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Firefox OS 1.1 Released, Mozilla Prepares For 2nd Round of Device Launches

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the onward-and-upward dept.

Mozilla 76

SmartAboutThings writes "Mozilla has officially introduced the first update to its mobile Firefox OS. The very first update to Firefox OS adds some important new features, performance improvements and additional language support. Some of the most important changes include MMS support, Push Notifications API, Contact Management enhancements, Firefox browser downloads, Keyboard improvements and much more. In a separate announcement, Mozilla also said that new launches of Firefox OS smartphones will begin soon with more devices and in more markets around the world."

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Great device (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45085601)

I have a Firefox OS device. It's very cool and it's nice to have alternatives to android and apple.

Re:Great device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45087715)

Hey! Don't forget Symbian.

Re:Great device (1)

madcat_sun (2812213) | about 10 months ago | (#45087831)

Yep symbian its good. But I think it will be dropped after ms bought nokia

Re:Great device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088079)

Imagine the backlash if this said:
I have a Windows Phone device. It's very cool and it's nice to have alternatives to android and apple.

Re:Great device (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089249)

Windows Phone is actually quite nice. I switched to one from Android and I am really not missing anything. In fact, I prefer the interface, it's a lot more cohesive and polished.

Re:Great device (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45089361)

I like the fact that developing apps for it uses only Web technologies. Every other mobile platform suffers from NIH syndrome:
  • Java that's incompatible with Java for Android
  • Objective-C (seriously, what?) for iPhone
  • Ubuntu Phone can't even decide on a single technology (QML or HTML5)
  • and Windows Phone is even worse with a baffling array of JScript, C++, C# and VB.NET

At least with Firefox OS you stand a reasonable chance of being able to reuse some of your code in your web project as well as your mobile project.

Re:Great device (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 10 months ago | (#45089763)

Windows Phone is even worse with a baffling array of JScript, C++, C# and VB.NET

WP8 supports apps developed entirely in HTML5/JS.

Re:Great device (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 10 months ago | (#45089835)

Sounds to me like Ubuntu Phone, Windows Phone, and Firefox OS are all using web technologies in their 'native' toolkits.

What makes Firefox OS any different, such that you stand a reasonable chance of being able to reuse some of your code in your web project only with Firefox OS?

Re:Great device (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45090615)

Well, Firefox OS is the only one only using Web technologies. With the other two, you might have been using one of the other options for any number of reasons, like for instance that C++ was faster, or your boss thought that JavaScript was a toy language, or that the API you actually needed for the app was missing in the web app version, and then that cut you out of reuse.

What would be even better is if all these manufacturers got together and worked out a common API. Then developers wouldn't have to write a different app for each device. It can't really be that hard.

Re:Great device (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 10 months ago | (#45093245)

What would be even better is if all these manufacturers got together and worked out a common API. Then developers wouldn't have to write a different app for each device. It can't really be that hard.

Web standards tend to be out-paced by tectonic plates, but I'm sure we'll see one for 'native app' development eventually.

I haven't looked at the Firefox OS APIs, but I imagine the existing web standards (HTML5) cover most of what a developer could want, at least in theory.

Re:Great device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45093287)

You do realize that server-side languages still count as web technologies right? You can build a website on top of a C++ backend if you really wanted to (and people have). You're severely limiting yourself if all you want to use is HTML/CSS/JS.

Also, if you're going to bring Node.js up as a "backend but javascript" argument, that actually proves my point rather than disproving it. Because it means backend == web technology.

Re:Great device (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#45096499)

Well, Firefox OS is the only one only using Web technologies.

How can you possibly pretend that limiting the application development to those specific technologies is a good thing?

With the other two, you might have been using one of the other options for any number of reasons, like for instance that C++ was faster, or your boss thought that JavaScript was a toy language, or that the API you actually needed for the app was missing in the web app version, and then that cut you out of reuse.

