Mozilla Opens Firefox For iOS Beta To Testers

Imagine being able to run Mozilla's Firefox browser on Apple's iOS platform for mobile devices. That's been a pipe dream of many for the longest time, though never say never. Mozilla seems to be ending a standoff with Apple and reportedly plans to release a browser for iOS that will offer a "Firefox-like experience."

Mozilla has long refused to release a version of Firefox for iOS due to Apple disallowing the company to use its own web engine. If Firefox were to ever come to iOS, one of the sides would have to budge, and that's what Mozilla did back in December when it announced that it was testing a browser for Apple's mobile platform.

Firefox iOS

Now five months later, Mozilla has begun inviting users to beta test Firefox for iOS, serving as a solid indication that a final release probably isn't far behind. Mozilla already has all the beta testers it needs, though before it stopped sending out invites, the browser maker was asking potential candidates for details about the devices they own. The survey it sent out also revealed that the beta would require iOS version 8 or higher.

According to TechCrunch, Firefox for iOS consists of a UI on top of WebKit and Nitro rather than Mozilla's own technologies (Gecko). Nevertheless, it will support things like Firefox accounts, bookmark syncing, and other features found in the regular version of Firefox.

This could be an important step for Mozilla. Firefox doesn't have much of a presence in mobile, and on the desktop, the browser is down to an 11.7 percent shared, barely more than half of what it was exactly two years ago (20.63 percent), according to data provided by Net Applications.