Creating the future of mobile with Firefox OS – resources, docs and more!

Just under a month ago I wrote a personal post about my thoughts on Firefox OS and why I think there is something ‘magical’ about what it stands for and the possibilities it brings to the table. This post is a follow-up that aims to cover much of the same ground but with extra detail and more of a technical focus.

What is Firefox OS?

In short, Firefox OS is about taking the technologies behind the Web, like JavaScript, and using them to produce an entire mobile operating system. It’s effectively a mobile OS powered by JavaScript!

Firefox OS screenshots

This is achieved with a custom version of Gecko, the rendering engine in Firefox, that introduces a variety of new JavaScript APIs needed to create a phone-like experience; things like WebSMS to send text messages, and WebTelephony to make phone calls.

You might be wondering what’s running Gecko, as a phone can’t naturally boot directly into Gecko. To do that, the phone boots into a very lightweight Linux kernel that, in turn, boots the Gecko process. The process is a little more involved than that and much more detail can be found in the B2G Architecture documentation, including how Gecko accesses the radio hardware and other phone-specific functionality.

The Firefox OS project also aims to combine many of the other projects at Mozilla into a single vision, what we refer to as the Web as the platform. These projects include the Open Web Apps initiative and Persona, our solution to identity and logins on the Web (formally known as BrowserID). It’s the combination of these various technologies that completes Firefox OS.

If you want to find out more technical information about the OS then definitely check out the Firefox OS pages on MDN.

Why Firefox OS?

A couple of common questions that come up are, “Why Firefox OS?” and more specifically, “Why build a mobile OS using JavaScript?” These are incredibly important questions so let’s take a moment to delve into them in a little detail.

Why build a mobile OS using JavaScript?

Answering this question can quite simply be boiled down to one sentence; because it’s possible. It’s not the one and only answer but it succinctly handles most of the arguments against JavaScript being used in this way.

A longer answer is that a JavaScript-powered OS unlocks a whole range of possibilities that aren’t normally or easily available to developers and users with existing operating systems.

The most obvious of the possibilities is the ability to build applications using the technologies that we already use to build websites; namely JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. While not a truly unique feature of Firefox OS — projects like PhoneGap have done this for years on ‘native’ platforms — it allows developers everywhere to create mobile applications without having to learn native languages and APIs.

Another draw of JavaScript is that it’s both extremely well documented and free to develop with. Anyone could sit down for a weekend and put together an application without having to pay for a single thing. Obviously that’s not true in the majority of cases, as people tend to buy their own hosting or tooling, but theoretically there is nothing to stop you building with these technologies for free.

What’s arguably most interesting about JavaScript being used in this way is that it inherently enables physical devices to communicate using the same APIs that we already use on websites. In effect, instead of accessing the Web through a mobile browser the entire phone is now capable of accessing and communicating with any Web API. For example, there is nothing to stop you building an application for Firefox OS that uses WebRTC (once added) to create Skype-like P2P video communication between phones, desktop computers, or anything else that supports WebRTC.

This really only scrapes the surface of “Why JavaScript?” but it certainly gives you a feel of how this is both interesting and important, beyond the tired debate of ‘native’ vs. Web. If you’re still not convinced, just think for a moment about how you can now customise an entire mobile OS using nothing by JavaScript. You’d be hard pushed to deny that it’s pretty darn interesting!

OK, but why Firefox OS?

Effectively, Firefox OS has been built to put our money where our mouth is (so to speak) and prove that JavaScript is capable of doing what we say it can do. However, there is much more to the project than just proving the the technology is fast enough.

The first reason ‘Why Firefox OS’ is that the mobile ecosystem is overrun with proprietary platforms, most of which prevent you from easily moving between various platforms. What Firefox OS aims to achieve is a truly ‘open’ platform that doesn’t lock you in and inherently makes it as easy and possible to move between devices as and when you choose.

Mozilla is effectively replicating its success with Firefox, in which it stormed the browser market and showed users that there is an alternative, one that lets them be in control of how they use the Web. In this case, it’s less about browsers and more about mobile platforms and application portability.