Like you said, you might have been using other options for any number of reasons and the ability to do that and not be restricted to a niche set of technologies is a good thing.

Re:Great device (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45099323)

How can you possibly pretend that limiting the application development to those specific technologies is a good thing?

Because that is the only way to forge a standard.

Re:Great device (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#45116245)

Because that is the only way to forge a standard.

What 'standard'?

Re:Great device (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45119331)

The hypothetical one I am describing that would unify software development for the mobile platform.

Re:Great device (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#45119585)

When you say for the 'mobile platform' you mean for FirefoxOS?

Re:Great device (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45130461)

I mean for Firefox OS, Ubuntu Phone, Android, Windows Phone, iOS, and any other or future platforms for tablets, phones, wearable computing, and other mobile devices.

Re:Great device (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#45136669)

What's would be the point of that? We can already do that with web applications if we want cross-platform support. Then for places where native code is more suitable we can develop native apps. Removing the ability to do native code and limiting it to only web applications is just restrictive silliness.

Re:Great device (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 10 months ago | (#45130481)

By the way, do you have multiple accounts with a little bot army that just goes round modding up your comments? Because they don't really seem particularly insightful to me.

Re:Great device (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#45136693)

They're modded '1', the default moderation when posting from a registered account, the same as yours. Is that such a hard concept to grasp?

Re:Great device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45096111)

Funny, because I enjoy the fact that I can run the exact same apps and games on my Windows 8 desktop as I can on my Windows Phone.

Not Version 2.0? (0)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 10 months ago | (#45085653)

No new major version? From a Firefox branded product?

Who's the target audience here, if Android is for the customization crowd and Apple is for the just-works crowd?

Re:Not Version 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45085735)

No new major version? From a Firefox branded product?

Who's the target audience here, if Android is for the customization crowd and Apple is for the just-works crowd?

People too goddamned stupid to RTFM and customize but too poor to pay rental to the Walled Garden.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45085823)

People too goddamned stupid to RTFM and customize but too poor to pay rental to the Walled Garden.

Mozilla is even worse than apple. SSL_DUPLICATE_SERIAL, disable javascript, don't use the fucking tabs? nonono, the user is a moron that has to be forceably "protected"...

Re:Not Version 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086077)

So what are they going to run this on? Dirt and rocks? If the price of android ( $0 ) was the reason manufacturers weren't making devices these people could afford, I can't see how FFOS will change things.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45087443)

It is my understanding that Firefox OS has performance advantages over Android (which, based on Java it's not hard to see how) that will allow it to run reasonably on low end hardware. Now if they can actually get it sold on mid-range phones it might perform quite well, assuming that using the OS itself starts to suck less.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089235)

Yes, they are dumbing down the SW in a pace that soon only a dumb will be able to use it. I bet next version of FF will be marketed as "new FF xx.y, now with 10% less features."

Re:Not Version 2.0? (2)

BZ (40346) | about 10 months ago | (#45085773)

The target audience is people who don't have a smartphone yet, most probably because they can't afford to pay for a $500 phone. Which is most people in the world, so far.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 months ago | (#45086039)

Probably could include also the people that worries about their own privacy. While is not failsafe, is better than most commonly used alternatives (cyanogenmod+fdroid, ubuntu touch, and maybe tizen could be others)

Re:Not Version 2.0? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 10 months ago | (#45086145)

The target audience is people who don't have a smartphone yet, most probably because they can't afford to pay for a $500 phone. Which is most people in the world, so far.

