Over the years Google has started and then abandoned so mamy projects that some people like to say that the company "throws spaghetti at the wall to see what will stick." Now, as Mozilla is shifting its entire company strategy toward mobile technology and focusing on its Firefox OS platform, it may be heading in a similar direction. After touting and actively testing its Persona authentication and sign-on system, the company is stepping down its participation in the project, citing low adoption.
Sony recently submitted an enhancement which allows widget like functionality on Firefox OS. Dubbed gadget, it is supposed to allow easy interaction with applications from homescreen and lockscreen. Currently the implementation is being reviewed on bugzilla by the Mozilla team.
Early last year, I posted a piece on Mozilla radically changing its approach to plugins in the Firefox browser. Plugins and extensions are, of course, part of the reason why many of us chose to use Firefox in the first place. There is a huge ecosystem of useful ones. However, especially since Firefox moved to a rapid release cycle, extensions have cause many performance problems. For that reason, Mozilla has been steadily overhauling its process of handling extensions in Firefox, especially when it comes to extensions that are automatically enabled.
Mozilla has designed a phone that's even more affordable for emerging markets and thus redefines the entry level for smartphones. Mozilla engineers were able to accomplish this by adjusting the hardware requirements of the operating system to run on a 1 GHz CPU, single core Spreadtrum chipset with only 128 MB of RAM. That's only 25 to 50 percent of the RAM found in existing entry-level devices on the market, said Joe Cheng, product manager at Mozilla in this video demonstration of the prototype phone, below.
BARCELONA, Spain -- Mozilla will take over some responsibility for issuing Firefox OS updates that carriers today have, a move that could help users avoid the fate of Android phone owners saddled with older operating system versions.
"We are pushing that envelope," Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich told CNET. "We think we can get people on Wi-Fi upgrading through Mozilla."
Mozilla, which makes Firefox OS for budget smartphones, announced seven new devices that will ship to emerging markets in 2014. Alcatel is building the Fire C, Fire E and Fire S along with a Fire 7 tablet. Huawei will be releasing the Y300 while ZTE has two new devices in the Open II and Open C. In addition, Mozilla announced the Firefox OS Flame, a reference phone for developers to tune their HTML5 Web apps to Mozilla’s range of devices.
Mozilla announced PhoneGap support for Firefox OS, as well as new App Manager tools, and tipped upcoming features including LTE and NFC support.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mozilla announced the first formal reference smartphone for its Linux-based Firefox OS — the self-branded Firefox OS Flame phone — as well as the first developer tablets. The latter comprise an already tipped 7-inch Via “Vixen” tablet, and a 10-inch “InFocus” tablet from Foxconn.
Hello Firefox OS Enthusiasts. As you may know, the Mozilla developers are attending the Mobile World Congress 2014, which takes place at Barcelona, in 24-27 February.
In an impressive first-year achievement, Firefox OS has found a toehold in a fiercely competitive smartphone market. The next challenge for Mozilla's browser-based mobile operating system will be to convert that toehold into a foothold.
As the struggles of BlackBerry OS, Microsoft Windows Phone, and Samsung Tizen have shown, it's extraordinarily hard to find any room in a mobile operating system market where Apple's iOS and Google's Android dominate. Yet Mozilla has managed to do just that by focusing on super-low-cost smartphones and on partnerships with carriers who want something to offer in markets where even a bottom-of-the-barrel Android phone looks pricey.
I actually first discovered SeaMonkey many years ago when trying out the many versions of Puppy Linux, where SeaMonkey was sometimes included as the default "web browser". Of course, if I had actually paid enough attention, I would have realised it was labeled as an "all-in-one internet application suite". But nevertheless, it looked and behaved like Firefox so I assumed it was just an off-shoot of that software.
Recently though, I once again installed SeaMonkey out of curiosity and found it was much more. In fact, it has even been my primary web browser (after using Chromium primarily for some time, although I still use that browser for it's inbuilt Web Developer Tools), primary mail client and my primary IRC client (when I use it) for some months now.
Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone has revealed more details on its forthcoming dual-boot Android and Firefox OS device.
The phone, known as the Revolution, will go on sale next week at a cost of €289 in Europe. The device will run both Android and Boot2Gecko, otherwise known as Firefox OS. (Mozilla only lets the mobile carriers it has deals with use the Firefox OS brand name, so for now, Geeksphone is stuck with the operating system's clunkier handle.)
Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users. Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission. The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy.
We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better Internet through trust and transparency, and it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project. While we have not worked out the entire product roadmap, we are beginning to talk to content partners about the opportunity, and plan to start showing Directory Tiles to new Firefox users as soon as we have the user experience right.
After yesterday's article about the new Firefox UI landing in the Aurora channel, here's some screenshots showing what the new Firefox marked at 29.0a2 looks like on Ubuntu Linux.
Being a big Firefox user myself on my production systems, after writing about the user-interface changes landing in Aurora and the many changes, I decided to try out the updated open-source web-browser.
“Gigabit networks have the potential to change how we live, work, learn and interact on the web, much like the switch from dial-up to broadband did,” says Mark Surman, executive director of Mozilla. “The educators, developers, students and other inventive thinkers in these leading gigabit economies have a unique opportunity to help shape the web of the future, in ways that can help us all know more, do more and do better.”
At this week's InContext Conference, Mozilla and EverythingMe showed a preview of the upcoming release of Firefox Launcher for Android. Firefox OS, Mozilla's mobile platform has already used EverythingMe's tools for presenting easy to get at collections of links to web apps. Firefox Launcher for Android is intended to make it easy to discover content you want and get it optimized for the way you use your phone.
Spain-based Geeksphone tipped the Revolution the last week of December, revealing the major specs and the fact that it would support both Android and Firefox OS. An image was leaked in mid-January, followed by more informally revealed specs last week. Now, Geeksphone has finally posted full specs. Pre-sales are said to begin soon for a ship date beginning Feb. 14, starting at just above 200 Euros ($270). The ship date, however, may apply to unfulfilled pre-orders for the earlier, now discontinued Peak+ phone.
There are 13 security advisories attached to the Firefox 27 release, four of them ranked as being critical. As is common in nearly all Firefox release updates, one of the critical updates is for a group of vulnerabilities that Mozilla labels "Miscellaneous memory safety hazards."
The smartphone is currently dominated by two big systems; Android and iOS. But there are others in the run. With Microsoft struggling to get anyone to voluntarily use Windows Phone, maybe Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch and/or Firefox OS will make a difference. It’s this last one I attended a talk about at FOSDEM. So here it goes; The current state of Firefox OS, and what we can expect for the future.
Firefox development occurs in multiple branches with the main release branch being the generally available release which is complemented with a beta and alpha (aurora) release branch. Leading edge development is relegated to the Nightly channel, which is where Australis has sat, until now. Mozilla is expected to uplift Australis into the Aurora channel for Firefox 29 today.