GDC 2014: Mozilla and Partners Prove the Web is the Platform for Gaming

Mozilla

Last year at the Game Developers Conference, Mozilla unlocked the Web as a powerful platform for gaming by presenting asm.js, a highly-optimized version of JavaScript that allows a developer to bring C/C++ games to the web and reach near-native speeds. We showed that asm.js paired with WebGL and Web Audio enables fast, rich, and immersive 3D gaming experiences on the Web without plugins.

This year Mozilla is building on this momentum by working with some of the biggest names in the gaming industry as well as innovative web-based tool providers to bring their products to the Web. With these tools, developers working on all kinds of games will be able to more easily create and collaborate on new games and port their existing gaming titles directly to the Web, while enjoying the scale of Web distribution without the friction associated with plugins.

Mozilla is also opening up the path to 3D Web-based games on mobile, thanks to the near-native performance of asm.js. Leveraging the Web as a platform for gaming on mobile gives developers significantly more flexibility in reaching players and delivering content. These technologies already work well in Firefox for Android and will be coming to Firefox OS later this year.

Unity 5:
Mozilla and Unity are announcing new deployment tools bringing Unity-authored games to the Web. With its upcoming Unity 5 game engine and WebGL add-on developers will now be able to export their content directly to the Web using WebGL and asm.js, reaching millions more people than is possible with a plugin solution.

Epic Unreal Engine 4:
Mozilla and Epic Games are demonstrating how the Web is continuing to evolve as a powerful platform for gaming by porting Unreal Engine 4 to the Web and providing a sneak peek of Epic’s Soul demo, running in Firefox at near-native speeds thanks to asm.js optimizations. Last year, Mozilla and Epic Games generated significant excitement around the Web as a platform for gaming by showing Unreal Engine 3 running on the Web and showcasing Epic Citadel.

At GDC, NomNom Games will be showcasing their upcoming title Monster Madness. The game is based off the original Unreal Engine 3 work done by Mozilla and Epic and is an amazing example of a full multiplayer game powered by WebGL + asm.js. The game will be online during GDC at www.monstermadness.com and NomNom expect to release it in May.

New Web-based Game Development Tools:
Game development tools built on Web technologies are emerging as a new way to help developers build HTML5 games. Targeted at developers that are familiar with the Web and prefer the ease of JavaScript development, these tools often make use of asm.js to optimize specific areas, such as speeding up physics computations by using an asm.js port of the popular Ammo physics library. They are a great example of using asm.js libraries alongside more traditional JavaScript as a showcase of what is now possible on the modern Web.

PlayCanvas
PlayCanvas offers advanced collaborative tools for creating games for the Web, allowing people to work remotely and edit the same content, all live and within the Web browser. On Mozilla’s booth at GDC, PlayCanvas will be demonstrating what’s possible with their tool with the Swoop demo, running on both desktop and mobile. PlayCanvas will also be showing Dungeon Fury on Firefox OS.

Goo Technologies:
Goo’s gaming platform will also be showcased on Mozilla’s booth at GDC and consists of Goo Engine, a 3D JavaScript gaming engine entirely built on WebGL and HTML5, and Goo Create, a visual editing tool built on top of that engine. Goo Create can be used to create everything from simple product visualizations to interactive ads to entire games, all built on top of the modern Web.

To see all these technologies and demos in action, including our new Firefox developer tools for gamers, come visit the Mozilla booth #205, Epic booth #1224 or Unity booth #1402 at GDC.

Mozilla and Unity Bring Unity Game Engine to WebGL

Mozilla

Mozilla and Unity are announcing new deployment tools bringing Unity-authored games to the Web without the need for plugins, made possible thanks to Mozilla-pioneered technologies including WebGL, a Web graphics library and asm.js, a supercharged subset of JavaScript. Unity’s WebGL add-on will be made available with the release of Unity 5.0 later this year.

Millions of Unity developers will have the opportunity to export their Unity content directly to the Web without the friction of plugins while maintaining smooth and silky gameplay. To demonstrate this technology in action, Unity and Mozilla are showcasing a preview of the popular game, Dead Trigger 2, running in Firefox at near-native speed.

