Mozilla has soft-launched their Firefox for iOS browser. Unfortunately, you have to live in New Zealand to use it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
Mozilla announced availability of the first Firefox for iOS preview through its blog on Thursday, noting testing will expand beyond New Zealand to other unnamed countries before a full public launch.
Mozilla will be gathering data and user feedback during the preview release to aid in the development of the new browser. It will be testing features such as Intelligent Search, which offers relevant results from a user’s chosen providers, and Firefox Accounts, which offers account management and cross-device syncing of browsing history, passwords, and tabs.
Mozilla hopes to have Firefox for iOS in the App Store by the end of 2015. The company had originally said it had no plans to ever make an iOS version of their venerable browser, but relented late last year, and the company called for beta testers earlier this year.
Firefox’s plans for iOS comes in the face of a dwindling market share for the browser, as users spends more and more time on mobile devices. Firefox’s desktop share has dwindled to an 18.27% share, behind IE’s 19.85%, and far below Chrome’s 52.96% share, according to StatCounter.
Mobile is even worse for Firefox, (the company has an Android browser), with just a 0.58% share, compared with Chrome’s 30.06% share and Safari’s 39.49% share. (Data from NetApplications.)