Firefox/Google : 4 years of battle to be considered a browser full
It has now been a little over five years that Firefox has taken the turn and refocused the evolution of its software to make the browser fast and light that it is today. This period has allowed Firefox to get rid of the main problems with the display of web pages, which have more or less disappeared on the desktop version of the browser. On mobile, Webkit dictates that, and just look at the treatment of the Google search engine to realize that Firefox is forced to settle for lower versions.
At the end-the bottom of the Mozilla bug tracker is a ticket of bug opened in February 2014 and that still has not been resolved : to force Google to treat Firefox as a browser full and serve up results that are comparable to those offered in Chrome and Safari.
After years of negotiations and back and forth, the problem comes to such a point that the developers of Firefox mobile have chosen to experience on their side, manipulating data from their User Agent in order to push Google to identify their browser as Chrome or Safari.
And this is not only the search engine that provides a gradient to the users of Firefox Mobile, some services, such as Google Flight, are sometimes completely inaccessible on the third-party browsers. In the last few months, I’ve used Firefox as the main browser on mobile and I could see that if the access to the service Google Flight had finally been unlocked, many aspects of the application were inevitably buggy on Firefox.
On the search results of Google, users of Firefox have a version reduced of the search engine Google’s flagship : it does as well not even drop-down menus to narrow a search by date. And I can hardly believe that in 2018, the web page of the most visited in the world may not be able to find the time and the resources to provide a similar experience for users browser not based on Webkit.
“We want to offer a consistent experience for all browsers and we continue to work to improve the experience of all our users. Firefox uses the Gecko rendering engine, which requires for us to test in depth each of the new features, because it doesn’t work as Webkit, the engine used by Chrome, Safari and Opera. We did this for the desktop version of Firefox, but we don’t have the same level of testing on mobile, ” says a spokesperson of Google interviewed by Zdnet.com
It should be noted that the iOS version of Firefox, and the Firefox browser Focus both use the renderers supplied by their OS, running on Webkit. They therefore do not suffer from this problem.
Google has told ZDNet that Firefox was working on “a new experience” that would address all of these issues. One can hope so. Unless the european commission is interested to know why the main competitor of Chrome on the desktop is so limited on a platform officially authorising the rendering engines to third parties, and owned by Google.