“Unity is one of the most innovative companies in gaming so their commitment to WebGL and asm.js really strengthens support for Mozilla’s vision of a high performance, plugin-free Web,” said Vlad Vukicevic, Engineering Director at Mozilla and inventor of WebGL. “This development unlocks the full potential of the Web for Unity developers.”

Unity developers will be pleased to hear that their games will work well in all modern desktop browsers that fully support WebGL, with superior performance coming from browsers such as Firefox that specifically optimize for asm.js.

“We believe WebGL and asm.js will be driving the future of gaming on the Web. We’re happy to see the platform mature and look forward to helping to drive its evolution,” said Ralph Hauwert, Senior Developer, Unity Technologies. “Our work with Mozilla has been incredibly productive. Together we have overcome many challenges, so that today we can announce the WebGL deployment add-on for Unity that will provide the best possible experience that our developers have come to expect.”

“One of the questions game developers ask us most often is whether Unity will support WebGL and asm.js,” said Martin Best, Game Platform Strategist at Mozilla. “We’re happy that this support is now a reality and look forward to a new era of high-quality games on the Web.”

Unity’s Web plugin is one of the most installed plugins on the Web and so this has clear positive impact on developers. With WebGL technology, developers will be able to market their games more easily by providing just a Web link and without any additional plugin to download. That means developers can expect more users to play their games. Using open Web technologies also provides an easier path to publish and update games over multiple platforms and test new features.

This effort demonstrates Mozilla and Unity’s firm commitment to the Web and we appreciate Unity’s support of WebGL and asm.js.

This is a big day for evolving the Web as a platform for gaming and we are very excited to see what experiences developers will bring to the Web using this powerful technology.

Mozilla and Epic Preview Unreal Engine 4 Running in Firefox

Mozilla

Today, Epic Games and Mozilla are demonstrating how the Web is continuing to evolve as a powerful platform for gaming by providing a sneak peek of Epic’s Soul and Swing Ninja demos, running in Firefox at near-native speeds. This video is the first glimpse of Unreal Engine 4 running on the Web without plugins.

Mozilla and Epic Games have showed the power of the Web as a platform for gaming by porting Unreal Engine 3 to the Web and showcasing Epic Citadel, using asm.js, a supercharged subset of JavaScript pioneered by Mozilla. In less than 12 months, optimizations have increased the performance of Web applications using asm.js from 40% to within 67% of native, and we expect it to get even faster. This performance opens up new opportunities for giving users an astonishing and delightful experience, from within their choice of Web browser. Any modern browser can run asm.js content, but specific optimizations currently present only in Firefox, ensure the most consistent and smooth experience.

“This technology has reached a point where games users can jump into via a Web link are now almost indistinguishable from ones they might have had to wait to download and install,” said Brendan Eich, CTO and SVP of Engineering at Mozilla. “Using Emscripten to cross-compile C and C++ into asm.js, developers can run their games at near-native speeds, so they can approach the Web as they would any other platform.”

Unreal Engine 4 is built to power the next generation of games, and is designed to scale from PC and console to mobile and the Web. We’ll be excited to see what new breakthroughs are in store once developers have access to the underlying Unreal Engine 4 code that targets asm.js and the Web.

“We were blown away by what this Mozilla-pioneered technology achieved with Unreal Engine 3 on the Web, so we had no hesitation in working with Mozilla to port Unreal Engine 4,” said Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO, Epic Games. “We believe the Web has a crucial part to play in the future of game development and deployment, and Mozilla has proven it is the catalyst to make this happen.”

Monster Madness from NomNom Games, was the first commercial Unreal Engine 3 game published on the Web, using asm.js. The company is leading the way in showing what opportunities the Web brings to traditional game development and plans to bring other popular gaming titles to the Web.

“Using asm.js we were able to get Monster Madness up and running in a day, and have been extremely happy with how the Web has expanded our customer base, so much so that we’re now planning to expand the technology to our full games portfolio,” said Jeremy Stieglitz, CTO at NomNom Games. “It has also been extremely simple to market our games with just a Web link leveraging channels like social media and to get players into the game straight away with just the click of a mouse.”

