In a browser market increasingly dominated by behemoths like Microsoft (Edge) and Google (Chrome), Firefox remains the outsider’s choice. Mozilla has rebranded itself the "non-profit champion of the internet", and is making the case for independent developers.
Its Firefox web browser currently accounts for under 10% of the desktop browser market, but it’s made strides to develop mobile apps to provide its userbase with a cross-platform alternative to Chrome or Safari.
Mozilla had tried to stand up to Apple's insistence that all third-party browsers be built around its own WebKit engine, but in the end caved in to produce this app. That may rankle with Firefox diehards, but in Mozilla’s defence, the browser it's produced does look and feel like Firefox.
The design and basic functionality all feel familiar, and thanks to support for Firefox Sync, you can bring your bookmarks and other settings into it, plus access synced tabs too. Firefox also promises to be more careful when it comes to privacy, with Private Browsing mode and easy options for deleting history, passwords and other tell-tale signs of your browsing.
Other features include intelligent search, which polls multiple search engines for results. A number are set up, but you can add any search provider to craft the perfect one-stop search tool.
Unfortunately, on the downside we experienced severe stability problems using the app once signed into Firefox Sync, with it crashing after around 10-20 seconds of use. This hasn't affected all users, but has plagued the app across multiple versions of the app – until Mozilla cracks this, it could be a deal breaker.
What’s new in Firefox 10?
- Firefox has a new look and feel that we call “Photon.” It’s a modern design that puts users’ needs first - with easier access to the menu, rearranged menu items and an updated minimalist look. Take a peek!
- “Highlights” appear when opening a new tab to allow you to easily jump back to a previously viewed site.
- Search suggestions are enabled by default, unless you have previously opted out.
- Added “No Image” mode to allow you to automatically block images from loading.
- Added trending stories from Pocket in your new tab.
In theory, it’s a good choice for Firefox fans looking to replicate their browsing on the iPad or iPhone, but stability issues continue to plague its sync tool.