10 Lesser Known Facts About Mozilla Firefox OS and Devices


Written by  Ritu Saxena | 25 January 2013
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firefox.pngDid you hear? FireFox OS Developer Phones are on their way to reach out to the developers so that they can actually see how their mozilla apps work on the phone hardware? These phones are being developed by Geeksphone in partnership with Telefonica and would most likely be available in February. Currently two models are available Keon and Peak. 

Peak is a higher end model among the two with support for 8MP back camera and 2MP rear camera, bigger screen and longer battery life. But RAM for both these models is limited to 512 MB. The actual phones too will not take too long to enter the market.

Till now what everybody knows is that
Firefox OS is an Open Source OS based on HTML5, JavaScript and CSS, after going through the user comments and answers to the queries posted on the mozilla blog (announcing the availability of developer phones) by Robert Nyman the editor of the blog, I found some interesting lesser known facts about FireFox OS and the Mobile Devices to come, which I am sharing for the benefit of all.

Q: “Some more information on the price and availability of the phones?”
A: “The idea is that those two models should be available in early February. To my knowledge, there are no pre-orders at this moment and no specific price information. Please check back and hopefully in a couple of weeks, we will have more information for you!”

Q: “Would be great to have a phone with a OS which does not capture my personal data, I guess it doesn’t right? Getting sick of Android and IOS who are trying to connect all my dots to get a total picture of me unwanted.”
A: “The idea with Firefox OS is that it’s completely open, and part of that is about not having any interest in saving your personal data. I can only speak for Firefox OS and where we at Mozilla stand when it comes to openness and no personal data collection.”

Q: “Are there NFC chips on these devices? I can’t see it listed on the site or here and well, I think that’s a big misstep, nfc payments are launching in the UK this year…”
A: “WebNFC is planned for a future version, but will most likely not be in the initial one.”

Q: “As it’s a developer preview, will it still work with any SIM card and will we be able to call and so on with it or is it an “offline” phone (except for WiFi)?”
A: “I’m not sure about the details, but to my knowledge it should work everywhere UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA) is supported. It should work with normal SIM cards (I’ve personally used a test phone – not the above – for placing calls, getting SMS etc).”

Q: “It will be interesting to see how it competes against iOS, Android, and (eventually) Tizen.
A: “In general, I would say that it competes in a different segment to the regular iOS and Android one – Firefox OS phones are targeted at emerging markets, will have a different pricing and are meant to be able to get much better performance with lower spec hardware.”

Q: “Any plans for a high-end phone, closer in spec to a Nexus 4, or do you only plan to have instructions for installing onto existing Android devices for that?”
A: “At the moment, we’re targeting emerging markets to hopefully be able to offer more of them smart phones, with the open web. I can’t say more for the future, at this moment.”

Q: “I don't understand the details about what is open source and what is not. But I understand that Google Android is not Open NOW as it was used to be and was promised. Hope this will not happen with Firefox OS.”
A: “Basically everything on the phone – UI, apps etc. – is based on open standard technologies, HTML5, CSS & JavaScript. This is different from the other major smart phones out there.

Q: “Dual-sim phone please at a reasonable price, and you surely have my money.”
A: “Not likely this time around, but who knows for the future?”

Q: “Would this OS also apply to TV sets? Being HTML5 then maybe it’s a good option, if having apps handling bigger screen and no touch control.”
A: “It could potentially work. For instance, Firefox OS has been ported to Raspberry PI as an experiment.”

Q: "All these comments and nobody is mentioning the paltry 512MB RAM? Seriously, why so little?”
A: "Mainly, it’s about pricing. The ideas is also that Firefox OS – with only a Linux kernel and the Gecko (Firefox) rendering engine on top of it – is to be very lightweight, and won’t need a lot of memory. Initial testing with games, frame rates etc. supports that."

Ritu Saxena

Ritu Saxena

Ritu is the technical brain behind the website and comes from a strong development background across Web and Mobile platforms. She is our senior editor primarily responsible for Product Reviews and in future will be leading Start-Ups, Mobile and Quality areas.

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