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Mozilla has been working hard on Firefox OS, their mobile operating system using web technologies as the primary application platform. Today they have announced that developer preview devices will be available soon. Billed as the Geeksphone, these devices actually look pretty good specs wise, including a Snapdragon processor, an 8 MB camera, and a 4.3” screen for the Peak model and slightly lower specs for the Keon model.
What is interesting about Firefox OS is that every app is a web app. The homescreen is basically a really advanced list of bookmarks. This means that right out of the gate, right now in fact before it has even shipped, there are already millions of apps available for Firefox OS based smartphones. Of course, once it is released, developers will be able to take advantage of some of the more advanced APIs that Firefox OS enables installed applications to use. Things like access to contacts, camera, notifications, in app purchase, etc.
If you’re interested in developing apps for Firefox OS yourself, you should check out their getting started guide, install the Firefox OS simulator on your desktop, install it on your own hardware, or purchase one of the new developer preview devices released today. Also be sure to check out the long list of awesome WebAPIs Mozilla has been adding to the web platform to make this possible.
Congrats to everyone at Mozilla that made this happen. I’ll be interested to see where this goes and to see if the web can make a comeback on mobile!
As for other HTML 5 features, they’re using the Filesystem API (only available in Chrome ATM) for local file caching during uploads and downloads, as well as the drag and drop API, the FileReader and writer APIs, and more. Check out the source code and the site for yourself over at mega.co.nz.
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