The launch of two Firefox OS phones in India in the same week marks an exciting moment in Mozilla’s mission to promote openness and innovation on the Web, and an opportunity to empower millions of Indians wanting to buy their first smartphones. Firefox OS will enable users to obtain lower-cost devices that offer telephony, messaging and camera and rich capabilities like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, the Firefox browser, FM radio and popular apps.
This November, Mozilla is up for renegotiation with Google for placement of Google search as the default search in Firefox and for the related subsidies that Google pays Mozilla, which reached almost $300 million last year. That comprised the majority of Mozilla's income. With Chrome establishing itself as a leader in the browser wars, its unclear what relationship Google will continue to pursue with Mozilla.
Back in July we kicked-off Maker Party, our annual campaign to teach the web around the world. Throughout this two-month campaign we have seen people on nearly every continent increase their web literacy by writing their first line of code, making their first app, taking steps to protect their privacy, or creating engaging content for others to enjoy, share or remix. They’re all coming together thanks to the individuals and organizations that are helping us grow a movement by teaching their friends, family and communities through hands-on making and learning events.
Mozilla is targeting first time smartphone buyers who haven’t yet upgraded their basic feature phones because of high prices or technology specifications.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jane Hsu, director of product marketing at Mozilla based in Taiwan, explains how the company was able to bring down the cost of smartphones and discusses Mozilla’s future plans.
Mozilla is set to add a feature to its mobile Firefox OS that will give users the ability to revoke any application’s permissions on a granular basis.
Firefox OS is the open source operating system that Mozilla built for smartphones. The software runs on a variety of devices from manufacturers such as Alcatel, ZTE and LG. The devices mainly are available outside of the United States, although there’s at least one Firefox OS phone sold in the U.S. The operating system is meant to be flexible and includes many of the security and privacy features that Mozilla has built into the Firefox browser over the years, namely support for Do Not Track.
Mozilla has announced that the first smartphone running its Firefox OS mobile operating system is now on sale in India, following earlier reports that a low-cost phone would arrive there in July.
The phone is called Cloud FX and is built by Intex Technologies, an Indian phone maker. It went on sale on the Snapdeal.com website on Monday for 1,999 rupees (Rs.), or approximately $33.
Finally, Firefox smartphone now arrives in India. Though Mozilla’s Firefox OS as a smartphone operating system has had a negligible impact on the market, but all that could change very soon as the first Firefox smartphone has been announced for India. The Spice Fire One has predictable low-end specifications and a greatly attractive price tag of Rs 2,299.
This may sound like analyzing yesterday's news, but I think it's important, and more than that I need to put this here as a resource to point certain people to.
The Mozilla Foundation's aim to create a Firefox OS for mobile devices was not to take a quixotic tilt at the top end of the smartphone market. Instead, it hoped to provide an alternative that would enable the delivery of low-cost, but still smart, devices to places where smartphones are still a significant purchase.
That plan looks to be working in India, where local outfit Spicephone has just announced it will offer the nation's first Firefox-OS-powered phone for Rs 2,299 (US$38, £23).
Mozilla is in the process of adding the ability to “cast” videos from Firefox to Chromecast devices, and you can try it now if you have the right hardware.
As announced in a post on Google+ post by Mozilla developer Lucas Rocha, “Chromecast support is now enabled in Firefox for Android’s Nightly build.”
To check this out, I downloaded the latest Firefox Nightly, installed it on my Nexus 10, and tested it with my Chromecast. It worked… although, it has some rough edges right now.