To see these products in action at GDC, come by our South Hall booth #205 or Epic’s booth #1224. Mozilla will be demoing a wide range of partner solutions to help address the needs of a broad range of developers wanting to harness the power of the Web for gaming. We also invite you to attend one of our talks, where we’ll be showcasing asm.js and other Web technologies with in depth descriptions of both the technical underpinnings and the business case for the Web.

Stay tuned for more exciting gaming news.

25 Years of Human Potential

mitchell

The World Wide Web is the greatest tool for knowledge sharing and collaboration we have ever seen. In the 25 years it has existed — only a third of a modern lifespan– the Web has affected almost every aspect of life for much of humanity, and will do so for even more of humanity in the years to come.

The Web shows us the creativity and ingenuity and diversity of humanity. The Web empowers all of us to try out new ideas and offer them to the world, without needing to ask the powerful for permission. The rapid pace of innovation shows us what humanity is capable of when powerful tools are made equally available to all of us.

The next 25 years will show us whether this openness can be maintained in some significant degree or whether the Web will become “business as usual.” Today many groups are working to tame this explosive openness and potential, some for very legitimate and understandable reasons. Governments seek to limit or control the Web to protect their citizens, either from criminal activities or to protect cultural norms. Some governments seek to regulate the Internet to protect and propagate their own positions. Companies seek to tame the Web to build their business and return value to shareholders.

Mozilla believes that the full range of human potential must be represented on the Web. We believe that the power of the Web is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. We will continue our dedication to building this portion of the Web and of online life.

Today on the Web’s 25th birthday, we are joining with the Web at 25 campaign and the Web We Want campaign to enable and amplify the voice of the Internet community. We encourage you to visit www.webat25.org to send a birthday greeting to the Web and visit our interactive quilt to share your vision for the type of Web you want.

Click below for thoughts from Mozilla CTO and SVP of Engineering, Brendan Eich on the 25th birthday:
https://brendaneich.com/2014/03/the-web-at-25/

MWC Update – Hope for the Future

pscanlon

Hello Mozillians and friends of Mozilla!

A departing note from Mobile World Congress where we’ve been asking the questions and having the conversations that advance the opportunities for Firefox OS in 2014.

While the efforts to deliver the devices and launches we pledged to our peers last year have been tremendous, they were only the first steps toward shaping the mobile industry and providing people with a platform that allows for participation by all. We made a tremendous impact at MWC this week, reaching an estimated 80,000 attendees. But for our Firefox OS initiative to have as similar a reach on the smartphones shipped in 2014, our efforts will need to scale by a hundred times what they were in Barcelona.

A Firefox OS farewell from the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona at MWC 2014

A Firefox OS farewell from the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona at MWC 2014

It’s an ambitious challenge to be certain, but not an impossible one given our history of disruption, making a difference with the open Web, and working with partners who are aligned with our cause. One of the most meaningful meetings for me this week was a discussion with the conference organizer’s “Mobile for Development” team, whose programs aim to bring mobile services to underserved people in emerging markets. Our conference room went quickly over capacity for an informal discussion around working together to improve lives through mobile services delivered on Firefox OS.

We are leaving MWC tired but hopeful about the path ahead. To capture the inspiration that will drive this project forward, the final installment in our short film series asks Mozilla attendees about their aspirations for the future whether that be defined as the next year, five years or 10 years – which incidentally will be the anniversary of our Firefox browser release later this year:

I invite all of you to watch their vision and to ask what your hope is for the future of this project, and for the future of people connected across an open platform.

Many thanks for your time and participation this week. I’ve greatly enjoyed the chance to connect with you here, and look forward to building on this conversation as we continue our collaborations to change the mobile industry.

Pete Scanlon
Acting Chief Marketing Officer

MWC Update – Question Closed

pscanlon

The Firefox stand has been crowded and loud this week, but the most clear voice from our floor has been a single chorus of collaboration.

