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Apple approves Firefox sync app

A little bit of Firefox's interface, if not the browser itself, is now accessible on iPhones and iPads through the Firefix Home app.

Firefox Home can synchronize open browser tabs, shown here, as well as bookmarks, letting Firefox users bring some continuity to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Firefox Home syncs open tabs, shown here, and bookmarks. Mozilla

Apple may not be happy about letting other browsers on the iPhone, but it approved an application from Mozilla that synchronizes bookmarks and open tabs with versions of Firefox running elsewhere.

The Firefox Home application is an offshoot of the project once called Weave and now called Firefox Sync. Mozilla submitted Firefox Home to Apple's App Store on June 30.

Synchronization is of growing importance as people use more computing devices in their lives--not just home and work computers, but now also mobile phones, TVs, and tablets. Firefox Sync is arriving in Firefox 4, and Google is building similar sync tools into Chrome.

The granddaddy of browser sync tools, Xmarks, can bridge across Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Not all sync is the same, though: bookmarks and tabs are one area, but sync also can extend to passwords, browsing history, and other aspects of browser use.

Although there's no Firefox for iOS, Mozilla has released a version for Nokia devices running the Maemo operating system that's on the way to becoming MeeGo through a partnership with Intel. And an Android version is on the way. Mozilla scrapped a Windows Mobile version of Firefox.