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03 September 2012, 11:45

Mozilla retires Firefox Home iOS app

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Zoom Firefox Home allowed users to search their Firefox desktop tabs, bookmarks and history on their iOS mobile devices

Mozilla has ceased development of its Firefox Home mobile app for iOS-based devices and has removed it from Apple's iTunes App Store. First introduced in July 2010, the free app used Firefox Sync to give users access to the bookmarks, history and open tabs from their most recent desktop Firefox session on their mobile devices. While the application wasn't itself a browser – because Apple's App Store rules do not allow for alternative web rendering engines – it incorporated a version of Firefox's "Awesome Bar" for looking up sites and users could open their tabs or bookmarks using the Webkit renderer embedded in the app.

The organisation originally released Firefox Home as "an experiment in bringing a part of the Firefox experience to iOS". While the browser syncing solution "provided valuable insight and experience with the platform", Mozilla says that it chose to retire Firefox Home in order to focus its resources on other projects. To allow other developers to use and improve the iOS Sync client that Firefox Home was built on, the project has made its source code available on GitHub. The standalone iOS client for Firefox Sync doesn't include any of Mozilla's trademarks and is compatible with Xcode 4.4.1 with the iOS 5.1 SDK on Mac OS X 10.8.1.

Mozilla mobile developer Stefan Arentz has already created a fork of Firefox Home called "Bookmarks On The Go" that provides all of the same functionality. However, unlike Firefox Home which only opened tabs and links within the app itself, Bookmarks On The Go opens them in the Safari mobile browser app. Licensed under the same Mozilla Public License 1.1, Bookmarks On The Go is available for free from the iTunes App Store and supports devices running iOS 5.0 or later.


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