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.