Mozilla’s Firefox browser may have had a successful run on the desktop but it hasn’t been smooth-sailing when it came to mobile. That’s especially true for iOS where it was only recently that it was able to actually have an actual web browser for iPhones and iPads. In the meantime, it has seemingly fallen by the wayside compared to Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari. With its Test Pilot experiments, Mozilla aims to bring some of its desktop features and technologies to smartphones, like passwords on iOS and notes on Android.
That Firefox is a second-class citizen on iOS is really no secret. Not only was it extremely late to the party, thanks to restrictions Apple has on third-party web browsers, but it also lacks in some features. Mozilla has aimed to supplement those with third-party iOS apps, like this new experiment called Lockbox.
In a nutshell, Lockbox for iOS is like a simplified password manager, one that uses Firefox Sync’s mechanism behind the scenes instead of those dedicated password managers. The idea is that, when you need to log into an app and have your password stored in Firefox, you launch Lockbox, search for the password, and copy it the clipboard. You still have to manually paste it into the app login though.
Notes for Android might be a bit more practical if you live inside Firefox both on desktops and mobile. It again uses Firefox Sync to, well, sync notes you take on either device and access them on the other. Sync is promised to be secure, encrypted, and private, which is the bread and butter of Firefox’s business.
Truth be told, Lockbox and Notes do duplicate the functionality long provided by other services. The only reason you’d gravitate towards them is if, as mentioned, you practically live inside a web browser, specifically Firefox. Don’t get too attached though, as, being Test Pilot services, they might not be there forever.