Another reason is that Firefox OS is an attempt to push the Web forward into the world of physical devices. One direct benefit of this is the addition of brand new Web standards and APIs that allow for things like hardware access using JavaScript.

Plenty of challenges

It’s fair to say that the Firefox OS journey will contain a number of technical challenges along the way, however that’s part of the fun and the reasons why we’re working on it.

One of those challenges is how to manage an apps ecosystem that is open and distributed. This is something that we are tackling with the Open Web Apps initiative and the Mozilla Marketplace. It’s a challenge that we are dealing with as things progress and as we learn more about how things work best, as is the nature with new ways of thinking.

Another of the challenges is making sure that the phone runs as fast as possible, creating the best experience possible. This also relates to questions raised within the developer community around the performance capabilities of JavaScript, particularly when it is used to do things that are perceived to be complex, or when it is compared against ‘native’ technologies. This is a challenge that we are taking very seriously and one which we feel we can overcome. In fact, it’s a challenge that I believe we have already overcome.

One prime example of how capable JavaScript has become is seeing beautiful JavaScript games running in Firefox OS at near-enough 60 frames per-second, on a low-end, cheap phone.

Beyond the mobile phone

While the phone aspect of Firefox OS is immediately interesting, you should consider the wider implications of a JavaScript OS and what possibilities it unlocks. For example, what other devices could benefit from being powered by JavaScript? And, what would a network of JavaScript-powered devices allow us to do — things like Ubiquitous Computing, perhaps?

These aren’t things that we are exploring directly at Mozilla, but they are things that are now inherently possible as a result of the work that we’re doing. There is nothing to stop you taking the Firefox OS source code from GitHub and porting it to a device that we’ve never even considered.

We’re already starting to see this happen with examples like a Firefox OS port for the Raspberry Pi, as well as another for the Pandaboard.

What about a game console powered by Firefox OS? A TV, or set-top box? What about a fridge? Individually, these are all interesting projects, but together they offer something we don’t really have at the moment, a network of different devices powered by the same, open technologies and able to access and communicate across the Web with the same APIs.

We are a long way away from that kind of world but it is projects like Firefox OS that may pave the way for it to happen. You could even be a part of it!

Getting started with Firefox OS

The hope is that by now you’re sufficiently interested in Firefox OS to begin exploring, experimenting and playing with it. The good news is that there are a whole host of ways that you can do that.


One of the first places to start is the MDN documentation surrounding Firefox OS and its related technologies. This is where you’ll find everything you need to know about the developer-facing aspects of the platform.

If you’re more interested with the inner-workings of the platform then you’ll want to cast an eye over the B2G wiki, which outlines much of the internals in plenty of detail.

Source code

If you’re keen to get to grips with the source code of Firefox OS then you’ll want to head over to GitHub and check it out. The two main repositories that you want are ‘b2g’ (the underlying Gecko engine) and ‘gaia’ (everything you can see, the OS).

Getting involved

There are a few ways to get involved with the project. You could check out some of the issues and get involved in fixing them, or perhaps just hang out in the mailing list for B2G, or the one for Gaia, and take part in the discussions there.

If you just want to ask a few immediate questions then try out the #b2g and #gaia rooms on We’re all pretty friendly!

Development options

If you just want to dig in and make some applications, or perhaps customise the OS, then you’ll need to know about the various development options available to you. They are covered in some detail on MDN but here is a brief overview.

The simplest method to get started is running Gaia (the visual side of Firefox OS) within Firefox Nightly. This doesn’t give you a true representation of a phone environment but it will allow you to install applications and use all of the developer tools within the browser that you’re already used to.

Slightly more involved than Nightly is using the desktop B2G client. This is effectively a chromeless build of Firefox that looks phone-like has some added APIs that aren’t normally available in standard Firefox. This doesn’t replicate phone hardware but it’s the next best thing before starting to develop on an actual device.

Setting up the desktop B2G client isn’t too hard, but it could be made easier. In the meantime, projects like r2d2b2g aim to make the process super simple. Definitely worth checking out.

The last method, and arguably the most important one, is developing on an actual Firefox OS device. This is the only method that will give you a true representation of how your application will perform. It is also the only method that will give you access to the all the new APIs that come with Firefox OS.

