Firefox OS Updated, Getting Wider Distribution

Chris Lee, Director of Product for Firefox OS, updated the Mozilla blog with news that the company's mobile operating system has been updated to v1.1. The release arrives after the first Firefox OS phones hit the market this summer, and now provides new features, significant performance improvements and support for more than 15 new languages.

That said, Mozilla announced in a separate blog that Firefox OS is expanding into new territories. Telefonica has already released the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire and ZTE Open devices in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia, and now plans to launch Firefox OS in Brazil and three other Latin America markets in 4Q 2014.

Meanwhile, Poland's Deutsche Telekom has rolled out Firefox OS devices under the T-Mobile brand, and is currently planning to launch a device in Germany this month using the Congster brand, followed by additional devices in Greece and Hungary. Norwegian operator Telenor has also confirmed that it plans to launch Firefox OS phones in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro before the end of the year.

"The positive market reception of the first Firefox OS smartphones demonstrates that people like the user experience and openness we're building with Firefox OS," said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer. "We continue to enhance Firefox OS to deliver the best experience for the many people around the world buying their first smartphones. We are looking forward to seeing the response to the next round of Firefox OS launches."

As for Firefox 1.1, the updated platform now supports sending and receiving pictures, audio and video files via MMS, and providing an adaptive app search directly on the home screen. There's also a push notifications API so that developers can push timely notifications, the new ability to download images, audio and video in the browser, and keyboard improvements.

Firefox OS 1.1 also promises faster application load times and smoother scrolling, email enhancements, calendar enhancements, contact management enhancements, and a new music search. This function allows users to simply swipe down from the top of the Music app to reveal a search bar and find music by artist, album or song title. Email enhancements include a draft mode, sending image attachments and downloading audio and video attachments.

Firefox OS is a Linux-based open-source OS that heavily relies on web technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, open web APIs that communicate directly to hardware, and so on. The platform includes its own Marketplace that offers popular apps like Facebook, The Weather Channel, Twitter, TMZ and a number of others. Most apps don't require to be installed while others are less intrusive on the device than native apps found on Android and iOS.

"Mozilla is working on Firefox OS with more than 20 hardware and operator partners to deliver a better and more attainable smartphone experience to first time smartphone buyers around the world, as only 21 percent of global mobile subscribers have smartphones," the Mozilla blog states.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • smeezekitty
    Its been weeks since firefox crashed on me. And I keep it open all the time.
  • shahrooz
    I like their idea, an OS made for low end devices. it can even lead to cheaper low end devices.
  • m32
    ^ I think Android has low-end to high-end devices locked up