Mozilla Fails to Bring Firefox Home on iOS

firefoxFrom the ‘But It’s Open Source?’ files:

Back in 2010, Mozilla’s was all over the place promoting the open source browser vendor effort to sync Firefox on Apple iOS devices.

I first wrote about Firefox Home in May of 2010, then again in July 2010 when the App officially debuted.

Now, two years later, Mozilla is throwing in the towel, giving up on Firefox Home.

I think it’s another example of why none of us should really trust Mozilla to follow through on every good idea they have. Home is now another failure in a recent string of Mozilla efforts that I personally relied on, that have now been cut as the browser giant moves on to other things (I miss Prism!!)

“We have decided to remove Firefox Home from the Apple App Store and focus our resources on other projects,” Mozilla stated in a blog post.

Yes, the code behind Firefox Home is open source, so yes theoretically none of us are truly stranded. Then again, the complexity underlying Mozilla’s Firefox Sync service is non-trivial, and neither is the process of getting an app into the Apple store today.

Mozilla also won’t allow a regular schmo like me to use the name Firefox – so even if I had the skill (which I don’t) to properly figure out and maintain my own fork of Firefox Home and then go through the effort of bringing it to iOS, I couldn’t call it Firefox Home Reborn (for example). As such how would users find it?

I think it is somewhat sad that a group making as much money as Mozilla ($70 million this year anyone?) no longer has the resources to keep a ‘simple’ app like Firefox Home alive – and then has the audacity to think that the ‘community’ will be able to do it instead.

Of course, I hope to be proven wrong. Nothing would make me happier than to see a community rise up, fork Firefox Home on github and then actually release and maintain a stable client on the Apple AppStore. As of the time of this post, the code has been forked 24 times on Github….so we’ll see.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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