Right now, you’ll need to build and install Firefox OS on one of the supported devices. In the future you will be able to skip this step and get access to devices that already run Firefox OS. We don’t have any dates for that just yet.

Go forth and be part of something big

My hope is that by now you should now have enough inspiration and information to go forth and begin building for this new platform, powered by the technologies you already use. We hope you do and we’d love to see what you come up with.

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to be a part of something that could quite literally change the way we do things.

About Robin Hawkes

Robin thrives on solving problems through code. He's a Digital Tinkerer, Head of Developer Relations at Pusher, former Evangelist at Mozilla, book author, and a Brit.

More articles by Robin Hawkes…


  1. BrianMB

    Before peeking at the first byte of documentation, I need some proof from Mozilla that this won’t repeat the slow-motion train wreck that was webOS.

    Why will Firefox OS succeed where the amalgam of Palm and Apple alumnists’ innovation failed? webOS had amazing devices, incredible new UI concepts, resources from HP, and all the hype in the world from tech press. I’m well familiar with webOS’s problems as a platform, and how Gecko is simply more capable from the outset, but why should we believe that Firefox OS will be around in 3 years?

    October 9th, 2012 at 06:49

    1. Robert Nyman [Mozilla]

      When it comes to the technical part, it has been discussed in How does Mozilla’s “Boot 2 Gecko” compare with webOS?Edit and other places.

      The way I see it, web developers can reuse their existing knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript and reach yet another platform through those skills.

      All I can say is that I believe such an option is well-needed in the mobile world and that Firefox OS has got many good things going for it!

      October 9th, 2012 at 07:33

      1. BrianMB

        Thank you kindly for the link Robert. I fully agree with Mozilla in that the Web platonic ideal of software development, and the world needs a successful on-device Web platform. However, I no longer believe a single company can make that happen – especially after placing all my chips in Palm’s pot for 2 years.

        Palm could not do it. RIM couldn’t do it (with WebWorks). Google can’t do it. Microsoft probably won’t do it (with Windows 8). I’m not yet sure that Mozilla can pull it off, no matter how awesome the OS they produce, but I sure hope you can.

        October 9th, 2012 at 08:57

        1. Robert Nyman

          Thanks! We’re working hard on it. :-)

          October 9th, 2012 at 10:11

    2. Pravin

      The WebOS and Firefox OS have completely different approach to the market. I personally believe Mozilla. Firefox OS should not be launched as a competition with a already existing things like Android and iOS but with a completely new approach.

      October 9th, 2012 at 07:55

      1. Robert Nyman

        When it comes to ideas on new approaches, we’re definitely listening to ideas! Feel free to comment here or send me an e-mail at robert [at] mozilla [dot] com.

        October 9th, 2012 at 10:20

    3. Matthew Babbs

      1. Mozilla is a non-profit. They’re not going to abandon FirefoxOS if it’s not an instant commercial success.
      2. Mozilla is a tively working on carrier partnerships. See for example Google & Microsoft’s troubles with poor carrier relationships – Mozilla understands how important this is.
      3. It’s not trying to be an iPhone killer. FirefoxOS is targeted at low-budget smartphones, smartphones at feature-phone prices. This is territory traditionally owned by Nokia Symbian, that they’re abandoning for high-end Windows Phones; and which is only slowly being encroached on by Android because it wont perform well on these super-cheap phones.

      So don’t count on it suddenly having 10%+ in the USA where everyone can afford expensive phones, but FirefoxOS has an excellent chance of doing well in the rest of the world.

      October 9th, 2012 at 08:47

      1. Robert Nyman

        Thanks for those additions!

        October 9th, 2012 at 10:20

      2. David Nemeskey

        What is not clear to me though, is what makes a Javascript & HTML5-based system perform better than Android on said cheap phones? Firefox is not the fastest application on my desktop, nor is any of the other browsers for that matter. Call me pessimistic, but I don’t see how it would be different on the phone — especially when Firefox under Linux performs so much worse than under Windows.

