Flame owners will be pleased to hear that the latest 2.0 developer preview of Firefox OS is now available via an over the air update.
This release includes six months worth of improvements to features, responsiveness, and stability. To get it, developers simply need to go to Settings -> Device Information -> System Updates -> Check for updates. If you have ‘check for updates daily’ selected here you may have already received a notification that a new version is available to download.
More than 400 developers contributed 5,300 patches in the 24 weeks of development between Firefox OS versions 1.3 and 2.0. 157 of those 400 were first time Firefox OS contributors.
Of particular excitement in 2.0 is the arrival of NFC support from Mozilla and Deutsche Telekom developers.
The WebNFC APIs allow Peer to Peer (P2P) communication between any 2 devices that support NFC Data Type Exchange format (NDEF). NFC passive tags that can present themselves as NDEF compatible tags can also be read and written to. This allows NFC experiences of sharing content (contacts, images, video etc) as well as use cases to read and write NFC programmable tags. More details here: Mozilla Hacks: NFC in Firefox OS
With this release, we’re also bringing H264 hardware encoding/decoding support for WebRTC on top of the already supported features like DataChannel, getUserMedia and PeerConnection APIs for audio and video since v1.4. This makes it easy for WebRTC developers who have current WebRTC apps running on Firefox or Chrome to package these apps up and ship them as Firefox OS applications.
A useful onboard tool that comes with this update is the Developer HUD. This tool gives app developers a convenient way to measure performance, memory usage, and other app characteristics.
If you don’t already have a Firefox OS Flame developer device, you can purchase one here from everybuying.com for $170 including free global shipping.
We hope you enjoy creating new apps for this updated version of Firefox OS. For more information check out the Flame Device wiki page.
About Asa Dotzler
Asa Dotzler is the Product Manager for Firefox at Mozilla