Mozilla shows off Firefox OS build on a ZTE phone

Back in July, Mozilla announced that its mobile operating system, officially named Firefox OS, would be put into some low end smartphones starting in early 2013 in Brazil. The OS is based on HTML5, the same language used to make websites and other applications.

Now a video has been posted to the official Firefox channel showing off the features of Mozilla OS running on a developer phone by Chinese manufacturer ZTE, which you can view below.

The demonstration, which was recorded last Thursday and uploaded on Friday, shows the dialing capabilities, contacts list, Firefox browser, virtual keyboard, camera, a photo gallery, and Marketplace app for finding and downloading additional software.

The video also shows an example of an app called Galactians2 by Space Monster Games being installed from the Marketplace (jump to 2.45) and then being launched.

The big selling point for Firefox OS is not only that it's open source, all of its features, including messaging, calling, apps and more, will be based on HTML5. Mozilla states:

"Due to the optimization of the platform for entry-level smartphones and the removal of unnecessary middleware layers, mobile operators will have the ability to offer richer experiences at a range of price points including at the low end of the smartphone price range, helping to drive adoption across developing markets,"

You can also get in on the action, Mozilla is allowing anyone with a Windows, Linux or Mac PC to check out and even test builds of Firefox OS.

You can download the Firefox OS daily desktop builds right now. Head over to the Gaia Hacking Wiki page for instructions on how to set up your PC to install it.

Update: As some of the comments are already pointing out, the OS is laggy and choppy, but it is designed for low end phones, so don't expect much!

Source: PC Advisor

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31 Comments

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As some of the comments are already pointing out, the OS is laggy and choppy, but it is designed for low end phones, so don't expect much!

Isn't that what people say about Android. *rimshot*

This isn't about low end phones, when you KNOW this device is faster than a 1st generation WP7 device and an RIA in IE9 would run faster.

A really horrible implementation of an HTML5 based OS, with once again a browser designer treating HTMl5 content like a 'document' and rendering it and not moving to the new paradigm of treating it like code, and compiling and running it.

Why is GPU acceleration so hard for these companies? Windows 3.1 had 2D GPU acceleration, surely they could offer this level of 'advanced technology' by now, right?

I know Android is still trying to catch up to the IMPRESSIVE Windows 3.1 GPU UI acceleration technology, but this is getting to be laughable now.

Using HTML5 for the UI of an OS is not a bad idea, as it could be built around Microsoft MVVM concepts and rather robust. However, without UI assisted acceleration on the GPU, it is kind of worthless.

It is like running Chrome with the GPU features disabled, or Firefox with the GPU features disabled. Which are horribly slow messes, even compared to IE9 with its GPU acceleration turned off.

ThePitt said,
hltm5 based OS, nice. Laggy? No thx
It won't be laggy when it's released, it's also a good reason for moz to not release these videos before its done because clueless people sit there hating on an unfinished product.

So let me get this straight:

1) Beg for money from Google to continue development of browser.
2) Copy Chrome's release cycle and update mechanism to "stay current".
3) Kill off e-mail client to stay "web-only" (like Chrome).
4) Create "me-too" phone OS to compete with Android/Chrome OS.

Yeah, that's a good way to spend Google's lunch money. Get rid of that weird Femi-Nazi (i.e. feminist) CEO calling the shots and replace her with someone who truly cares about the company and its products.

Why people can't just understand that this isn't even a beta.. this is FirefoxOS at its very early stages.. changes will follow.. including changes in the UI, Performance and Technology, period

An OS is not based on html5, maybe it's presentation layer is, but that's about it. HTML 5 btw is still short for markup language, I know journalists like to use it for an entire range of technologies nowadays. But javascripting != HTML 5

This looks like something you would have had before Andriod before iOS like something on a Restive touch based Phone in 2005/6 i know it is maby far from being done but even Andriod 1.5 or 1.6 cupcake would run better then this on a 500mhz phone with 256mb of ram

It looks slow/choppy at parts ... how fast is the phone they have it on? I keep on reading "low end Smart phone".

Mortis said,
Very poor. This seems to be at minimum 5 years behind the current standards (UI & performance).

I would say that they would like to get the core systems, concepts and features up and running (with plenty of bug testing), before they start working on optimisation and performance.

This is why Firefox is falling to the waste side. They need to force on their browser instead of all these side projects that will never go anywhere.

ACTIONpack said,
This is why Firefox is falling to the waste side. They need to force on their browser instead of all these side projects that will never go anywhere.

So they should've never worked on the Thunderbird project? tssktssk
Mozilla was originally working on the Mozilla browser, which was redone in a 'side-project' as you call it, to become the Firefox we all came to know.

ACTIONpack said,
This is why Firefox is falling to the waste side. They need to force on their browser instead of all these side projects that will never go anywhere.

If anything, Firefox is falling by the wayside.

不令人敬畏

Goodbye Mozilla. You sure wasted all your revenue you've got from Google on frivolous projects while abandoning the only you were good at. Goodluck failing in the future.

Edited by LAMj, Sep 11 2012, 8:22am :

LAMj said,
不令人敬畏

Goodbye Mozilla. You sure wasted all your revenue you've got from Google on frivolous projects while abandoning the only you were good at. Goodluck failing in the future.

Is this a translation?