Low-spec Android phones are available for less than $100 now in the developing world, so again, it's not clear what niche Firefox OS is filling here.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086559)

A platform so open you can create apps from inside a webpage using drag'n'drop [youtube.com]

Re:Not Version 2.0? (1)

BZ (40346) | about 10 months ago | (#45087139)

FirefoxOS performs a lot better on devices at that price point than Android does.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (1)

puto (533470) | about 10 months ago | (#45087935)

Sorry, But I just brought six Motorola Defys running android to my six sister in laws in Colombia, all running Angry birds and Whats app. They have five megapixel cameras, military spec, and I paid sixty bucks for each one and I just got a call from one sister in law asking me if I could bring ten more down to sell because everyone loves them. You can also get the Nokia Asha, which they love all over South America. My next round of phones to bring down are Samsung Galaxy S2s which I can get for 150 nearly new, show me a Firefox devices that can perform as well as those 2 with an app store.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#45098941)

That in itself doesn't disprove GP's post, however I have certainly seen the assertion a few times that FFOS outperforms Android on lowend devices yet not really seen any proof to back that up, and certainly not anything to prove that it outperforms it in any significant measurable way. Android seems to perform adequately on lowend devices - as your anecdote suggests - so unless FFOS is significantly faster and more efficient it isn't worth throwing away support for the entire Android app catalog.

Re:Not Version 2.0? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45085777)

Just works, but cheap?

Re:Not Version 2.0? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 10 months ago | (#45086125)

It sounds like you're asking if its open or closed. its open. Marketing is rather limited in many markets, so it remains to be seen what argument they have for it, other than "firefox! now for your phone".

Didn't know it launched. (4, Interesting)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 10 months ago | (#45085667)

Not trying to troll or anything, but despite a casual interest in Mozilla and mobile OS's and being an avid desktop FF user I had no clue it was out of beta. No doubt I missed a post or two, but considering I use FF Mozilla's top product and am often sent to their site to report bugs I really think they should fire their marketing people. Breaking into mobile is hard. If a guy who has been using FF since it was still called Phoenix isn't aware you put out a final product I would venture to guess the people who just stopped clicking the big blue E on their desktop are not likely to be coming out in droves. Something has gone seriously wrong at Mozilla over the last few years and this is just another example.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (2)

BZ (40346) | about 10 months ago | (#45085755)

Are you in a market where it's available in stores? The marketing has mostly focused on those markets, obviously.

That said, the launch was covered on Slashdot back in July: http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/13/07/09/1414232/mozilla-launches-firefox-os-devices-in-stores-opens-up-app-payments [slashdot.org] and several other articles, as well as other tech press. No non-tech-focused marketing in the US so far, since it's not like you can buy one of these in a store in the US right now...

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 10 months ago | (#45088283)

I live in south america and haven't heard a word about it being out of beta. Where ARE they marketing it?

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

BZ (40346) | about 10 months ago | (#45088361)

As far as I know, in Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Poland, so far.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (4, Informative)

4wdloop (1031398) | about 10 months ago | (#45085925)

I just found out you can buy a FF OS Phone for $80 on eBay (for development I suppose)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281165818989 [ebay.com]

Re:Didn't know it launched. (2, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 10 months ago | (#45086381)

The answer is simple: It's not ready. I mean, it's probably ready for release as production software, but as a phone OS, it doesn't appear to be ready to be exposed to the majority of the world. For example, 1.1 just got MMS capabilities. Based on just this alone, 1.0 would have just been laughed out of the market.

Their current target, I suspect, are enthusiasts and very, very early adopters. It's the people who don't really care that their phone is missing half of the basic features found on other phones. It's people who are more interested in developing applications (add-ons?) for the OS than for people who want to use the phone.

I expect you'll see them ramp up their marketing efforts as the software becomes more feature-complete. Until then, it's just not ready for end users.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

narcc (412956) | about 10 months ago | (#45086715)

For example, 1.1 just got MMS capabilities. Based on just this alone, 1.0 would have just been laughed out of the market.

Funny, the first iPhone didn't support MMS and it manged to survive.

I expect you'll see them ramp up their marketing efforts as the software becomes more feature-complete. Until then, it's just not ready for end users.

