Dev

Here’s the newest version of Firefox OS: more features, more languages, more speed

Above: Home screen on Firefox OS

Image Credit: Jolie O'Dell / VentureBeat

When web-based mobile operating system Firefox OS first launched, it was definitely a rough draft. But Mozilla, as always, is quick to smooth rough edges and add polish, even as its latest project expands into more markets around the world.

Today, the foundation is announcing new geographies and a new version: Firefox OS 1.1.

With the new OS version, you’ll now be able to send MMS pics, audio, and videos. There’s also a new API for push notifications and enhancements to the Contacts, Calendar, and Email apps. The OS has gotten some overall speed and performance boosts, as well. Check out more improvements and details on the Mozilla blog.

Here’s a quick photo tour of the basic but functional UI:

Another exciting update is the addition of new markets to the Firefox OS map. Now, Mozilla’s carrier partners are bringing Firefox OS devices to Brazil and other parts of Central and South America, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Hungary, and other locations around the world.

Telefónica’s open web devices director, Yotam Ben-Ami, said in a statement on the news, “These first launches of Firefox OS in Spain, Colombia, and Venezuela have surpassed our expectations demonstrating a strong consumer appetite for a great value and open smartphone offer. We now look forward to bringing the benefits of Firefox OS to our customers in Brazil and three other Latin America markets during Q4 2013 as well as making it available through many more Telefónica operating businesses during 2014.”

Also, Deutsche Telekon CPO Thomas Kiessling said, “Deutsche Telekom’s launch of the first Firefox OS smartphone in Poland is very successful. We are really pushing the device to all T-Mobile Poland’s points of sale and experience that people are absolutely keen on exploring the possibilities of the new operating system. We are now excited about the upcoming sales start for our Congstar customers in Germany. And we will bring the first devices to Greece and Hungary soon.”

Of course, the very existence of Firefox OS fans the already heated debate over web technologies on phones versus native applications. Our upcoming DevBeat conference, Nov. 12-13 in San Francisco, will have a lot more on this topic. It’s a hands-on developer event packed with master classes, presentations, Q&As, and hackathons, all aimed at boosting your code skills, security knowledge, hardware hacking, and career development. Register now.


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