        I still root for you guys, as more alternatives is always better. Especially if you could enable a full-fledged Linux distro to be installed on the phone, and have an option to dock it and connect it to a screen and a keyboard… I know you guys had such an idea before, and also there were similar ideas with Ubuntu and Android. I would buy such a phone in an instant.

        October 11th, 2012 at 01:04

        1. Robert Nyman

          In general, from what I know, Android contains a lot of things and needs a certain level of performance. Gonk, the Linux kernel and hardware-abstraction layer in Firefox OS, is supposed to be very lightweight, and therefore result in a better end experience.

          From what we’ve seen so far, that seems to be true.

          I don’t see a full-fledged distro happening, at least not in the near future.

          And thanks for the support!

          October 11th, 2012 at 04:07

  2. Ben Darlow

    One limitation I have encountered when building apps with PhoneGap is that it’s fairly easy to start hitting performance roadblocks that would be trivially easy to work around with a native application. Typically these come from things like the physical dimensions of views that you’re manipulating (long lists, or wide carousels etc.) which in (for example) iOS would be loaded/released as needed, but for the purposes of a web view have to be kept in memory at all times. In the PhoneGap world, what usually happens is that the app exhausts available memory and crashes — depending on context possibly even at boot.

    There are, of course, ways of getting around this but they’re complex and tedious things to have to manage when native toolkits usually do these things for you. Are there any plans to cater for this kind of use case (which I think you’ll find is pretty common)? Statements like “B2G “apps” are *just* web applications that can also run in browsers on any platform” don’t fill me with much confidence…

    October 9th, 2012 at 08:22

    1. Robert Nyman

      I believe, from what I understand, that the difference with WebViews is that they don’t get the same performance, same JavaScript engine (in some cases) etc that the web browsers on those mobile operating systems get.

      With Firefox OS, an App should have the exact same possibilities as any part of the mobile operating system itself.

      October 9th, 2012 at 10:29

  3. Maurizio

    The question is not ‘why’, but ‘when’

    October 9th, 2012 at 08:43

    1. Robert Nyman

      When it comes out? I can’t really say dates, but first half next year sounds plausible.

      October 9th, 2012 at 10:30

      1. HamuSumo

        Can we expect the first smartphones with Firefox OS in Europe in 2013? I don’t own a smartphone so I want to start this “era” with Firefox OS. :)

        October 10th, 2012 at 01:22

        1. Robert Nyman

          Sounds good! :-)
          I can’t really promise anything, but I sure hope so.

          October 10th, 2012 at 06:39

        2. Maurizio

          I’m in the same situation :-)

          October 10th, 2012 at 08:17

  4. Marek Mularczyk

    Thank you for amazing post! It looks very promising and I will be awaiting further information.

    For now, I’ll link to it from my facebook page.

    Marek Mularczyk

    October 9th, 2012 at 10:33

    1. Robert Nyman

      Thank you, glad you liked it!

      October 10th, 2012 at 00:15

  5. tim peterson

    I’m super excited about Firefox OS. Thanks for the article!

    October 9th, 2012 at 14:32

    1. Robert Nyman

      Good to hear!

      October 10th, 2012 at 00:15

  6. Ken Saunders

    “Go forth and be part of something big”

    Should be said at the end of every conference, meet-up, etc. :)

    October 9th, 2012 at 15:05

    1. Robert Nyman

      I agree, and I usually try to give that kind of message when I give presentations. :-)

      October 10th, 2012 at 00:15

  7. Ken Saunders

    It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to be a part of something that could quite literally change the way we do things, unless you work or volunteer for Mozilla.

    October 9th, 2012 at 15:12

    1. Robert Nyman

      It is an exciting future, for sure!

      October 10th, 2012 at 00:16

  8. Jeffrey

    I’m assuming Biolab Disaster (since you mentioned it) runs good but I’m wondering how well software like BannaBread, HexGL or even BrowserQuest would run on the low end phones that Firefox OS is targeting. I’m thinking not very well.

    I think Mozilla would do good to set up a company tasked with creating Video Games for their platform. These would serve not only as technical demonstrations for developers but also (if done well enough) system sellers. Also, It might help to encourage hardware manufacturers to put real D-pads and action buttons on their devices.

