Mobile/Firefox for iOS-Key Feature Descriptions

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Key Feature Descriptions

Meta bug for the project: bug 1092348

Ability to Sign In / Sign Up to a Firefox Account

To enable syncing of data and use new Firefox Cloud Services, the user must either have an existing Firefox Account, or sign up for a new Firefox Account.

Use case: I want to gain quick and easy access to my Firefox data on iOS without any setup pain.

  • Illustration: I use Firefox desktop and have an iPhone. I'd like to download the Firefox app for my iPhone, sign into my Firefox Account, and without needing to do anything else, I have elements of Firefox already populated.
  • Illustration: I use Firefox desktop and have an iPhone. I have heard that Firefox is now available for the iPhone/iPad and I want to check it out. I'm prompted to create a Firefox Account, something I haven't heard of before. After creating it, I'm encouraged to sign into the same account on my desktop. OMG - I really wish I had known about this before! Because I use bookmarks all the time, it's great to have them available on both devices! And being able to access the same shared Reading List? This is just great!
Bugs: (meta bug 1092561)

Sync open tabs

  • Sync open tabs, managed through current sync, tied to the user’s Firefox Account
    • Display open tabs
  • Open the open tab and view it via
    • Firefox
    • An option to use a supported application installed on the user's iOS device

Use case: Although I may not need my open tabs on other Firefox instances often, when on the off-chance I'm looking for something I knew I had open somewhere, it's available when I need it.

  • Illustration: I had the map and directions to a customer meeting pulled up on one of my tabs on Firefox on my laptop, and as I'm nearing the venue using public transport, I realize I have no idea which way to turn. I open up Firefox on my iPhone, scroll to my open tabs, and load up the page without missing a beat.

Bugs: (meta bug 1092567)

Sync bookmarks

  • Sync bookmarks, managed through current sync, tied to the user’s Firefox Account
    • Display available bookmarks <- likely in 1+, but timing TBC
    • Manage bookmarks (??) <- likely in Phase 3, but timing TBC

Use case: I use bookmarks all the time, and love having them available no matter which Firefox instance I'm looking at - whether it's for work or play.

Use case: Although I don't really manage my bookmarks, it's nice to know I have them available on the off-chance I'm looking for a page I wanted to save for later.

  • Illustration: There was this time that I was at a customer lunch meeting with only my iPad (left the laptop at the office) and they asked me about the latest pricing figures. I knew I had that bookmarked on my laptop and I could then and there pull it up from mid-conversation.

Bugs: (meta bug 1092566)

NB - for v1, we are looking at leveraging history to bubble up users' desktop bookmarks on the iOS mobile experience as a way of mitigating this feature. This should have minimal impact on the actual use cases targeting.


  • Pull in the user’s URL history when performing a search
  • Provide multiple search provider options (same as Fennec) to perform a search
  • When a user presses a search result, allow the page to load in Firefox, as well as the option to allow users to open it in another supported native application already installed on the device

Use case: Searching is so much easier when I can find pages I have landed on previously using any of my Firefox instances.

  • Illustration: Every single time my toddler feels hot, I go to the same website to convert Farenheit to Celcius to determine if she has a fever - which I find quickly by typing it out in the URL bar of my mobile search activity.

Push [synced] passwords out

  • Fetch and make available passwords associated with Firefox Account

Use case: I don't want to remember passwords I have used and saved on other websites when browsing with Firefox - I just want them to work on the same websites I browse on my mobile.

  • Illustration: I find that the Facebook mobile website is so much better than the app. But because I have been hacked before, I have this complicated password I use on my desktop. When I go to the Facebook website, I don't want to have to type it in on the touch pad of my mobile - I use so many special characters. It's so much easier that Firefox manages my passwords for me.

New passwords

  • Harvest or generate new passwords from pages with password-protected sites the user has visited (and logged in)
  • Give the user the choice to save that password to Firefox
  • Store these passwords safely for use when the user lands on this page again
  • Make available these passwords when the user visits that same site using another Firefox instance attached to the user's Firefox Account

Use case: I trust Firefox to hold all of my website passwords.

Use case: If I trust Firefox with a password-protected site that I have browsed on any of my Firefox instances (desktop or mobile), I don't want to have to remember that password again when I browse that same website on any other Firefox instance.

  • Illustration: I have several sites I go to: jobvite, pension company, facebook, corporate logon, etc and I don't want to remember all of those passwords - whether I'm going to those websites on my mobile or desktop. So after logging into these webpages and portals once, I'd love for Firefox to manage these passwords so I can just browse without worry.

View articles attached to Reading List

  • Ability to access the Reading List from a Firefox Account service
  • View articles associated in the Reading List
    • Including the ‘Firefox Reader’
  • Ability to send articles in the Reading List elsewhere (ie Pocket, SMS, email, etc)
  • Ensure articles in the Reading List can be viewed when no Internet connection is available (when the user is offline)

Use case: If I want to read an article saved in my Firefox Reading List, I want to view that article - offline or online - in a readable view.

  • Illustration: I am coming home from work via the Underground where there is poor connectivity and I want access to all of the articles I tucked away and added to my Reading List during the day so I have something interesting to read on my commute.
  • Illustration: I have picked up an article using Reading List from Firefox for iOS to read on my morning commute. I'd like to read it without relying on another application that may require connectivity or booting up, and in a way that provides the cleanest reading experience possible on my chosen screen (iPad or iPhone).

Bugs: (meta for list bug 1092568), (meta for viewer bug 1092564)

‘Send Tab to’ action

This provides the user an explicit and controlled action to send themselves a tab to a Firefox instance. For example, a user who has found restaurant directions on their Desktop or Android tablet and is running out the door. Or the user who has found an interesting article on iOS and wants to push that to the bigger Desktop or Android tablet screen.

  • Originating from Desktop or Fennec, send a tab to the iPad/iPhone <- dependency on desktop and will not gate iOS v1
    • Provide the ability to open the tab using Firefox
  • Originating from the user’s iPhone/iPad browser - Firefox or another native browser - send a tab to Firefox
    • Provide the ability to open the tab using Firefox


  • Include a sharing extension that would allow people to push URLs from other browsers on iOS into Firefox, including:
    • Add a Bookmark
    • Add to Reading List
    • Send to a Device

Use case: I want to use my Firefox app as the one source of important browser data so I don't have to manage more than one browser experience (one on desktop, one on iOS).

  • Illustration: I am using Safari on iOS and I have found this great parenting website ( I want to bookmark it so I can browse all of the info more easily on my desktop where I use Firefox. I am therefore able to add the bookmark to my Firefox so that it syncs over to my desktop.
  • Illustration: I am using Safari on iOS and I found this news article about ghost tube stations in London. I want to read this article later when I have some time on my commute home, so add this to my Firefox Reading List. Later that day.... on my commute home, I opened up Firefox to see what articles I have squirreled away in my Reading List and can open this one up in my (spotty connection) train ride home.
  • Illustration: On the street car ride on my way home, I am scrolling through my Twitter feed and have been linked to an article shared on the Harvard Business Review about effective management. It opened up in Safari, my default browser on iOS. It has some neat graphs associated with it, so I 'Send to Device' to have it explicitly sent to my Firefox Android tablet at home where I can pick it up and read it whilst enjoying a cup of tea.
Bugs: (meta bug 1092560)