ZTE Firefox OS device is massive improvement from last year
At last year's Mobile World Congress, ZTE launched its first attempt at a smartphone running Firefox OS. This year, the company is following up on the ZTE Open with the ZTE Open C, a similarly-styled device that is also aimed at emerging markets. This time, the smartphone arrives with a fair number of improvements over its debut. Electronista took the budget Firefox OS device for a spin to see what's new.
ZTE outlines two upgraded versions of smartphones it launched the same time last year
ZTE has detailed two new smartphones it will be launching at Mobile World Congress next week, among other possible unveilings from the company. The Firefox OS-based ZTE Open C will be shown alongside the Grand Memo II LTE, both following up on the ZTE Open and the ZTE Grand Memo the manufacturer revealed at the same event last year.
Photographs of dual-boot Geeksphone smartphone leak
Geeksphone will supplement its Firefox OS and privacy-oriented devices with a dual-booting smartphone, according to a new rumor and leaked photographs. The Geeksphone Revolution is said to allow the user to choose between Firefox OS and Android at boot, and though its specifications have yet to leak, it appears to be taking cues from the Peak+, rather than the original Peak and Keon smartphones.
Four-inch display, 5MP camera with flash, autofocus on Firefox OS smartphone
LG has launched its first Firefox OS smartphone, with the mobile device going on sale in Brazil starting today. The entry-level LG Fireweb running the fledgling open operating system touts a four-inch, 480x320-resolution display, and though it goes on sale after the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open, the Fireweb offers a few marginal improvements.
OS update follows phone launches
Mozilla has quickly released an update for its Firefox OS, bringing the feature set closer to a full-fledged smartphone platform. Version 1.1 is said to improve performance, with faster application load times and smoother scrolling, while users can now send and receive pictures and video via MMS. Developers can also take advantage of push notifications to help reduce battery consumption.
New tablet, phablets from LG due by end of 2013
LG will be releasing a tablet by the end of this year, according to a company executive. Dimitar Valev, mobile communications head at LG Bulgaria, also revealed that it will also launch a new phablet later this year, as well as hinting at what to expect from the company in terms of smart watches, bendable displays, and Firefox OS devices next year.
Auction site to be first sales venue for Firefox OS smartphone in US
ZTE is putting its Firefox OS smartphone on sale in the United States and the United Kingdom, though not through retail stores for the moment. The ZTE Open will be available to purchase through eBay, with customers able to get the budget handset via "Buy it now" for $80 in the US and £60 ($93) in the UK.
Improved version of Firefox OS developer device shipping September 15th
Geeksphone has opened up pre-orders for an updated version of its developer handsets, this time aimed at the consumer market. The Peak+ offers an improved list of specifications compared to the original Peak and Keon devices released in April, including the 4.3-inch qHD display and version 1.1 of Firefox OS preinstalled.
Firefox OS update brings faster boot times, patches
Owners of Geeksphone devices can now download an update to Firefox OS that will significantly improve their devices' functionality. Firefox OS version 1.1 was announced last week in a tweet from the Geeksphone Twitter account. The update is available for download from the Geeksphone Forum.
ZTE Open on sale in Spain for 69 euros, new Firefox OS simulator due July 11th
Firefox OS smartphones have gone on sale to the general public, with the first batch of devices being sold through Telefonica. The launch in Spain of the ZTE Open, delayed until today following last week's announcement, is accompanied by news that Mozilla has turned on the Firefox OS payment systems, allowing developers to earn through app sales and in-app purchases.
Foxconn manufacturing five devices for unnamed OEM
Foxconn has signed a deal with Mozilla to put the Firefox OS mobile operating system onto a number of mobile devices. The smartphones, to be manufactured by Foxconn on behalf of an unnamed OEM, are also accompanied by the companies showing off a prototype tablet, one that was hinted at in a report last week.
Reveal of Firefox mobile device on day before Computex show
Foxconn is going to reveal a new mobile device alongside Mozilla on Monday, one that will apparently run on Firefox OS. While the event on June 3rd before Computex will showcase a new device of some description, neither Foxconn nor Mozilla have hinted at what it could be, but rumblings suggest it could end up being a tablet instead of a smartphone running the new mobile operating system.
