Survey shows mobile web developers interested in Firefox OS

With just days ahead of Firefox OS official launch in mobile markets, it has already made an interesting debut in a periodic survey conducted by IDC and platform developer Appcelerator.

When asked what mobile platforms they are interested in developing for, 25% of mobile developers mentioned Firefox OS. While it is of course small compared to 95% interest for iOS and Android, it is not bad at all for a yet-to-be-launched new OS.

Interestingly, the survey also shows 35% of developers are interested in HTML5 mobile apps which is Firefox OS’s platform suggesting great interest in creating platform independent, standard based applications that requires one and only one development and distribution effort.

Mobile survey
Mobile survey

Via TechHive.

 

Top performance and better social interaction in latest Firefox update

The latest Firefox update, released today brings several important improvements. Among them, support for asm.js is without the most relevant as it lowers the bar for hundreds of potential applications to run inside the browser enjoying performance only thought for desktop applications until today.

To put it simple: if a developer has a desktop application today, say written on C++, he can today compile it to JavaScript instead of lower level code. Since it is JavaScript it can now be run on the web. The trick is that instead of compiling the C++ code into “full” JavaScript it is into asm.js, a subset that is deeply optimized within Firefox (IonMonkey), resulting in very important performance improvements with minimum time required: Epic was able to port its ubiquitous Unreal 3D engine to the web in four days! Continue reading Top performance and better social interaction in latest Firefox update

First Firefox OS phones going on sale next week

Spanish Geeksphone and Mozilla presented the first Firefox OS cell phones that are expected to become available next February.

Two models have been presented.

FirefoxOS on Keon
FirefoxOS on Keon

The Keon, is the entry level model, and features:

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1Ghz
  • UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
  • Screen 3.5″ HVGA Multitouch
  • 3 MP Camera
  • 4GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
  • MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proxmity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB
  • 1580 mAh battery
  • Over the air updates
  • Unlocked, add your own SIM card

peak_mobile01

And Peak, the higher end phone:

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.2Ghz x2.
    UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA).
    GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE).
    Screen 4.3″ qHD IPS Multitouch.
    Camera 8 MP (back) + 2 MP (front).
    4 GB (ROM) and 512 (RAM).
    MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proxmity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB, Flash (camera).
    Battery 1800 mAh.

 

 

 

 

While Firefox OS has reached 1.0 status just today, these phones are aimed to developers and not end users, so it will definitely differ from the final version.

In the past, Geeksphone has offered Android phones like its Zero model, but it now looks completely focused on releasing the Firefox OS phones.

More details to come as the phones become available in February.

 

Private windows coming to Firefox

If you have always felt like Firefox’s Private mode was lacking something, probably it was a way of browsing in private mode some pages while keeping your regular, non private ones open at the same time.

The time is coming as Firefox nightlies (Firefox 20) now feature private windows where you can browse with confidence that no history, passwords or forms will be kept after you close a private window.

Instead of Private mode, the Firefox menu features a New Private Window item that does precisely that.

Privtae window option in Firefox menu screenshot

Now you can have private and non private windows side by side, and more importantly, you don’t have to close your current session to browse some other pages.  Private window along with regular on in irefox screenshot

An option to open a link in a new private window is also available from links’ context menu.

OPen link in private window screenshot

Private windows won’t be available in final form until April next year according to Firefox’s release channels update plans, but daredevils’ can get it from Firefox Nightlies web page today.

Update your Google search bar favicon

Firefox search bar with new Google icon screenshotGoogle updated its favicon recently and of course it is coming to Firefox in a future release. But if you don’t want to wait  for the fix, here’s a tip to keep up with the times.

  1. Download this updated version of the Google search plugin. (Only change is the updated data: url for the favicon)
  2. Copy it to your searchplugins folder in your Firefox install folder  (typically C:Program FilesMozilla Firefox on Windows), and overwrite the existing google.xml file.
  3. Restart Firefox.

Enjoy!