Mozilla preps Firefox Home app for the iPhone

Application lets users access Firefox desktop history, bookmarks, and open tabs on their iPhones, and a version for Android is in development

Mozilla is working on an iPhone application called Home that will let users access their desktop Firefox browsing history, bookmarks, and the tabs from their most recent browser session, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday

Firefox Home relies on Mozilla Sync, a service that synchronizes personal information such as bookmarks and browsing history between two desktop browsers equipped with the Sync add-on. By installing Firefox Home on their iPhone, Sync users can also access their browser data when away from their desktop, according to Mozilla.

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The Home application also includes Mozilla's so-called Awesome Bar, which lets users start typing any term and then uses an autocomplete function to find possible matching sites from the browsing history.

Firefox Home will also work on the iPad as is, but it is not optimized for the tablet, Mozilla said.

The application isn't a full browser, using the iPhone's native browser to open Web sites.

Mozilla said it has no plans to develop a full-fledged mobile browser for the iPhone, due to constraints with the iPhone OS environment. Firefox depends on its own rendering engine and JavaScript interpreter, and browsers on the iPhone must use Apple's own JavaScript engine, according to a Mozilla Wiki.

In March, Mozilla also decided to stop development of a version of its Firefox mobile Web browser for phones running Windows Mobile, due to the lack of support for native applications.

A version of Firefox for Android is in early development.

Mozilla plans to submit the Firefox Home to the iPhone App Store in June, but has no way of telling whether Apple will approve the application, it said.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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