Neeva Browser for iOS is now fully open source

Darin Fisher and Yusuf Ozuysal on 03/16/22

We are delighted to announce that the Neeva Browser for iOS is now fully open source.

We founded Neeva on the premise that traditional ad-based search models no longer serve consumers’ best interests. For too long, we have all paid a steep price with our data, our attention, and our privacy, and in return we are bombarded with ads and a deteriorating search experience. We started by flipping the entire ad-supported business model on its head and fundamentally changing the relationship between the consumer and search.

We are delighted to announce that the Neeva Browser for iOS is now fully open source.

We recognized that breaking the connection between ads and search would unlock novel and better ways of experiencing search and the web. We challenged ourselves to rethink these interactions and not be tethered to the traditional model of typing in a query and landing on a search results page. The Neeva Browser has been designed accordingly without the restriction of ad driven revenue models. The result is an experience that brings the web to you in a faster and more helpful way.

For example:

  • With FastTap Search, when you type a query into the URL bar of the Neeva Browser, you immediately see results with direct links that go straight to the information you need. This saves you time by helping you bypass the search results page entirely, or if you like you can still explore the search results page to check out a much larger selection of answers for more in-depth queries.
  • With Tab Groups, the Neeva Browser helpfully clusters related pages together in the tab switcher. This happens automatically as you search and browse the web. In addition to helping you avoid clutter, it also saves you time by making it easier to get back to what you were doing and avoiding the need to repeat your searches.
  • With NeevaScope, you can simply tap the Neeva button in the Neeva Browser to easily access content from across the web related to the website you’re visiting and the search query that brought you there. The NeevaScope feature may provide related links, other recommended products, chatter from social channels, and more.
  • With Spaces, the Neeva Browser provides a tool to make it easier for you to save what you find on the web, add annotations and even share your Spaces with friends or publish them to the web for anyone to see. The Neeva Browser includes both helpful tools for creating Spaces as well as a mobile optimized way of consuming Spaces you have created or those created by others that you are following.

Under the hood, the Neeva Browser stands on the shoulders of the excellent Firefox for iOS browser. We want to recognize the amazing work of the Mozilla community (past and present!) and talk about how we arrived at basing our work on Firefox.

In Firefox we found a browser that was built from a more modern codebase using the Swift language and with fewer of the legacy trappings of other projects. This made it the ideal starting point for the Neeva Browser. While we could have simply re-skinned Firefox and called it a day, it wouldn’t be enough to re-imagine the experience of searching and browsing on mobile.

As we imagined features like FastTap, Tab Groups and Spaces, we knew that we’d need to dramatically change the UI of Firefox, so we took the approach of building a completely new UI layer for the system. We chose Apple’s modern SwiftUI and Combine frameworks and built from the ground up a completely new browser UI using the latest development practices on iOS. This gave us many advantages and has allowed us to more easily build out a UI that performs well with less code and less complexity.

We will continue innovating around how we can help people find and discover content faster, get to where they want to go faster and stay better organized in the process – all while leaning into protecting user privacy on the web. There’s so much room to improve on the status quo of mobile browsers, and we are eager to continue investing in putting users–not advertisers–first.

We love the mobile web and love the opportunity to make it work better for people. We welcome contributors to the project to join us in developing this new open source browser and building a community focused on making the mobile web a better place!