Our celebration of 16 launches across 15 countries with four global operators and as many device partners reflects not only what we’ve accomplished over the past 12 months, but how we’ve done it as well — as a collection of contributors across companies who believe passionately about opening access to the opportunities of a digital life.

As Mozilla innovates and advocates for the technology that brings the Open Web to mobile, we also advance the tenets of an open source community — enabling, contributing, supporting and sharing the knowledge to move our mission forward together. As our environment has expanded from desktop to mobile we’ve discovered Mozillians in unexpected places who also believe in the possibility of, and potential for people, both individually and collectively.

The Future of Firefox OS, demonstrated in the Fox Den at MWC 2014

The Future of Firefox OS, demonstrated in the Fox Den at MWC 2014

Together, we see a path out of the old and into the new. We envision an open exchange that not only allows interaction over the Web, but through the Web. The latest in our short films from MWC captures the passions of people who are bringing the future to life through this progressive process:

Please watch it and then ask yourselves how your experience with Mozilla reflects the relational elements of an open source project: enabling, contributing, supporting and sharing knowledge.

One more to come as we close an exceptional week.

Thanks again

Pete Scanlon
Acting Chief Marketing Officer

MWC Update – Unleashing the Future

pscanlon

Hello again from Barcelona –

This year when attendees visit our booth at MWC, we’re asking them to “Unleash the Future” with a web based platform that enables an entire mobile ecosystem. The phrase is on our stand’s wall, our materials, and on our promotional banners that hang over the entrance to Hall 3.

But what does Unleashing the Future mean?

For operators and device manufacturers, an unleashed future may mean a path of independence from the business relationships and platform dependencies that have driven their organizations forward to date. For mobile developers it can mean the ability to build apps and experiences more easily, the ability to reach new audiences, or the ability to participate in new types of financial relationships with users.

Day One on the Firefox stand at MWC 2014

Day One on the Firefox stand at MWC 2014

But for the most important audience, the people who will use the devices powered by Firefox OS, Unleashing the Future means all of the above, and more. Mobile means the Web itself and everything it can offer. Being connected to a modern world means having access to the information, skills, and opportunities that can move lives forward. Mobile provides not only the ability to consume, but also to create. To hear and to be heard. To connect, and to be connected.

Unleash the Future speaks to us as Mozillians well. As an organization we’ve moved beyond a browser focus solely, and have expanded the range of products that carry our values to more people around the world. Unleashing the Future changes how we work together, who we work with as partners, and how we enable and empower the people who trust us to be their agent in a virtual world.

Part of the Mozilla team here in Barcelona has created a great short film that captures thoughts and reactions from a few MWC attendees:

I invite you all to watch it, and then to ask yourselves how Unleashing the Future changes what you do in 2014.

More to come from MWC.

Pete Scanlon,
Acting Chief Marketing Officer

MWC Update – The Power of Partnerships

pscanlon

Greetings from the Gran Via –

What’s unique for Mozilla at this year’s Mobile World Congress are the tangible results of the partnerships we have built over the past 12 months with mobile network operators, device manufacturers, and app developers. The devices we show and the experiences we demonstrate are the result of working with external organizations to collaboratively create something new and exciting.

Building relationships on the Firefox stand at MWC 2014

Building relationships on the Firefox stand at MWC 2014

While this may seem like a different direction for Mozilla (since we’re not directly offering a product to an end user) the principle of partnership is core to who we are and how we interact with the world. Included in our team at MWC this year are both representatives from the Community and HTML5 app developers who worked with Mozilla to bring their content to our platform. Both reflect a belief that one side can both teach and learn from the other and that both are engaged in a mutually beneficial relationship.

This shared sense of purpose is perhaps the most exciting demonstration on our stand this year. The chance for Mozilla to bring its values of openness, transparency, and opportunity into partner organizations who traditionally do operate with those elements at the center of their culture is just getting started. As we move forward with our 2014 goal to scale Firefox OS, our ability to introduce Mozilla’s values and culture into companies also scales and grows.

