Try Out Mozilla's Mobile Operating System in Your Browser

Emily Price
Try Out Mozilla's Mobile Operating System in Your Browser
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FireFox OS

Mozilla has made a new prototype of its mobile operating system, Firefox OS, available to the public. An early (and still a little buggy) build, the release lets you run the operating system as a Firefox add-on on your computer, allowing you to get a taste of the OS without actually installing it onto a mobile phone.

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An exceptionally open operating system, Mozilla’s main target for Firefox OS is emerging markets. The company is currently conducting research in Brazil to learn how the middle class in the country uses their mobile phones, in order to customize the Firefox OS experience to meet those needs.

“Much like various versions of Firefox, the overall concept here is premium and of quality, but not because it's expensive. Good quality design should be accessible to masses much like our products,” Mozilla’s Patryk Adamczyk said in a blog post about the OS earlier this year. “Our strong focus is on high quality and distinctive design in the marketplace.”

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The phone’s basic functions — calling, messaging, calendar — are all based on HTML5.

While the OS already has a few apps available in its marketplace -– which can also be accessed via the simulation -- Mozilla hopes that by making the simulator available it will be able to attract new developers to the platform.

The first Firefox OS devices are expected in 2013, and Mozilla has already lined up some serious support for the project. China’s ZTE and TCL, two large mobile phone manufacturers, have said they will build Firefox OS handsets. The smartphones will use Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, the same kind of chip found in a number of popular smartphones currently on the market.

In May, I was able to spend a bit of time with Firefox OS running on a Samsung Galaxy S II handset.

Clean and easy to use, the OS has a familiar look while standing out in many ways against other mobile operating systems out there.

Check out a few photos of Firefox OS in action below.

FireFox OS

With Firefox OS, the phone’s basic functions — calling, messaging, calendar, etc. — are all based on HTML5.

Click here to view this gallery.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Flickr, John Antoni

This story originally published on Mashable here.