Mozilla unveils "Junior" prototype browser for Apple's iPad

By on June 18, 2012, 9:00 AM

Mozilla is working on a new WebKit-based browser to challenge Safari on Apple's iPad. But rather than going with the familiar Firefox UI, they’ve decided to create something entirely new that supposedly re-thinks the browsing user experience from the ground up with the tablet form factor in mind.

The organization’s Product Design Strategy team showed off the prototype browser during a video presentation on Thursday. Dubbed “Junior”, it’s one of the simplest iPad browsers around, occupying the iPad's entire canvas and including just a couple of buttons on either side of the screen: a back button and a plus symbol that lets you access bookmarks, recent pages and a URL/search bar.

Other common options such as reload, forward and print are hidden away, but accessible by expanding the two main buttons using finger gestures — initially they played with the idea of making all controls gesture-based but shied away from it. The idea is delivering a simple browsing experience that's more enjoyable and ergonomic, unlike the "miserable experience" of Safari according to Mozilla’s Alex Limi.

"There are a lot of reasons we should be on iOS even though we can't bring our rendering engine there," Limi said, noting that Mozilla currently has "no vehicle on one of the biggest consumer platforms in the world."

Mozilla’s Junior browser is still in an early prototype stage and there was no hint as to when it will become available. If you are looking for Safari alternatives on iOS check out Atomic, Dolphin, and Opera Mini.




User Comments: 8

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So basically its Safari with a Mozilla re-skin?

Why the hell bother? And does Mozilla actually think people are going to switch from their native browser, Safari, to download another, ahem, Safari that looks different?

Man, I used to love Mozilla and what they stood for. Well I still partially do, I appreciate that their mission is the open web, but at the same time I hate them for not really doing anything to contribute to that end. Not anything truly significant, at least. This project is just a waste of time and resources; the same with their B2G OS.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The thing is though, Even with all that said and done, essentially, its the built in Safari browser with a different overlay?

Guest said:

No, it's a new browser, but not as such.

jboy72 said:

And so what if its the same overlay as safari..Did we let IE control how we browse in windows?Is vanilla the only flavor ice cream? I for one love Mozilla and there open web concept. It prevents ppl from monopolizing software that are proprietary to there device.

I love chocolate with sprinkles!

Doctor John Doctor John said:

Chocolate with sprinkles is only vanilla with a new skin.

Really.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And so what if its the same overlay as safari..Did we let IE control how we browse in windows?Is vanilla the only flavor ice cream? I for one love Mozilla and there open web concept. It prevents ppl from monopolizing software that are proprietary to there device.

I love chocolate with sprinkles!

You can't compare Windows with iOS. The developing platform is absolutely different. IE on Windows is based on Trident. Firefox is based on Gecko. Chrome on Web-kit. And so on.

On top of that, Microsoft does not really prohibit what apps can be installed on what machines running Windows. There's no certification process in which developers have to go through.

iOS is a closed, mobile platform operated solely by Apple. Regarding browsers, only Web-kit-based ports are allowed on iOS, making the addition of another browser other than Safari--or another Safari with a different look--an unfocused and unorganized business strategy sugar coated with the pursuit of the "open web."

The same thing that happened to Firefox for Android will happen to this project. Ask every Android enthusiast and they'll tell you Firefox is a piece of shit on mobile.

Guest said:

Hello, I'm an Android enthusiast.

I am perfectly happy with Firefox on it.

Guest said:

Well have you heard what Microsoft is doing to prevent third party apps? browsers in particular?

Microsoft's browser practices regarding Windows 8 Metro signal an unwelcome return to the digital dark ages

Read more: [link]

I like firefox on my android also

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