No Firefox For iOS Until Apple Changes Policy For Third-Party Rendering Engines

It is strange to note that in the ongoing war of anti-competition lawsuits, Apple hasn’t been targeted on its strange policy towards third-party browsers for iOS devices. The Mozilla team has cited that until Apple lets it use its own rendering engine, it wouldn’t be releasing any Firefox for iOS.


The problem lies in the fact that Apple uses a JavaScript rendering engine called Nitro for its Safari browser on the iOS platform. The engine is able to let Safari deliver a faster, better browsing experience. In contrast, Apple forces third-party browsers to rely on Apple’s UIWebView component.

In other words, Apple wouldn’t let third-party browsers use rendering engines of their own. This makes these browsers slower than Safari and naturally, a less preferred choice for the users.

While Microsoft is currently being grilled for not providing a browser ballot in Windows, Apple is apparently getting away with what clearly comes off as an anti-competitive tactic. As a result of this, Mozilla team has reaffirmed that it wouldn’t be bringing the Firefox browser to the iOS platform until Apple changes its unfair policy and lets it use a rendering engine of its own.

It remains to be seen whether or not Apple will be swayed by this persistence on the part of the Mozilla team. A similar issue has been faced by Mozilla team when bringing its browser to the Windows RT platform. Perhaps, it is time that an industry-wide debate is stirred so that we could discuss how fair are mobile OS vendors in curbing the features of third-party browsers on their platforms.

Courtesy: CNET

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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