Although there are a multitude of browsers in iOS, Apple does not let developers integrate their own engines into iOS, but instead uses them to use an older version of the Safari engine. That’s why Mozilla refuses to land on iOS until Apple changes this restrictive policy, which doesn’t seem to change for long.
We never thought that a browser on the App Store would be able to accommodate, especially when Apple did not allow applications with duplicate functionality . But there we have the calculator applications, which are counted in thousands, and that Apple still lets them appear in its app store.
Something similar seemed to happen with mail clients , but with the arrival of Sparrow, Gmail or Mailbox, everything changed, and Apple now allows mail clients in the App Store.
With browsers, the first brave ones were the guys from Opera , who launched their browser for the Apple mobile platform with their own web page compression system, to improve the browsing experience in case we didn’t have 3G coverage. From this point on, the number of browsers on the App Store continued to grow, and alternatives such as Mercury, Dolphin, Skyfire or Chrome appeared, which was the new point in the wake of the web browsers for iOS.
Firefox for its part has yet to make an appearance on the iOS platform, and according to the Mozilla guys, this probably won’t come for a long time. And it’s not for lack of desire or because they don’t have a team ready; really the reason is Apple and their control over how things are done on their devices .
The problem with building a web browser for iOS today is that Apple doesn’t allow you to put in your own rendering engine, as is the case with desktop or Android browsers. In this case you have to use the UIWebView component of the iOS SDK , which is also much slower than the Nitro engine used by Safari.
So we find an embedded version of a slow Safari inside a browser with another visual theme , that’s what a non-Safari browser is today in iOS.
And Firefox in iOS is a fact, because Mozilla already showed it on video some time ago , but they didn’t make it public precisely because of this Apple restriction. Mozilla refuses to develop a browser that is the same as Chrome or Dolphin but with a different look.
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