In association with heise online

10 September 2012, 12:19

Mozilla shows off Firefox OS

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

Firefox OS logo

Mozilla has shown off a recent build of its Firefox OS for mobile devices, demonstrating more of the open source operating system's features and functions. In a new video on its Firefox YouTube channel, the non-profit organisation shows the browser-centric OS's built-in Firefox web browser, phone dialer, camera and Gallery image viewer running on a developer phone from Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE.

The demo also shows off the current version of Firefox OS's Marketplace app, with which users can browse and install other applications such as Galactians2, a Space-Invaders-style game. As noted by some YouTube comments, the build of Firefox OS shown does lag at times, such as when dialling a phone number. However, it is worth noting that this is a development build being shown off and responsiveness should be improved in subsequent versions.

Firefox OS running on a developer phone from ZTE

Developers have been able to test Firefox OS using their desktop systems since July. With Mozilla's nightly builds of the mobile OS, developers can try out the system under Windows, Mac OS X and Linux to test web apps they have created.

The Mozilla Project's Firefox OS platform was first launched in 2011 as Boot to Gecko (B2G). The system's architecture has a Linux kernel running a thin layer of services and a web browser layered on top of that. All applications then use web technologies and the browser to display. The purpose of this design is to eliminate the need for applications to be built using platform-specific APIs. Instead, developers can build new apps using open standards such as HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. Phone functionality, for example, is implemented as a locally stored web application, with no native code; APIs needed to fully exploit the capabilities of the phone, such as the cellular phone hardware, camera, Bluetooth, USB and NFC, are implemented as Web APIs, which are, or will be, submitted to the W3C for standardisation.

While a device running Firefox OS has yet to be released, several device manufacturers including ZTE and TCL Communication Technology have already signed up to build Qualcomm Snapdragon-based devices using the mobile OS. The first consumer devices running Firefox OS are expected to be available in early 2013 in Brazil.

See also:


Print Version | Send by email | Permalink:

  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit