Mozilla is trying to beat Apple’s own browser, Safari, on the iPad. Mozilla’s Product Design Strategy team had just recently announced that it is developing a mobile browser named Junior that will boast of an ergonomic, intuitive, and fun browsing experience on the tablet. Fundamentally, it re-imagines the entire browser experience for the mobile device form factor.
The decision to work on iOS was prompted by Mozilla’s opinion that Safari doesn’t offer the best browsing experience for the iPad. In addition, it has no product offering on iOS, which is one of the largest consumer platforms today.
The browsing software is expected to span the entire display space of the tablet, to the point that Mozilla even deleted tabs and the toolbar to mimic the appearance of browsing a magazine. Initially, the Mozilla team planned to have exclusively gesture-based inputs. However, for ease of use, it conceded to adding two buttons located on opposite sides of the screen.
The left one functions as a back button whereas the right one leads users to search as well as to recently-visited pages. As for the other popular browser functions like print, forward, and reload, these will be incorporated into the two buttons. The buttons will have six functions in all, although Mozilla is not yet done deciding on this.
Another feature that Mozilla Junior introduces is separate user accounts. Users will be able to login and enjoy a private browsing setting with this feature. This will ensure that their browsing history is secure from other users of the iPad, a device which is commonly shared among friends or family.
Mozilla is not the first one to offer an alternative to the Safari browser for the iPad. Among those which are available are Axis by Yahoo, Atomic, Opera Mini, Dolphin and Skyfire. Still, Mozilla enjoys the advantage of already having an immense consumer base. Worldwide, Mozilla caters to 20.2 percent of browser users, coming second to Microsoft Internet Explorer, which is used by 54.1 percent.
There is no word as to when the Mozilla Junior will be available, although judging from the tentativeness of some of Mozilla’s revelations, this will likely not happen anytime soon.