Firefox for iOS Updated for Speed and Better Battery Life
Mozilla said it has seen millions of downloads since it released a long-awaited mobile version of its Firefox Web browser for Apple devices in November. Now the company has rolled out an update with what it said are "some big improvements."
Released yesterday, the latest version of Firefox for iOS features changes aimed at making the browser faster, more flexible and easier to use, according to vice president of Firefox Product Nick Nguyen. For instance, the new browser reduces the impact on processors and memory by double digits, he said.
Other new features include the ability to add one-tap access to different Web sites depending on the types of searches a user wants to conduct, as well as a new toolbar menu and easier-to-use browser tabs. In addition, iPhone and iPad users can now designate favorite Web sites as their preferred "home" bases.
Browsing with Less Battery Impact
Writing yesterday on the Mozilla Blog, Nguyen said the new Firefox for iOS received a significant speed boost thanks to the efforts of summer engineer intern Tyler Lacroix. Those improvements will enable users to access Web pages faster with less battery drain, he said.
"In Tyler's testing, he saw up to 40% reduction in CPU usage and up to 30% reduction in memory usage when using this latest version of Firefox," Nguyen said yesterday. "Of course, all devices and humans are different so results may vary. Either way, we are psyched to roll out these improvements to you today."
Another change arriving with this update is a new menu on the Firefox toolbar designed to make it easier for iOS users to add bookmarks, search for text on Web pages and access other frequently used features, Nguyen said. "Navigation in iOS browsers is a huge pain point for users who have come to expect the same seamless experience that's available on their desktop or laptop," he said.
The update also allows users to add any Web site with a search box -- not just Google but sites like Wikipedia, Craigslist, eBay and others -- to their collections of preferred search engines by tapping on the magnifying glass that appears in the browser.
Chrome, Safari Still Dominate Mobile
First launched for desktops in 2002, Mozilla's Firefox browser came to Android devices in 2011. However, a version for Apple's iPhones and iPads did not become available until last November, in part because Apple loosened restrictions on third-party developers with the release of its iOS 8 mobile operating system in 2014.
Google's Chrome remains the dominant Web browser for mobile devices, with a global share of just over 38 percent as of June, according to the latest data from the Web analytics firm StatCounter. In second place is Apple's Safari browser, with a global market share of nearly 19 percent.
Firefox's share of the mobile browser market "is still less than a percentage point," StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen told us. "Firefox mobile usage share was actually a bit higher last year," he said. "It's gone from 0.35% in June last year to 0.1% this year."
Read more on: Mozilla
, Technology News