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Will Firefox OS receive its full debut at MWC next month?

Posted By TelecomTV One , 10 January 2013 | 1 Comments | (0)
Tags: firefox OS mobile HTML5

A sneak peak at the latest developments of the Firefox OS for mobile at the CES show suggest that a launch could be just weeks away. Guy Daniels reports.

There’s no official confirmation from Mozilla, or Telefonica, but it’s looking likely that we’ll see a fully functional Firefox OS at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona in February. At this week’s CES event in Las Vegas, the Firefox team were giving sneak peeks of the latest software.


According to CNET, Mozilla demonstrated two changes to how the operating system handles apps. Christian Heilmann, Mozilla's lead developer on Firefox OS, told the news service that its use of manifest files – by which the Firefox OS recognises elements of apps and automatically places them in appropriate categories – could revolutionise app marketplaces:


“App markets right now are like the old Yahoo directory, which Google came along and disrupted.

This could be like that.”


The second change is how the OS will handle app permissions. Some permissions will appear once the app is installed (like Android), whereas others will only appear the first time they are used. How that affects the user is unclear, but we’re sure apps developers will get excited about it.


At last year’s MWC event, Firefox OS had just emerged from the ‘Boot to Geeko’ open source initiative and had only just got all-important backing from Telefonica and other telcos. Now, according to The Verge website, it’s just two weeks away from being finished. Time to do some quick testing before a full launch and hands-on demo at MWC next month? We hope so. We’ve been wanting to put the HTML5-based OS through its paces for a long time now, and look forward to the chance of seeing it working on an actual handset – most likely one of the ZTE devices bound for South America.


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(1) 11 January 2013 04:36:16 by Mark Callow

The change to the handling of app permissions is a big deal more for users than app developers. Users will be able to understand what function of the app requires a particular permission and decide whether or not to allow it or do without the function.

The Android all-or-nothing approach - you can't install an app unless you grant all the permissions it is asking for - is open to abuse and does not provide users any real control over permissions. I hope they will change to the FirefoxOS model.