Firefox Enters the Mobile OS Market, Defying Current Conventions

1 - Firefox Enters the Mobile OS Market, Defying Current Conventions
2 - Firefox OS Seeks to Disrupt the Platform Status Quo
3 - Telefonica Launches the ZTE Open
4 - The ZTE Open
5 - Facebook and Twitter Come Preinstalled
6 - Home Page
7 - Firefox's Familiar Feel
8 - Camera Options
9 - Adaptive App Search
10 - What's an OS Without an App Store
11 - Alcatel One Touch Fire
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Firefox Enters the Mobile OS Market, Defying Current Conventions

by Michelle Maisto

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Firefox OS Seeks to Disrupt the Platform Status Quo

However excellent iOS and Android are, developers have to buy into one or the other, and when they do, "they're pretty much tied to it," said Mozilla's Eich. Firefox "is an open ecosystem for everybody."

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Telefonica Launches the ZTE Open

"We believe that smartphones need to be more open and that the Web is the platform for making this possible," Telefonica CEO Luis Miguel Gilperez said in a July 1 statement. "Consumers should ... have the choice to consume the content they want and the flexibility to take it with them when they change devices. This first Open Web device marks a significant milestone in making that possible."

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The ZTE Open

Telefonica plans to offer Firefox-running smartphones in all the countries it covers by the end of 2014. In addition to ZTE and Alcatel, Huawei, LG and Sony have committed to the OS, as have more than 18 carriers worldwide, including Sprint.

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Facebook and Twitter Come Preinstalled

Mozilla says it worked closely with Facebook and Twitter to ship with their apps preloaded. Contacts from Facebook inform the Contacts app on the phone. Users can send Facebook Messages directly from their Contacts.

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Home Page

Because the Firefox OS is Web-based, users can sync their desktop history, bookmarks and passwords to the smartphones for easy browsing. The phones ship with Nokia's Here Maps, with offline capabilities and smart walking and driving directions, and the Home page is easy to customize.

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Firefox's Familiar Feel

Firefox can run on Android smartphones, and its icon grid will be familiar to any smartphone user. However, the phones are being marketed to first-time smartphone owners, particularly in emerging markets.

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Camera Options

As on higher-end phones, there's a photo editor and lots of filters and photography features for users to play with.

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Adaptive App Search

"You can search based on your intent," according to Chris Lee, director of Firefox at Mozilla. On the Webcast, he gave the example of searching for sushi, which would turn up not only apps with the word "sushi" in the title but restaurant recommendations and instructions on how to prepare sushi. "It's a smartphone that really adapts to your needs," said Lee.

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What's an OS Without an App Store

Mozilla has created the Firefox Marketplace. Building apps for the Web, it says, gives developers full control over their content and access to hundreds of millions of Firefox users through the Marketplace.

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Alcatel One Touch Fire

Deutsche Telekom will soon begin shipping the Alcatel One Touch Fire. Board member Claudia Nemat called it an important step toward driving innovation, as well as competition between ecosystems.

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