Mozilla

Firefox OS Apps run on Android

At Mozilla we believe that apps and browsing are best viewed as cooperative and symbiotic, each better when working together. We are working to strengthen that relationship by building an apps ecosystem that is built using the Web technologies that so many developers are already familiar with.

We built Firefox OS as a mobile OS that puts the Web and Open Web Apps at the centre of the mobile experience. The efforts to reduce the performance gaps between the Web and native are paying rich dividends and our work on exposing device capabilities to the Web via WebAPIs, have made web first app development a viable alternative to native platforms.

Build Open Web Apps, run out-of-the-box on Android

Now, with Firefox for Android 29, Mozilla is extending this open Open Web Apps ecosystem to Android. Over the past few months, we have been working on providing a “native experience” for Open Web Apps. What this means is that as a user, you can now manage your web app just like you would a native app. You can install/update/uninstall the app and the app will also show up in the App Drawer as well as the Recent Apps list.

As a developer, you can now build your Open Web App for Firefox OS devices and have that app reach millions of existing Firefox for Android users without having to change a single line of code!

Check out the video to see an Open Web App in action on an Android device,

Better yet, if you have installed Firefox for Android try one or build an app and submit it to the Marketplace.

We also recommend reading Testing Your Native Android App.

18 comments

Comments are now closed.

  1. Thomas wrote on June 12th, 2014 at 10:24 am:

    But, not all APIs that I can use on Firefox OS can be used with Firefox Mobile apps (e.g. device storage). Or is that information out-dated?

    1. Thomas wrote on June 12th, 2014 at 10:27 am:

      Just an addendum for this extra information I just got from Myk Melez. At least the Device Storage API is planned for version 33: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=886627

  2. kessa wrote on June 12th, 2014 at 5:20 pm:

    DOes this mean that the Firefox OS can also run the Android Apps? if yes this could be killer

    1. Jerzy wrote on June 13th, 2014 at 7:26 am:

      Sort of. You can run Firefox OS apps in Firefox for Android and you can experience the Firefox OS desktop in Android thanks to Everything.me.

  3. Memon wrote on June 12th, 2014 at 5:22 pm:

    Looks like Mozilla badly wants to get the numbers up for its gradually declining browser share of Firefox

  4. Dr Question wrote on June 12th, 2014 at 7:01 pm:

    Does this mean they will also run on Blackberry 10?

  5. Michael Collatz wrote on June 13th, 2014 at 2:00 am:

    @Dr. Question. If you installed the firefox browser through snap (for example) it could maybe work, why don’t you give it a try and tell us afterwards if it worked.

  6. Mike James wrote on June 13th, 2014 at 3:33 am:

    The key issue is: what APIs are supported?
    If you look at the Firefox OS Web APIs it some times mentions desktop but what about Android?

    Without knowing what APIs work on Android the idea that you can just take a FireFoxOS app and run it on Android is in doubt.

  7. Ivan Dejanovic wrote on June 13th, 2014 at 5:02 am:

    Just tested this on nexus 4 with the game I published to Firefox marketplace. After I enabled installation of apps from sources other than the Play store my game integrated into the device just like a native app.

    Now for me this is cool because I know I can trust my game but how realistic is for a regular not tech savvy user to mess with the security settings. When they see the warning they will probably opt not to install the app because they will be afraid to change security settings on their device.

    This is great progress by the Mozilla team never the less. I really hope Firefox OS becomes relevant in smartphone space. We need more diversity there.

    1. Junior wrote on June 13th, 2014 at 5:42 am:

      I think MozillaHacks should implement the +1 button…

      :)

  8. Enrique wrote on June 13th, 2014 at 11:02 am:

    I think Mozilla is wrong when promoting Firefox OS mobiles for “poor countries”. Android is already cheap enough for “the poors”. Firefox OS makes sense and excels specially for enterprises, since it allows to develop custom enterprise apps just once using web technologies and it will work on any device. All they need is to put the tools to make the (Firefox OS) phone easy to lock down, letting a central server control what apps can be run or not and also get sure that the rendering gecko engine behave the same on any platform. An enterprise can’t afford to triplicate development resources to have an Android, Windows and web versions. And most entreprises today already have the expertise and infraestructure to deploy web apps. Changing from PCs to tablets to phones usually require not much more than changing the CSS.

  9. Felipe wrote on June 13th, 2014 at 4:51 pm:

    you should not use blue boxes to name your Enginners, I think i was looking Intel Videos.

  10. George wrote on June 15th, 2014 at 7:44 pm:

    If I run Firefox apps what could be the resource use up?

  11. gabe wrote on June 24th, 2014 at 2:42 pm:

    what about storage space used by the app? last time i tried to install firefox browser app on android, even moving the app to SD, it still used over 50mb of prime app storage (on a phone with 250mb, mind you)

    will a app bundled this way (which i belive has a gaia wrapper) also use that much app storage over time?

  12. Fantomas wrote on June 24th, 2014 at 9:30 pm:

    Does this mean they will run on Blackberry-ten?????????????????/

  13. Nilesh Trivedi wrote on June 26th, 2014 at 10:59 pm:

    This capability should be available wherever Firefox can be installed: Windows, Mac and Linux desktops, Surface tablet etc. I see no reason why this shouldn’t be possible.

  14. Promatics Technologies wrote on July 7th, 2014 at 6:16 am:

    Nice post but I have never used firefox app on android. I will try it……..

  15. shavounet wrote on July 8th, 2014 at 12:18 pm:

    I have tried the X-type app on my Galaxy S3 (not the worst smartphone), but I find that the app is curiously slow (and in fact, the over all Firefox is slow ; I use Aurora).

    Does anyone already have the same issue ? I don’t thing it’s just an engine issue, Chrome for example performs way better (too much to be true :-))

    Ready to test and improve Firefox if I can ! o/

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