They made how many for the first go round again? Something like 1000 that they only sold through eBay? I'm going to guess that they don't think it's ready for end users either.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

NothingMore (943591) | about 10 months ago | (#45087263)

The first iPhone also wasn't competing against three other smartphone platforms.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

narcc (412956) | about 10 months ago | (#45087569)

Nonsense, of course it was.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

Wing_Zero (692394) | about 10 months ago | (#45087983)

so PalmOS, BackBerry, Windows CE or Symbian don't count as smartphone OS's?

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088985)

Of course not, duh. Everyone knows that the iPhone was the first smartphone. Apple invented the market, and everyone else are just riding on their coat tails.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 10 months ago | (#45098969)

The first iPhone also wasn't competing against three other smartphone platforms.

Sure it was, Symbian, Windows Mobile, PalmOS and Blackberry (at least they were the major ones). iOS was a disruptive product and that's why it has succeeded, FFOS (and Ubuntu Phone, Windows Phone, Maemo, Meego, webOS, etc...) is not, it's only distinguishing feature is its supposed performance on lowend hardware.

Desktop linux distros made a similar play for the PC market and failed due to not being disruptive products and they even had more in their favor than just higher performance on lowend hardware, they were open and free (of cost), FFOS is as well but it is competing with the established Android which is also open and free (of cost), the closed parts of Android (device drivers and such) are all things FFOS shares with Android anyway.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 10 months ago | (#45087985)

I expect you'll see them ramp up their marketing efforts as the software becomes more feature-complete. Until then, it's just not ready for end users.

Thats sounds like a page straight out of the ol' MS playbook.

Re:Didn't know it launched. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089893)

Do people use MMS these days? Don't people just email photos and videos instead?

Re:Websites wont render (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 10 months ago | (#45087197)

Another issue is we have IE 6 back again in style.

Its name this decade is called webkit. [pcmag.com] . If the web server detects it is a mobile device it outputs Webkit specific (chrome/Safari) CSS that is not W3C compliant.

Complain and the answer is webkit owns 95% of the market so go fsck yourself and buy a droid or iphone like everyone else. Kind of like we do not support Netscape anymore in 2003 even though you used Konsqueror or Firefox .4.

Drives me nuts to see the same developers who praise webkit and use non W3C compliant html5test.com to base their opinions then go out and bash IE 6 and who write code on the mobile end that wont work Windows Phone/Windows 8 either.

I WILL WAIT FOR VERSION 26 !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45085713)

Which is only a few weeks away I hear !!

I really want to see... (1)

gQuigs (913879) | about 10 months ago | (#45085783)

how the update story is contracted to work and for how long. And is there a contingency for if the manufacturer stops wanting to update the phone?

Intorducing the new Slashdot Phone! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45085807)

Get hourly updates featuring
-Vague laws misinterpreted by engineers to be threats to privacy/civil liberties
-The latest release of every obscure Linux distro and its shortcomings compared to 10 other distros
-Factually spurious articles about the death of the IT industry
-Philosophical flame wars about the validity of alternative energy/electric cars
-Mental masturbation regarding drones/macs/climate change
-Hypothetical discussions of Rasberry Pi created by Arduino driven 3-D printers purchased with BitCoins
-Windows 8 trolling

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Fully compatible with
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*Unicode support included in a future update

Re:Intorducing the new Slashdot Phone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45085847)

¦...
¦Profit!

Re:Intorducing the new Slashdot Phone! (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 10 months ago | (#45085927)

Automatic user-transparent failover to 4chan in the event Slashdot goes down.

Re:Intorducing the new Slashdot Phone! (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#45087051)

but does it run on a beowulf cluster?

ta3o (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45085889)

Re:ta3o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45087703)

Seriously? That domain doesn't even EXIST anymore!

No native API (0)

qbast (1265706) | about 10 months ago | (#45085933)

Mozilla is making the same mistake as Apple did when iPhone first came out.

Re:No native API (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086041)

There are _lots_ more useful native-interfacing APIs in the Firefox OS platform than Apple shipped with iOS.

It's been half a year (5, Funny)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 10 months ago | (#45085981)

I figured they'd be on version 47 by now.

