Mozilla is following in Opera's footsteps by porting an AppStore-friendly version of its browser over to the iPhone with an free app called Firefox Home. Due to Apple's restrictions the app will not offer a full-fledged browser experience, and thus you will not be able to simply navigate to any website. Instead, users will be able to sync their browsing history, bookmarks and open tabs onto their iPhone using Mozilla's encrypted Firefox Sync technology.
As shown in an early demo video embedded below, users will be able to search their history, browse their bookmarks or load the tabs they left open on their desktop - all with the handy Awesome Bar functionality that allows for minimal typing. Mozilla says this is useful for "get up and go" situations, such as pulling up a ticket confirmation at the airport, or remembering directions to a restaurant you looked up on your desktop.
"Firefox Home for iPhone is part of a broader Mozilla effort to provide a more personal Web experience with more user control," the company said in a blog post Wednesday night. "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."
Fans of Firefox with iPhones may be disappointed they aren't getting a full browser on their device like Android, Windows Mobile and Maemo users, but this app is still pretty useful due to the over-the-air syncing. The inability to browse at will may turn some off, and it remains to be seen how well the Firefox Sync technology works, but this could be an interesting spin on mobile browsing from Mozilla.