Mozilla updates Firefox OS simulator to 3.0, adds rotation, geolocation
Mozilla has rolled out a new version of its Firefox OS simulator, in order to help with application development. The emulator update to version 3.0, surfacing just after the first developer devices started shipping, adds a number of features, including rotation simulation, basic simulation of a geolocation API, newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia UI, Push to Device, and a number of other bug fixes. The simulator is available to download as a Firefox desktop browser extension.
New API to help pay for goods through credit cards, carrier billing
ZTE and Alcatel target emerging markets
High-end smartphones typically dominate the news at Mobile World Congress, leaving us surprised by the amount of attention garnered by Mozilla's Firefox OS. Earlier this week we checked out Alcatel's One Touch Fire, and today we had a chance to try out ZTE's Open. Both are geared for emerging markets, focusing on maximum features from basic hardware via an operating system built from web standards.
One of first phones with Firefox OS
Mozilla was one of the first companies to hold a Mobile World Congress press conference, where the developer focused on its Firefox OS for mobile devices. Electronista had a chance to try out Alcatel's One Touch Fire, one of the first production devices to embrace the platform. The handset is clearly an entry-level smartphone, seated in a market suited for the fledgling OS.
First devices not expected until later this year
The Linux Foundation has introduced a major update to its Tizen operating system, adding many essential features as developers continue working on the first Tizen-powered devices. Version 2.0, spotted by TG Daily, will enable devices to take advantage of Bluetooth and NFC hardware, while app developers can integrate new features such as text-to-speech and background operation.
MWC press conference to show new phones
ZTE is planning to reveal two smartphones at Mobile World Congress next month. The Grand Memo is an 5.7-inch device running on Android, which also appears to be similar to the previously leaked P945, while a second device is expected to be the manufacturer's first smartphone that will run the new Mozilla Firefox OS.
First devices using HTML5-based apps for native app functions
Mozilla has shown off two "developer preview" smartphones running its mobile Firefox OS. Named the Keon and Peak, the pair of unlocked mobile phones have been make in partnership with Geeksphone of Spain, and are designed to give developers a platform to create and test apps for the new mobile operating system.
Nokia rebrands mapping operations, goes for new platforms
Nokia has announced Here, a new attempt at bringing its mapping services, which already power its own devices and Amazon's Kindle platform, to the web, Apple's iOS platform, and Mozilla's Firefox OS. Here will come with built in offline map capabilities, voice-guided walking navigation, and public transport directions. The Finnish company, known largely for its smartphones but gaining recognition for its location services, also announced that it would be acquiring earthmine, a California-based company whose technologies will be built into Here's 3D map-making capabilities.
Minimalist style with mostly free apps so far
The first mobile units running Mozilla's forthcoming Firefox OS aren't scheduled to debut until early next year, but images of the app marketplace for the mobile OS have leaked to the Internet. Engadget has acquired shots of the Firefox Marketplace, which is still in development; images that show a largely minimalist design that seems to show more focus on categorization and quick app discovery than do Apple or Google's app marketplace offerings. For now, the Marketplace appears to be largely populated by free apps, but that may change depending on how successful Mozilla and its partners are in gaining market share once their devices launch.
Firefox OS said to run similar apps faster than Android
Telefónica has been showing off a prototype phone running Mozilla's recently revealed Firefox OS for smartphones. The Spanish telecom gave TechWeekEurope UK a peek at the prototype device, saying that it's well positioned to make an impact in the mobile sector among developing markets.
Sprint, Telefonica, ZTE, Alcatel on board for HTML5 phones
In a post today on The Mozilla Blog, Mozilla confirmed that next year will see the launch of a number of phones powered by its Firefox operating system. The new operating system, built on Mozilla's "Boot to Gecko project," will run HTML5 apps and is aimed at furthering the development of that standard while providing a low-cost operating system for smartphones aimed at developing markets. The browser maker has teamed with a number of telecoms, including Sprint, Smart, and Telefica, as well as device manufacturers Alcatel and ZTE.