Re:It's been half a year (4, Funny)

Like2Byte (542992) | about 10 months ago | (#45086435)

I figured they'd be on version 48 by now.

Well...your post was over an hour old when I read it.

That's nice and all.. (4, Funny)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 10 months ago | (#45085983)

Firefox OS is nice, but what it really needs is a good web browser.

Re:That's nice and all.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086545)

Firefox OS is nice, but what it really needs is a good web browser.

You joke, but it's true...

The one thing stopping me moving purely to the ZTE Open as my primary device is the poor web browsing experience (okay, and the keyboard isn't amazing...)

Re:That's nice and all.. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 10 months ago | (#45087147)

You have lazy fucking ass web developers who write proprietary non W3C compliant -webkit code [pcmag.com] to thank. Probably the same ones who bash IE 6 for doing the same and made MS specific CSS back in the day too.

If the web server detects mobile it outputs only webkit CSS as webkit owns 95% of the market so why support anything else?

I am tempted to switch to Firefox from Chrome as I feel I am part of the problem and would be what hte world will look like in the future if Chrome won. Just like 2003 when you received Netscape not supported when you used any browser but IE 6 on 40% of the web.

Re:That's nice and all.. (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#45088621)

Herd mentality is the most predictable of all human responses. But, rest assured, this will be the sixth time we have re-invented PostScript, and we have become exceedingly efficient at cocking it up.

Re:That's nice and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089349)

Well said

I'm conflicted: I'd like to mod this as both 'funny' and 'insightful' -- shame that there's no "sadly all too true" option.

Re:That's nice and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45087843)

The most annoying thing (apart from the keyboard) is the decision NOT to give us a switch that says 'pretend to be firefox for android', which would solve many (not all) of the situations where you can't get a site to give you the mobile interface because they are still UA-sniffing.

The second most annoying thing is mobile gmail relying on -webkit CSS prefixes.

To be honest, other things stopped me switching to my ZTE Open. It just gets randomly sluggish over time, for one thing, and the screen is not great.

Firefox OS though... cross fingers it'll work out fine.

1.1 might make things nicer I guess!

Re:That's nice and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086927)

As an owner of the ZTE Open, I can confirm that the device needs a better browser.

Re:That's nice and all.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45090931)

Well, now they have more motivation to make Firefox work better in a ARM device with too little of RAM and a slow flash drive. This can be a really good thing for the Android version too as they share most of the browser's code. I truly hope the FF has enough resources to work on this project and that they do not just concentrate on the UI changes.

Sorry Mozilla (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086053)

I don't care about your shitty, bloated browser or your shitty phone OS.

It's drag'n'drop easy to create webapps for. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086533)

Re:It's drag'n'drop easy to create webapps for. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45087083)

And when you are done watching their video also check out both of their WebRTC videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-94ie_79Zn4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqGCYoYvrOg

ZTE Open... not "open" enough... how about others? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45086569)

Firefox OS's US debut was on the ZTE Open (I think some are still available, $80 USD phone too!). However it's not free software friendly in that last I checked (in the past month) nobody had figured out how to compile the OS from scratch for this phone. Not the ZTE release code nor the Mozilla code. If this is going to be a useful project this stuff needs to work. They should be avoiding phones that have non-free drivers/firmware too. While I understand the OS is 100% free (which is an improvement) the phones aren't and that's a major problem. I'm not suggesting that the modem firmware is released either. However things like wireless drivers and graphics should be released. And ideally they should separate the modem, GPS, gyroscope, memory, and mic from the rest of the phone such that these things can be turned on/off by the user at will and be such that they can't spy on the rest of the phone nor user.

We have a long way to go.

Tablets (1)

Alarash (746254) | about 10 months ago | (#45092963)

Do we know if they plan to make this available on tablets? How about running it on Apple hardware? I have an older Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPhone 3GS that would be perfect for trying this out.
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