Firefox Home provides one-way browser syncing for iPhone

Firefox Home provides one-way browser syncing for iPhone

Summary: Mozilla has launched Firefox Home, a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows Apple users to sync their Firefox data from desktop machines.The new app, launched on Thursday, allows iPhone and iPod Touch owners to one-way sync their Firefox bookmarks, history and open tabs from the desktop counterpart, allowing seamless transition between devices.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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Mozilla has launched Firefox Home, a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows Apple users to sync their Firefox data from desktop machines.

The new app, launched on Thursday, allows iPhone and iPod Touch owners to one-way sync their Firefox bookmarks, history and open tabs from the desktop counterpart, allowing seamless transition between devices.

For the app to work users need Firefox Sync installed on their desktop machine, which allows the service to sync browser data with the Firefox Home app on via the Mozilla cloud.

"People access the Web from many devices, including their mobile phones. As people move through the day from their home computer to mobile phone to work computer and back again, the rich personalization provided by Firefox is sacrificed. At the same time, faster networks, cheaper cloud storage, and more powerful hardware, especially on mobile devices, enable new possibilities," wrote JSullivan in a blog post on the Mozilla website.

Rather than providing a full-blown browser experience —which would require using Apple's JavaScript engine, or no JavaScript at all due to the terms and conditions of the iPhone SDK— the service allows users to view sites directly in Firefox Home, open them in Mobile Safari or share them via email. Opera Mini is available on the iPhone but downloads pre-rendered pages from Opera's servers and cannot run JavaScript code on the iPhone, therefore staying safely within Apple's terms.

According to the company, Firefox Home will work on all generations of iPhone and iPod Touch but it is optimised for the newer generation models; it'll work on an iPad too, but again, is not optimised for the iPad. Similarly, for handsets running on iOS4, the app doesn't currently offer background syncing or multitasking capabilities.

A fully featured Firefox Mobile browser is already available for the Maemo platform and work is underway on an Android version; preliminary builds are currently available for testing but there are still a number of known issues with the software.

The company says on its Wiki that it has no plans to develop for Palm's webOS, BlackBerry, Symbian or Windows Phone 7 platforms.

Topic: Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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