From the very inception of iPad, browsing the web on iOS is left with one option Apple’s Safari. Other available third-party alternative browsers such as Atomic, Dolphin, Mercury, Opera Mini, and Skyfire failed to overcome Safari. Disappointingly, the most widely known and used desktop web browser was kept away from iPad for long time. The reason behind the absence of Mozilla is that Apple’s policy doesn’t allow browsers using rendering engines other than WebKit on iOS platform.
Now, Mozilla has came out sharp with a path breaking technology using WebKit rendering engine and developed a prototype called ‘Junior’. The functional prototype was shown off at a recently held Mozilla Product Design Team presentation anchored by Mozilla’s Alex Limi, Firefox User Experience Lead. Limi slammed Apple’s Safari browser as a “pretty miserable experience” and was confident that new innovative Firefox can reinvent the browser for iPad form tablets.
The UI was completely revamped, if one searches for tabs, he can’t find it anywhere on screen. ‘Junior’ was designed with one thing in mind to give full-screen web content at all times. The ‘be always’ elements such as address bars and tabs are removed from browsing screen. Instead, the address bar, bookmarks and tabs are placed on reserved alternate screen. It is accessible through a “+” button that floats over the middle-right side of the display. The new-tab page has retained its own features of showing recently-visited sites as thumbnails on top of the screen, icons for favourite sites in the middle, and a unified search/URL bar below.
Unique innovations makes Mozilla distinct from its competitors, similarly, Junior has its own distinct feature and ability to create separate user accounts. This feature would become inevitable when the device is shared between family and friends. Mozilla’s dev team is also working onto combine tabs and history into a single element. Limi commented that Mozilla hopes this feature will simplify the process of visiting favourite sites, and eliminate the need to manage tabs.
Junior can’t be expected in near future with its developers continue to debate over what other features can be implemented. Also critics had pointed their fingers to missing fundamentals items in a list like progress indicator. Given these factors, Junior’s release may get delayed further. Limi noted that its own rivals at Google are “going to ship Chrome for iOS very soon,” alluding to previous rumours. It’s very evident, Safari heading for tough times with new competitors foray into this space.