Mozilla working on mini-Firefox browser for iPad called Junior

Mozilla working on mini-Firefox browser for iPad called Junior

Mozilla recently showed off a new browser they're working on for the iPad called Junior. Since the browsing engine is already locked-in by Apple, most of Mozilla's work is on the design front, namely by eliminating tabs and an address bar from the primary browsing experience, and instead tucking them behind a separate menu.

When browsing, there are two half-circles midway through the screen: one for navigating backwards, and a plus symbol that will help you get to your next destination. That plus button can send you to a tabs/search/bookmarks screen, which means those tasks don't have to hang around in your main browsing window all the time. There will also be some kind of multi-user support, so browsing preferences and history can change accordingly. Mozilla also promised that Junior will be optimized for the big Retina display.

In its current iteration, Junior is defaulting to Bing search, but an earlier demo of their next desktop browser showcased a great new way they're working to promote search engine choice. Not only was Mozilla ditching the dedicated search box, but after launching into a search, a few small tabs would pop up on one side which would let you send to other engines for the same query. It's easy to imagine that sort of thing findings its way into Junior, but for now they're separate products. Mozilla has already released mobile versions of Firefox on other platforms that have tab syncing over the cloud and add-on support; hopefully those features will find their way into the final release of Junior, but it's hard to say at these early stages.

The Mozilla guys went so far as to say that the current Safari experience on iOS was miserable, despite still being the best default mobile browser. I'm not wholly convinced that Junior will be able to offer something that's infinitely better. DO you feel like tabs and the address bar cramp the viewable area when browsing on the iPad? If there was anything you could change about Safari on iOS, what would it be?

Source: Mozilla, The Verge

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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There are 8 comments. Add yours.

dloveprod says:

I never use any of the 3rd party browsers I have installed, I'm good with Safari.

macharborguy says:

I tend to read quite a few websites and forums with my iPad at night while I'm getting ready to sleep, so third party browsers with a brightness control is a huge help

Junior says:

I watched the presentation by firefox and was quite impressed with Junior. The screen shots do not do justice to the ease of use you see in the presentation. There are just two semi-translucent buttons on the browser and the web site is full screen. The buttons are located right where your thumbs are located when holding the iPad. The button on the left is a back button and if you slide the button to the right it also includes a forward arrow and refresh. The button on the right has a + sign and when you slide that button to the left it includes a print button and one other button. When you click the + button the search screen slides onto the screen from right to left. In the search screen along the top are the tabs which are thumbnails of the tabs you have recently visited, you don't ever have to close them. Below the tabs are logos of your shortcuts for one button touch to go to a shortcut page. Below that is the search/address window with keyboard where you type your search or web address. The only thing I would like to see them add is the ability to type your search info and then let you touch one of your short cuts to do the search there. Right now it searches a default browser. They are testing this feature for the desktop version of firefox. It is very simple and fast and would make surfing the web very enjoyable.

Bluecanary says:

That actually sounds pretty cool. I'll have to download it when it comes out..

Carioca32 says:

I wouldn´t go so far as classifying my experience with Safari on iOS as miserable, but it´s true that 3rd party browsers like Dolphin are much, much faster than the stock iOS browser, and it helps that their settings can be quicly accessed from within the broser, and are not tucked outside on a general settings tab like Safari.

gordol says:

I would give it a Desktop/Mobile view switch and the ability to sync bookmarks from browsers other than IE (Windows
PC user). OR make it so another browser that has those features can be the default browser instead.

JD says:

I know it will never happen, but I'd allow downloads from the web, especially videos from Facebook (VideoGet is useless due to its poor search engine). And an add-on that saves web pages as PDF with an option not to break them up into individual pages and/or option to save the full page as JPEG or PNG, not just a screen shot.

lili M says:

Simon,
Thank you for posting this video.
Iv got the Mini Air Ipad, tried to download the junior but Safari wont allow me!!

I like the presentation however the guy in black pants was very rude to the developer- he kept cutting him off while he was still talking-

Anyhow I appreciate if you could let me know about any other way to download the Mozilla on Mini Air pad.
Thanks