    October 9th, 2012 at 19:35

    1. Robert Nyman

      It will depend on the game and the capabilities they need, but in general we’ve seen some very good performance. We hope to be able to post some numbers in the future about it!

      October 10th, 2012 at 00:17

  9. Larry Garfield

    How does this differ from Chrome OS? Isn’t that also “enough Linux to get into a Chrome, then the Browser Is All(tm)”? Isn’t that also an open source browser-as-OS project?

    October 9th, 2012 at 22:39

    1. Robert Nyman

      There are some similarities, but some of the main differences are:

      – Firefox OS is initially targeted at mobile phones, while Chrome OS is at netbooks.
      – Everything you see, every piece of the UI, in Firefox OS is HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In Chrome OS, only the content in the apps is.

      October 10th, 2012 at 01:16

  10. Xen

    My Samsung TV is already using HTML/CSS/JavaScript for the apps it runs, I fail to see the revolution. I haven’t exactly seen a horde of webdevelopers jumping onto this new platform. But then again, it doesn’t have the Mozilla seal of approval.

    October 9th, 2012 at 22:53

    1. Robert Nyman

      My belief here is that both the performance and capabilities in the rendering engines of TVs at the moment is not close to what we see on, for instance, mobile phones.

      The initial target is to offer the mobile market this, and then we’ll see how it evolves!

      October 10th, 2012 at 01:17

  11. Xen vs.

    Current TVs generally score better than current phones. But I doubt it really matters.

    In any case, I just don’t follow the arguments. Just one example: “Anyone could sit down for a weekend and put together an application without having to pay for a single thing.”

    Yes? And that’s exactly what I did on Android?

    “The initial target is to offer the mobile market this, and then we’ll see how it evolves!”

    What’s in it for them? Why should Samsung use this instead of Android?

    October 10th, 2012 at 01:56

    1. Xen

      And I should have spotted the ‘reply’ link…

      October 10th, 2012 at 01:57

    2. Robert Nyman

      The score on some high-end TVs is definitely good, but it doesn’t account for actual performance, rendering quality etc. From what I’ve seen, TVs have a way to go there, but they’re definitely getting much better as we speak.

      With developing applications, you can do that on Android, but in general for distribution, you need to cover the costs. I believe the point there was, though, that developing with HTML, CSS and JavaScript is as lightweight as can be.

      When it comes to any hardware partner, it’s not really for me to say what their business decisions should be based on. But one of our operator partners, Telefonica, see great possibilities with an operating system that isn’t as resource-intensive as Android, thus, in theory, giving the possibility to develop smart phones for a lower cost.

      October 10th, 2012 at 06:47

    3. Rob Hawkes

      Regarding the ‘developing for free’ argument… this isn’t unique to JavaScript, it’s purely one of draws and the major reasons why it’s such a widespread, popular language, with incredible amounts of documentation.

      I didn’t mean for it to sound like JavaScript is unique in this area.

      October 10th, 2012 at 06:52

  12. Dipankar

    I personally have been following Firefox OS closely and do believe this will change the dynamics of how the low-end smartphone market works. Android with its fancy whistles and bells completely neglects that in my opinion. As a end user of a variety of android devices, I would really want improvement in the following areas in Firefox OS over android

    1. Easier upgrades to the OS, this is the key. Make it dead simple and linear. No Cyanogenmods and so on.
    2. Consistency in key UX functionality, some stuff should stay as it is. You cannot keep expecting mom/dads to figure out how the new app launcher works with every release.
    3. Must easily sync basic music and files, something like itunes must exist to simplify the desktop mobile link.

    I see no reason why even high end smartphones should not be on firefox OS ! I look forward to the rest of the journey and hope the above problems get addressed as an architectural/platform specification.

    Still a n00b around how B2G behaves, hope i did not say stuff that is already in the works!

    October 10th, 2012 at 03:28

    1. Robert Nyman

      Thanks for the feedback!
      Personally, I definitely agree with point 1 and 2, and that’s what I hope for, too.

