focused on building Firefox Home as a rich, cloud-based application and making it a valuable product that people will continue to love and use," the company said in September 2010.
In the same blog post, Mozilla said it was investigating whether to develop an iPad version of Firefox Home. Mozilla never released a native edition for Apple's tablet.
The last Firefox Home update shipped in February 2011.
Mozilla has published the source code for the iOS-specific synchronization client that was the foundation of Firefox Home on GitHub. Developers are free to use it for their projects, said the company.
Stefan Arentz, a Mozilla developer, has already used the source code to create "Bookmarks On The Go," a free iOS app that was published on the App Store in mid-August.
"This application replaces the recently-pulled Firefox Home application," said Arentz on his consulting company's website.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Apple to fix iOS 7 crash bug
- Apple rang up $10B in app sales in 2013
- Balky browsers tick off tablet owners
- iPhone, iPad dwarf mobile rivals in small- and mid-sized firms
- iOS 7 now powers 3 out of 4 Apple devices
- How to fix iOS 7 glitches
- After a week, iOS 7 runs more than half of Apple's mobile devices
- First look: The new iPhone 5S impresses
- iOS 7 off to speedy adoption start
- Amazon redesigns Kindle app for iOS 7, adds Collections
Read more about Mobile Apps in Computerworld's Mobile Apps Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Performance Management: The Mobile App Development Playbook This comprehensive 16 page Forrester Research, Inc. report, authored by Jeffrey Hammond, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, details a number of valuable, commonly...
- New Problems Require Innovative Solutions The mobile market is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2015
- Getting Agnostic about Mobile Devices The idea of being able to interact with customers, prospects, and stay attuned to competitive pressures is not new, but the velocity at...
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts