Firefox Sync Coming ‘Home’ to iPhone

What happens when you use a different browser on your desktop than the one you use on your iPhone?

For Mozilla Firefox users, that question could soon be an easier one to answer, thanks to the Firefox Home for iPhone app, now currently under development.

With Firefox Home, Mozilla is aiming to enable Firefox users to get some of their desktop Firefox benefits while using Apple’s native iPhone browser, enabling users to synchronize their bookmarks, history and tabs from a desktop to the iPhone and provide the ability to search that information as well.

Firefox Home is not, however, a version of the Firefox browser designed for use on the iPhone. Mozilla has previously told that a mobile version of Firefox for iPhone was not in development due to limitations imposed by Apple on iPhone applications. To date, Mozilla has been working on Firefox Mobile versions for the Nokia MeeGo platform (previously known as Maemo) and Google’s Android.

The app uses Firefox Sync technology built on the Mozilla Labs Weave project, which provides synchronization capabilities across browsers.The Firefox Home viewer also uses the iPhone’s native WebKit rendering engine, and information can be viewed with the Safari browser, a Mozilla spokesperson told

“Firefox Home for iPhone is part of a broader Mozilla effort to provide a more personal Web experience with more user control,” Ragavan Srinivasan, Mozilla Weave’s project manager, wrote in a blog post. “For devices or platforms where we’re unable to provide the ‘full’ Firefox browser (either technically or due to policy), we aim to provide users with ‘on the go’ instant access to their personal Firefox history, bookmarks and open tabs on their iPhones, giving them another reason to keep loving Firefox on their desktops.”

The news marks one of the latest new developments for Weave, which is currently available as a browser add-on for the Firefox Web browser. Starting with the upcoming Firefox 4 release, however, Weave will become integrated directly into the browser and will become known as Firefox Sync.

Apple App Store approval yet to come

Don’t run to the iPhone App Store to get Firefox Home, however: It’s not yet available.

According to a Mozilla FAQ on the project, Mozilla plans on submitting the Firefox Home application to the App Store next month.

“However, we have no way of telling if or when it will be approved and available for download,” Mozilla stated.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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