In these types of exchanges, Mozilla can evolve as well. As we continue to place the power of the Web into the hands of communities and contributors in cities, towns, and villages around the world, Mozilla has a chance to listen and learn about what we can do with our mobile platform, and most importantly what our mobile platform can do for people.

Part of our talented and tireless team in Barcelona has created another great short film that captures thoughts and reactions from a few MWC attendees on this theme:

I invite you all to watch it, and then to ask yourselves how your interactions with partners in 2014 both share Mozilla’s values and culture, as well as provide us with a chance to learn about the communities and contributors who support our mission.

Pete Scanlon
Acting Chief Marketing Officer

New Developer Hardware and Tools Show Firefox OS Ecosystem Momentum

Mozilla

Barcelona, Spain – Mobile World Congress – February 23, 2014 – Mozilla, the mission-based organization dedicated to keeping the power of the Web in people’s hands, today announced new developer reference hardware and tools that will continue to accelerate momentum around the Firefox OS ecosystem, making it cheaper, faster and easier for developers, operators and OEMs to deploy innovative Web apps and create personalized Firefox OS experiences.

Mozilla announced a 4.5” dual-core reference phone, enabling developers to test new Firefox OS features and apps against different memory configurations.  It also expanded the Mozilla tablet program that helps developers test their apps and build out Firefox OS for tablets.

New Firefox OS developer tools and hardware demonstrate ecosystem momentum

New Firefox OS developer tools and hardware demonstrate ecosystem momentum

New Firefox OS PhoneGap integration was also announced, allowing hundreds of thousands of PhoneGap developers to port their existing apps to Firefox OS in a matter of hours, while new WebAPIs will continue to narrow the gap between native and Web apps. At Mobile World Congress, Mozilla also launched developer tools that will allow OEMs and operators to easily customize Firefox OS for a variety of customer segments.

Developers have always been the key to driving innovation around the Web, and continue to enable it as a platform for app development and distribution. With these new reference devices, tools, and WebAPIs, Mozilla is catalyzing the growth of Web apps and continuing to break down the barriers and restrictions inflicted by other app ecosystems. The Web not only simplifies app development and reduces fragmentation, but allows developers to own the direct customer relationship with the option to host their own apps and or sell them through the Firefox Marketplace.

Vision Mobile recently published a report showing that developer interest for Firefox OS continues to grow, capturing 7% of developer mindshare in just six months. The report also highlighted that during Q1 2014, 52% of developers were already using HTML5 for mobile websites or Web apps with an additional 16% indicating their intention to join them.

A recent survey by Strategy Analytics found that the number of mobile app developers building for Firefox OS is expected to triple this year, showing the biggest rise in developer interest of any mobile platform.

This industry momentum is fueled by the fact that there are already millions of Web developers programming in HTML5 who are eager to target mobile without having to learn a new programming language, or pay engineers to target specific mobile platforms.

The following expanded reference hardware, tools, and WebAPIs, will continue to drive growth of the Firefox OS ecosystem and help prove why the Web is a powerful platform for app development and distribution:

New Reference Phone

At Mobile World Congress, Mozilla is showcasing its new developer reference phone, the Firefox OS Flame, enabling developers to test the capabilities of Firefox OS in a real environment with a mobile network and true hardware characteristics like the accelerometer, NFC and camera. Like the commercially available Firefox OS phones, the Flame developer reference phone is powered by a Qualcomm processor, in this instance a high powered 1.2GH dual core processor, so developers can test their more processor-intensive games and apps with ease. Developers looking to target their apps for specific Firefox OS phones with lower memory footprints also have the option to alter the RAM capacity of the Flame, from 1GB to 256MB, to see how their apps would perform on lower specked phones. The Flame also provides developers and early adopters with access to the latest Firefox OS builds to test nightly releases and contribute to the overall development platform.
Firefox OS Flame Specs (Reference device):

  • Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon, 1.2GHZ Dual core processor
  • 4.5” screen (FWVGA 854×480 pixels)
  • Cameras: Rear: 5MP / Front: 2MP
  • 3G UMTS quad-band (850/900/1900/2100)
  • 8GB memory
  • 256MB -1GB RAM (adjustable by developer)
  • A-GPS, NFC
  • Dual SIM Support
  • Battery capacity: 1,800 mAh
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, Micro USB

Hundreds of Thousands of PhoneGap Users Can Now Target Firefox OS

Firefox OS will be supported in the next release of PhoneGap, the leading developer tool for building apps across platforms. This builds on the recently announced Firefox OS integration with Cordova, a popular Apache Foundation open source project that allows HTML5 applications to be packaged as native apps.

