Feeds

Mozilla brews browserless iPhone apps

Firefox 'experience' without the Firefox

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Mozilla is tinkering with multiple applications for the Apple iPhone. And no, that doesn't include a Firefox browser.

"There is something of the Firefox and Mozilla experience that might be possible on the iPhone - that isn't the Firefox browser. We've got some people prototyping some ideas that may end up becoming iPhone applications," Mozilla director of community development Asa Dotzler tells The Reg. "But there's no plans or intention or discussion around building a browser there."

Last week, Opera hinted it will soon offer a browser for the iPhone, but Dotzler says Mozilla has no intention of taking Firefox where it's "not wanted."

Apple's end user licensing agreement for the iPhone SDK forbids applications from downloading and running interpreted code. And though Opera boss Jon von Tetzchner says this may or may not forbid the use of web browsers, Dotzler sees no ambiguity.

And he's right.

"Apple has made it very clear in their public statement and their license agreement that it is not permitted to build - not just to host at the App Store, but to build - any program that can interpret code," Dotzler says. "If you agree to their SDK, you cannot build another browser."

Well, Opera has built an iPhone app, and judging from von Tetzchner's veiled comments, it has even spoken to Apple about getting it into the iPhone App Store. But Dotzler and Mozilla see no reason to even try. "In the end - whether the SDK is ambiguous or not - Apple's intention is to not allow other browsers. So we say 'You know what, they don't want to be open. So why spend a lot of time and energy fighting that when there are other more open platforms?'"

Mozilla is already offering browsers for Windows Mobile and Nokia Maemo phones, and now that Android is accepting native apps, the open sourcers have built the first prototypes of a Googlephone browser as well.

But despite its stance on Apple's iPhone SDK, Mozilla is building something for the iPhone. In mid-October, Mozilla's John Lilly told GigaOm the outfit would release a single app for the iPhone "in the next few weeks." And Dotzler indicates that multiple ideas are in the works - though he declined to describe them.

"There are a couple of people who are doing work in their spare time," Dotzler said. "I think it's interesting and I hope they push it out to the public soon." He too indicated this could happen "in the next few weeks."

GigaOM speculated that Mozilla's mystery iPhone app would involve Weave, the Labs project that lets you upload your Firefox meta-data - including bookmarks, stored passwords, history, tabs, preferences, and add-ons - to Mozilla's servers for use across multiple browsers.

It's unclear why that would be useful without Firefox - or why Mozilla thinks Apple would welcome such a thing. But there you have it. Whether Weave is involved or not, there's something on the way. And it won't run interpreted code. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.