Mozilla has announced that Firefox OS smartphones are coming to various markets, with several partners getting ready to launch new devices soon. The mobile OS arena can already be considered to be crowded with Android and iOS leading in the market share. Even as Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS and Blackberry struggle to gain a larger share, another major competitor in the form of Firefox OS from Mozilla is sure to put more pressure on these companies.
Mozilla had announced the intention to enter the mobile OS market a while back. With a number of hardware partners and network operators on board and the Firefox OS nicely baked and ready, Mozilla is now set to make a splash in the mobile OS landscape.
Firefox OS – The Mobile OS with the Power of the Web
Firefox OS devices are completely powered by Web technologies, thus bringing the huge capabilities of the web to the device while keeping all features of a smartphone intact. As is the general expectation from a smartphone, there are several applications on the Firefox OS devices.
You can place calls, add contacts, take photos with the device camera, send messages, mails and browse the internet with Firefox as the default browser. Built-in Twitter and Facebook add social capabilities to the device. Also included is Nokia’s HERE Maps with offline capabilities for all the navigational needs of the user.
A feature that is unique to Firefox is adaptive app search that transforms the phone to adapt to your needs. They gave an example – search for your favorite music artist and get results to buy your favorite song, concert tickets or even listen to your favorite song instantly. Making it possible for you to create these one-time use or downloadable apps on demand gives you a completely customized experience and helps you get the exact content you want, when you want it.
Firefox OS has been in the works for many years and now that it is released, they are really excited about the things to come as new web innovations stimulated by the norm-changing Firefox OS change the mobile and web landscape.
“The launch of Firefox OS marks an incredibly exciting time for the Web. Firefox OS powers the first smartphones built entirely on Web technologies and will stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation for the Web,” says Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud to deliver an experience for the first time smartphone users that will delight them and really put the power of the Web in people’s hands.”
Be sure to check out Mozilla press release and a Firefox OS demo showing its various features.
Firefox OS phones comes with the Firefox Marketplace, which already has several applications leveraging the power of HTML5 on mobile. You can get Twitter, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, AccuWeather, Pulse, Evernote, Facebook, JoliCloud, Nokia HERE Maps and numerous other applications now.
Check Out Firefox Marketplace
The First Firefox OS Smartphones
Alcatel and ZTE are the first manufacturers to release the smartphones with Firefox OS. The devices would release in European markets first and mainly target the low-end segment currently dominated by Android. The ZTE Open is to come to Spain on Telefonica as soon as tomorrow, 2nd July 2013.
There are more than 20 hardware and operator partners around the world lined up with Mozilla, and that is sure to give a huge impetus to the growth of this mobile platform.
As the Firefox OS grows, the next few months would surely be exciting. It would be interesting to watch the Firefox OS as it matures and generates more developer interest.
Starting with the low-end market segment is fine, but if it really wants to challenge the dominance of Apple and Google, Mozilla would have to ensure absolutely amazing experience on top-tier smartphones. The battle for smartphone OS supremacy is far from being over.