PhoneGap is a mobile application development framework used by hundreds of thousands of developers. It is based upon the open source Apache Cordova project and allows developers to write an app with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and then deploy it to a wide range of mobile devices with the same capabilities as native apps. With the Firefox OS integration, developers can now port their existing PhoneGap apps to Firefox OS in a matter of hours, with minimal work. For more information, please see this Hacks post.

App Manager Simplifies App Development with Live Prototyping and Debugging

App Manager brings the Firefox Web developer tools to mobile app developers. It shows how the power of the Web helps developers test, deploy and debug Web apps on Firefox OS phones directly from their desktop. The Firefox Web developer tools are already used by millions of Web developers for creating Web pages, and now the App Manager extends these capabilities to mobile app creation, with the same familiar workflow. There is no SDK to download, developers simply use the App Manager as part of the integrated developer tools in the Firefox browser.

Because the App Manager and Firefox OS both use open Web technologies, debugging, live editing and prototyping is straightforward.  For example, an operator or OEM may want to prototype different branded homescreen themes for different audiences. Using the App Manager, they can code this on their desktop and in real-time see the changes appear on their connected Firefox OS phone, eliminating lengthy build times.  To see how this is done, please see this MDN article.

New WebAPIs and Industry Adoption  

There are now more than 30 Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs with at least eight new APIs introduced in the last year, including WebNFC and Data Store API. These new APIs build more functionality and features into the Web for app development. There is increasing industry adoption as these APIs move towards standardization. Samsung added the Vibration API and Battery Status API to WebKit, while tools like Apache Cordova and Adobe’s PhoneGap now integrate six of the most popular WebAPIs into their products.

Foxconn and VIA Join Tablet Contribution Program  

Mozilla recently introduced a tablet contribution program aimed at accelerating the build of Firefox OS for tablets and its supporting ecosystem, with Foxconn as the first hardware partner.

As part of the Firefox OS tablet contribution program, VIA is offering a 7” Vixen reference tablet for developers around the world to help the Mozilla community complete the build of Firefox OS for tablets. Developers can now apply to be a part of this program from this Mozilla Hacks post.

Developer Reference Tablet Specifications:

VIA Vixen:

  • 7’’ 1024×600 HD LCD screen
  • 1.2 GHz Dual Core Cortex-A9 processor
  • ARM Mali-400 Dual-Processor GPU
  • 8GB storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • Cameras: Front 0.3 MP, Back 2.0 MP
  • Wifi: 802.11 b/g/n

Foxconn InFocus:

  • 10” screen (1280 x 800 pixels, 24-bit color)
  • A31 (ARM Cortex A7) Quad-Core 1.0GHz w/ PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
  • 16GB storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • Cameras: Rear 5MP/ Front 2MP
  • A-GPS
  • Battery capacity: 7,000 mAh
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, Micro USB

“It’s clear that more and more developers are choosing the Web as their preferred development platform for mobile apps, as the technical gap between native and Web apps narrows,” said Brendan Eich, Mozilla CTO and SVP Engineering. “We listen to what developers are asking for to make the Web their primary development platform and think Mozilla and its partners have made significant progress with these new hardware, tools, and WebAPIs. It’ll be exciting to see what new mobile innovations come in 2014.”

Media Contact
press@mozilla.com

Firefox OS Expands to Higher-Performance Devices and Pushes the Boundaries of Entry-Level Smartphones

Mozilla

Barcelona, Spain – Mobile World Congress – Feb. 23, 2014 – Mozilla, the mission-based organization dedicated to keeping the power of the Web in people’s hands, today previewed the future of Firefox OS to show how the flexibility, scalability and powerful customization will empower users, developers and industry partners to create the exact mobile experience they want with relevant and innovative features, localized services and more.

