Browsing the web on iOS has become a very complex affair, so not only have you got the Safari Mobile standard option, but also other browsers, such as Atomic, Dolphin, Mercury, Opera Mini and Skyfire. Now, there’s also a product from Mozilla, one codenamed Junior and in prototype phase right now. Till now Mozilla only offered an iPhone-only app that synced tabs between a PC/Mac and a handset.

Junior has been in the works for a few months now and it’s supposed to be something entirely new, so not exactly Firefox mobile. Mozilla wants to reinvent the browser for a new form factor and even called Safari for the iPad “a miserable experience”, although they admitted that it’s still a very good way to browse on tablets. Apparently, iOS didn’t get much Mozilla technology on it, since the rendering engine doesn’t work that fine on this platform. Junior was apparently born out of necessity and the first thing you notice about it is the full screen experience. Instead of putting an address bar and tabs at the top, the browser’s UI is based very much on two buttons placed a third the way up the iPad’s display.

The first one is a back arrow, that does what you already expect, while on the right side of the screen is a plus symbol, that you’ll use a lot to interact with the browser. Once you tap it a screen will appear and it will allow the user to do 3 vital things when he wants to go someplace new, said co-designer Trond Werner. You get recent pages at the top, a list filled with icons and a unified search/URL bar at the bottom. Each of these takes up a third of the screen, with a cohesive aesthetic.

So, Mozilla wants us to leave tabs behind…. Do you see yourselves doing that?

  • Geobrumby

    Not sure I could manage without several tabs open at once