Mozilla updates Firefox OS simulator to 3.0, adds rotation, geolocation
Mozilla has rolled out a new version of its Firefox OS simulator, in order to help with application development. The emulator update to version 3.0, surfacing just after the first developer devices started shipping, adds a number of features, including rotation simulation, basic simulation of a geolocation API, newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia UI, Push to Device, and a number of other bug fixes. The simulator is available to download as a Firefox desktop browser extension.
New API to help pay for goods through credit cards, carrier billing
ZTE and Alcatel target emerging markets
High-end smartphones typically dominate the news at Mobile World Congress, leaving us surprised by the amount of attention garnered by Mozilla's Firefox OS. Earlier this week we checked out Alcatel's One Touch Fire, and today we had a chance to try out ZTE's Open. Both are geared for emerging markets, focusing on maximum features from basic hardware via an operating system built from web standards.
One of first phones with Firefox OS
Mozilla was one of the first companies to hold a Mobile World Congress press conference, where the developer focused on its Firefox OS for mobile devices. Electronista had a chance to try out Alcatel's One Touch Fire, one of the first production devices to embrace the platform. The handset is clearly an entry-level smartphone, seated in a market suited for the fledgling OS.
First devices not expected until later this year
The Linux Foundation has introduced a major update to its Tizen operating system, adding many essential features as developers continue working on the first Tizen-powered devices. Version 2.0, spotted by TG Daily, will enable devices to take advantage of Bluetooth and NFC hardware, while app developers can integrate new features such as text-to-speech and background operation.
MWC press conference to show new phones
ZTE is planning to reveal two smartphones at Mobile World Congress next month. The Grand Memo is an 5.7-inch device running on Android, which also appears to be similar to the previously leaked P945, while a second device is expected to be the manufacturer's first smartphone that will run the new Mozilla Firefox OS.
First devices using HTML5-based apps for native app functions
Mozilla has shown off two "developer preview" smartphones running its mobile Firefox OS. Named the Keon and Peak, the pair of unlocked mobile phones have been make in partnership with Geeksphone of Spain, and are designed to give developers a platform to create and test apps for the new mobile operating system.
Nokia rebrands mapping operations, goes for new platforms
Nokia has announced Here, a new attempt at bringing its mapping services, which already power its own devices and Amazon's Kindle platform, to the web, Apple's iOS platform, and Mozilla's Firefox OS. Here will come with built in offline map capabilities, voice-guided walking navigation, and public transport directions. The Finnish company, known largely for its smartphones but gaining recognition for its location services, also announced that it would be acquiring earthmine, a California-based company whose technologies will be built into Here's 3D map-making capabilities.
Minimalist style with mostly free apps so far
The first mobile units running Mozilla's forthcoming Firefox OS aren't scheduled to debut until early next year, but images of the app marketplace for the mobile OS have leaked to the Internet. Engadget has acquired shots of the Firefox Marketplace, which is still in development; images that show a largely minimalist design that seems to show more focus on categorization and quick app discovery than do Apple or Google's app marketplace offerings. For now, the Marketplace appears to be largely populated by free apps, but that may change depending on how successful Mozilla and its partners are in gaining market share once their devices launch.
Firefox OS said to run similar apps faster than Android
Telefónica has been showing off a prototype phone running Mozilla's recently revealed Firefox OS for smartphones. The Spanish telecom gave TechWeekEurope UK a peek at the prototype device, saying that it's well positioned to make an impact in the mobile sector among developing markets.
Sprint, Telefonica, ZTE, Alcatel on board for HTML5 phones
In a post today on The Mozilla Blog, Mozilla confirmed that next year will see the launch of a number of phones powered by its Firefox operating system. The new operating system, built on Mozilla's "Boot to Gecko project," will run HTML5 apps and is aimed at furthering the development of that standard while providing a low-cost operating system for smartphones aimed at developing markets. The browser maker has teamed with a number of telecoms, including Sprint, Smart, and Telefica, as well as device manufacturers Alcatel and ZTE.