      In regards point 3, I don’t think a separate application should be necessary, but just easy to transfer files from Windows Explorer/Finder.

      October 10th, 2012 at 06:42

      1. Matthew Babbs

        I think the point about getting files/media onto a phone is that for ordinary people, “If you have to think about it, it won’t get done.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be baked into the OS – you can get by with services like Dropbox (files) and Ubuntu One (files, paid version for media). But having file/media sync built in, NOT having to go via the cloud, is certainly an advantage for Apple.

        It’s certainly not essential for the v1 release, but longer-term, a ‘Firefox Home for PC’ would be very nice. Particularly if it sync’ed without needing USB!

        October 10th, 2012 at 07:42

  13. Brian Lowe

    “because we can” is never a valid reason for doing anything, especially when you’re embarking on some massive project that’s going to demand investment in time and effort from anyone who tries to make use of it.

    I need promises like;
    it’s faster in use than other offerings
    it’s cheaper to license
    it’s more robust or reliable
    it’s easier to leverage
    it has a significant user base
    it’s less resource hungry
    it’s future proof

    You could write a new OS in Java, C, or assembler, or any of dozens of languages, the important questions is “should I?”, not “can I?”

    October 10th, 2012 at 16:00

    1. Robert Nyman

      I somewhat agree, somewhat disagree. When it comes to the promises you ask for, all I can say is that they are important factors and naturally we work hard to meet all of them.

      When it comes to languages and the reasoning behind Firefox OS:

      Mozilla believes the web needs to be open. With the shift we’ve seen in the mobile sector and various operating systems becoming silos and non-interoperable, there needs to be an alternative based on open technologies.

      That way, you don’t necessarily custom-build things for Firefox OS, you build things for the web, no matter which device accesses it.

      So, I believe we should. To show that there are alternatives (just like Firefox was to Internet Explorer) and to show the possibilities of the Open Web.

      October 11th, 2012 at 04:12

  14. Ken Corey

    Biolab really shouldn’t be used as an example of a mobile, in-browser, javascript game.

    If you read the behind the scenes discussion, what the developer did was to compile a javascript core library himself and emulate just enough of the canvas API for javascript in OpenGL, so that the speed is smooth.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d *love* to see this as a viable cross-platform way to deliver javascript games…I just wonder if we’re truly crossplatform yet.

    In-WebView Javascript still struggles for games, /especially/ on cheap phones. Phonegap is interesting for small programs, but for larger programs, it just doesn’t have the oomph.

    I can’t wait to see how Mozilla gets around the throttles and bottlenecks.


    October 10th, 2012 at 23:05

    1. Rob Hawkes

      The aspect of Biolab (and Impact / Ejecta) that you’re talking about is the part that handles porting JavaScript games so they can run ‘natively’ on iOS. This isn’t the part that runs within the browser on desktop, mobile or Firefox OS.

      The core Impact engine (and Biolab) that runs on Firefox OS and any other browser is pure JavaScript with no custom binaries or emulated calls to OpenGL – it’s 100% browser technology.

      It’s a testament to how far JavaScript has come to see this pure JavaScript implementation achieving frame-rates of around 60fps on a very low-end device. The fame-rates are even higher on high-end devices (that Firefox OS isn’t launching with).

      To put it another way, Firefox OS doesn’t run in a WebView so it can access the full power of the hardware without having to jump through a lot of hoops behind the scenes. You’d be surprised at the perfrormance you can squeeze out of these Firefox OS devices when compared to browsers running in Android, for example – Firefox OS is much faster.

      We are definitely aware that mobile performance isn’t ideal yet (and we’re working to make it better), but the situation is much better than you might think.

      October 11th, 2012 at 04:43

  15. Mike

    FirefoxOS needs to bring something different to the table to avoid becoming another “me too failure”. WebOS failed, despite it’s far superior UI experience (IMO). RIM’s new QNX based OS will suffer the same fate, despite have a better UI experience than Android and iOS. Again in my opinion. Also, in my long running experience, Firefox is the slowest browser on all my desktop operating systems, often painfully slow. How will this change on mobile platforms with less horsepower? Forgive the cynical comments but this just feels like Firefox raising its hand and squeaking “hey don’t forget about me”.

