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Mozilla displays Firefox OS running on a handset

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Mozilla displays Firefox OS running on a handset
It was all the way back in July 2011 when we first told you of Mozilla's plans to build its own mobile smartphone OS known as "Boot to Gecko". At the time, the software developer said that the idea was to allow developers to create apps close to being native in quality, using HTML 5. On Thursday, in San Francisco, Mozilla displayed Firefox OS running on an actual device. Back in July, a number of screenshots were leaked  out of Europe. Mozilla says that  Firefox OS is not being developed to compete with the big boys like iOS and Android. Instead, the open source OS is expected to power low to mid-end models that will be selling at featurephone prices. The handset used to display the OS on Thursday was a ZTE model.

The Firefox browser is expected to debut in Brazil next year

The Firefox browser is expected to debut in Brazil next year

Those who tested the Firefox OS says that it reminded them of Android running on a low-end Android phone. Apps like the camera and phone dialer opened quickly, although Mozilla says there is room for even faster performance. The OS will load with 15 apps including the Firefox browser (you were expecting Opera, perhaps?), camera, SMS, calendar and Firefox OS Marketplace. The latter leaked out in photographs just a few days ago. As you might expect, each app has a separate icon on the screen and pinch-to-zoom is supported. All basic apps are cached which means that they can be accessed even when you don't have a data connection. And because of its background as a browser, Firefox OS will enable apps to run without being tied to a particular operating system.

Mozilla is looking to standardize about 40 APIs to work across various devices.  Non-complex ones like battery level and vibration are supposed to be complete. Other APIs like SMS and dialing are being worked on now. The first handsets to sport the Firefox OS will be available next year from Telefonica in Brazil., The carrier covers areas in Latin America and Europe. Other carriers who have signed on include Sprint, T-Mobile USA's parent Deutsche Telekom, Smart and Telecom Italia. On the hardware side we have TCL, ZTE and Qualcomm.

source: AllThingsD

18 Comments
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posted on 06 Sep 2012, 20:52 3

1. The_Godfather (Posts: 158; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Interesting..hope they do good in the market :)

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:20

8. MeoCao (unregistered)


How about a video?

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 06:21 2

14. joey_sfb (Posts: 2983; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Mozilla, hope you have enough patents to defend the platform.

Every one knows for a fact that apple will target it if they gain market share.

Let hope it do well to provide us another viable mobileOS.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:25 3

2. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3627; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


What can Firefox possibly offer that isn't already seen with the other OSes on the market?

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:29 5

4. plgladio (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


You will know once it come..

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:48

5. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4056; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Virtually nothing... I mean, really, what else is there? Unless you want to go like space-age and have a hand-held 3D hologram. Really, the only thing they can do is improve what other OSes have brought already, which I doubt they would do in the first version of the OS, especially since they stated that it wasn't built to compete with iOS or Android.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 23:04 1

11. JC557 (Posts: 1125; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


Which is why I think it's best they team up with Google on improving and adding to Android.

Mozilla has improved their browser for Android so much that I'm using it over stock and Dolphin browser but Chrome is a close 2nd.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:19 1

7. MeoCao (unregistered)


I think it's much lighter and easy to customize and allows handsets to be cheaper. I guess it will be mostly low end phones, at least initially.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:32 1

9. Dr.Phil (Posts: 914; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I think you will see an even more open and developer friendly app market than the other OS'. Developers nowadays have to sit there and mess around with the different codings found on the different OS', but with Firefox OS you simply are just creating an HTML5 based application. Less coding means less hassle. Less hassle means that apps get to the market quicker and you will possibly see more applications (though it will take some time for the Firefox OS to catch on).

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:56 2

10. The_Godfather (Posts: 158; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


M more than sure that it will be better than s**tty iOS...!!!

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 02:31 3

12. jbitounis (Posts: 54; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


Even if it does not offer anything completely new, it might be a good alternative for some users and it will most definitely create some healthy competition between Mozillla, Google, Apple etc., in favor of the consumers.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 09:29

16. asdfasdfasdf123 (Posts: 11; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)


I think its for very low cost handsets. Firefox OS could bring lower cost devices than current low cost Android devices

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 21:35

18. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Freedom from "Jailed" systems which means a lot in democratic world order.

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 21:28 1

3. plgladio (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Good to see Mozilla in podium...

posted on 06 Sep 2012, 22:17

6. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


a browser OS, great... kinda different from the competiton... however, since its a browser, it might need data plan even though it will power low end to mid range phones... i think the OS might be carrier friendly since it is back up by some big carriers to respective countries but it means additional fee for people who apply to a plan at cheap price.. like my mother, she get the samsung galaxy instead of a blackberry coz a blackberry needs an additional plan and she dont like that...

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 05:43 1

13. rainyday (Posts: 44; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)


Great, another OS...just what everyone needs.

posted on 07 Sep 2012, 07:36

15. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 864; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Anything that might innovate or make more competition to improve on current OSes I applaud.

posted on 09 Sep 2012, 12:05

17. monkeytown (Posts: 108; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


"Those who tested the Firefox OS says that it reminded them of Android running on a low-end Android phone. Apps like the camera and phone dialer opened quickly"

those don´t fit together

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