Apple’s iOS has practically all the big hitters in the browser market – Safari itself, Opera (Mini), Dolphin HD, Skyfire, among others. But one name that has curiously been missing in all this is Firefox, the phenomenally popular web browser from Mozilla Inc. It isn’t a case of them having outright shunned the mobile market so far either – Firefox is available and popular in Android, but a whole lot more. Mozilla has had issues with iOS itself, but that may about to change with Mozilla Junior – a concept browser tailor made for the iPad.
The primary issue that Mozilla faced in bringing Firefox to iDevices was that Apple didn’t allow them to implement their own rendering engine in iOS. They had to use a Webkit based solution that was simply at odds with the strengths of Firefox itself.
Now, Mozilla’s developers have revealed details about a new browser they’re working on – something that they dub Mozilla ‘Junior’. The devs envision this to be the first browser that would actually be suited to a tablet screen. The Junior browser does away with a URL bar (and tabs, for that matter) with the aim of being simpler and smoother.
Alex Limi, a key member of Mozilla’s Product Design team, explained the need for Mozilla to approach tablet browsing the way it will with Junior. He cited the example of the Safari browser, claiming that it is woefully unsuited to a tablet, calling it a “pretty miserable” experience. Instead of directly miniaturizing a browser like Safari from its desktop avatar to its iPad one, Limi asserts that a tablet web browser should be more app-like.
Keeping that in mind, the Mozilla Junior browser will aim for a full screen, magazine like interface to make the most of the relatively limited screen real estate in a tablet. In other words, tablet browsing will be ‘more focused and fun’.