    October 11th, 2012 at 04:34

    1. Robert Nyman

      UI is of course part of it, but it also comes down to performance, applications, capabilities and much more. I do agree that it needs to stand out.

      For developers, the goal there is that they can reuse their existing skills with HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build complete mobile applications as well as web apps.

      I think I’m coming from a different perspective when it comes to performance:

      a) I believe Firefox on desktop is getting faster and faster. If it’s painfully slow for you, it doesn’t sound right and you should talk to Firefox support to see what you can do (could, for instance, be related to an old profile)

      b) Having seen Firefox OS in action on, in my opinion, very weak mobile devices, I’m certain that a very good performance can be achieved.

      October 11th, 2012 at 04:50

  16. Ahmed Nefzaoui

    I agree with Dipankar regarding point 3.. Not just for syncing music but also an itunes-like (and more expanded) desktop app lets you install your FFOS apps directly from the Desktop, maybe managing contacts, personalized configurations and SMSs :)

    October 14th, 2012 at 07:49

    1. Robert Nyman

      It is interesting to discuss what people look for and need in general. We’ll see what kind of syncing operations there will be. :-)

      October 14th, 2012 at 20:36

      1. Steve Price

        With that WebUSB API you have in the pipeline, it might be possible to write and open web app users can install on a desk/laptop that could do “syncing”. There are tons of possibilities with all these new APIs, whether on a mobile device or not.

        October 15th, 2012 at 19:45

  17. Fabien

    Thanks a lot for this article.
    I like Mozilla and especially this new project.
    The User interface will be the same on each smartphone or manufacturer will be able to develop their own user interface on top of Firefox OS?

    October 27th, 2012 at 13:08

    1. Robert Nyman

      Hopefully anyone will be able to tweak the user interface of their phones, since it’s all HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. But it is still decided how it will work, exactly.

      October 28th, 2012 at 16:39

  18. Ahmed Nefzaoui

    Just relating to my last comment.. Airdroid is an app example of what I was talking about.. It’s actually a web app that you can open in your browser, uses wifi connection to connect your device.. and while using its web interface you can take control of almost every piece of your device and OS, hoping an idea like this one will get shipped with our lovely FirefoxOS :)

    October 28th, 2012 at 18:21

  19. Phil Holden

    I don’t own a smart phone yet. I am a web developer. I would love a phone where I could script everything. Where the web felt like the main or only thing rather than just one app among many. If every menu screen was just a web page served by an internal web server I could optimise my phone for exactly the things I use it for. Would be very nice if I could deploy to it using Git.

    November 4th, 2012 at 02:32

  20. Andy

    What are the preferred JavaScript frameworks to use? jquery mobile? Sencha touch? Best to do home made?

    December 29th, 2012 at 18:44

    1. Robert Nyman

      Well, I’d initially advise you to try it out without any external JavaScript frameworks, to learn about the environment and various WebAPIs that are being offered.

      Then I’d make the assessment whether a library would be necessary or not – it completely depends on what you are trying to do.

      Additionally, I’d recommend looking at fxosstub to get a simple starting point.

      December 30th, 2012 at 13:17

      1. Andy

        Played a bit with out, but with out any graphics, widgets, or page transitions, it ends up being less then ideal to get much done, minus some framework. Do you recommend something like bootstrap or like wise to get some of that work done?

        January 1st, 2013 at 15:36

  21. Ronnie

    I am a 16-year-old student from India and a tehcnical enthusiasist…………

    From last 2 or 3 years I develop using Web technologies…
    And in all my tests, practically, firefox never failed… And since, we’re getting it
    on a movile device, natively, it will be better to see how the student community will come up and develop…

    Many students from across several countries, some are even youger, actually can do miracles with JS… cause, its simple, and it will run on ‘HIS’ or ‘HER’ laptop/PC/cell as well

    And now, coming to this part, when they’ll see my phone apps and PC is how well sync’d, they’ll come up and stand by us..

    Thats firefox to the Student community.. an unleashed power…. which can be controlled with anyone who has passion…

    January 4th, 2013 at 01:05

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