Expanding Ecosystem

Today, device partners ALCATEL ONETOUCH, Huawei, LG and ZTE are all using Firefox OS on a broad range of smartphones that are tailored for different types of consumers. The Firefox OS devices unveiled today showcase dual-core processors for better performance, higher screen resolution and more. The newest Firefox OS devices to join the family include the ZTE Open C and Open II, Alcatel ONETOUCH Fire C, Fire E, Fire S and Fire 7 tablet, all using Snapdragon™ processors from Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a leader in mobile communications.

ALCATEL ONETOUCH, Huawei, LG and ZTE are all using Firefox OS on a broad range of smartphones that are tailored for different types of consumers

ALCATEL ONETOUCH, Huawei, LG and ZTE are all using Firefox OS on a broad range of smartphones that are tailored for different types of consumers

In the few months since initial launch, Firefox OS smartphones are now available in 15 markets, with new operators and new markets around the globe announced today. Mozilla is working to create a level playing field with the openness of the Web. The ecosystem is catching fire and resulting in development of new form factors beyond the smartphone. For example, Panasonic announced they will make SmartTVs powered by Firefox OS, Foxconn and Via are making Firefox OS tablets, and Mozilla is working with suppliers to enable devices for all target user groups.

Significant growth is also happening with apps and content on Firefox OS, proving the Web has the potential to be the world’s largest marketplace. Firefox OS offers two ways to discover and utilize apps and content – the Firefox Marketplace and an adaptive app search that enables discovery and access to apps that users can instantly use once or download to keep. This innovative approach helps maximize data and storage usage.

The ZTE Open C will offer the latest version of Firefox OS in Venezuela and Uruguay in Q2 of 2014

The ZTE Open C will offer the latest version of Firefox OS in Venezuela and Uruguay in Q2 of 2014

The Firefox Marketplace has seen thousands of developers submitting apps and millions of downloads of popular global and relevant local apps. Top global apps include Cut the Rope, Disney’s Where’s My Water?, Facebook, EverNav, HERE, Line, Pinterest, SoundCloud, The Weather Channel, TimeOut, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube.

The Firefox Marketplace makes it possible to create local and niche apps with relevant regional content by allowing developers to build on basic Web technologies, without gatekeepers. The top new local apps in the Firefox Marketplace include Despegar.com travel booking, Capp World Cup highlights, Captain Rogers game, Manana reading app, Napster, SurfTime and more.

Future of Firefox OS

At Mobile World Congress, Mozilla is showing off a preview of what to expect from Firefox OS in the coming year and what’s possible when the Web is the platform.

Firefox OS is made to change with each individual and adapt to his or her interests and needs with features like adaptive app search, offline use and cost control. New content can be enjoyed instantly with a simple search, making downloads virtually a thing of the past. Firefox OS offers deep levels of customization that are unmatched by any platform or device. This is possible because Firefox OS is built on the flexible technologies of the Web and the user interface is made of a modular architecture of building blocks that make it easy for anyone to customize.

Upcoming versions of Firefox OS will offer users fun and innovative new features and services including new and intuitive navigation, a powerful universal search feature, support for LTE networks and dual SIM cards, easy ways to share content, ability to create custom ringtones, replaceable home screens and Firefox Accounts.

New versions of Firefox OS have many performance improvements that dramatically improve the user experience including speedier launch times, smoother scrolling and improved keyboard accuracy.

Here are highlights on a few of the features coming next for Firefox OS:

  • Deep customization options for operators and manufacturers, developers and users. This includes the ability to create custom ringtones and replaceable home screens, which were direct requests from Firefox OS users.
  • A new universal search that will revolutionize how users discover content on their phones. The feature is available on any screen – simply swipe down from the top to find new apps, content or navigate to anything on the phone or the Web.
  • New navigation features to make multitasking intuitive, fluid and smart, much like how users interact with the Web. Users can easily swipe from the left and right edges to seamlessly move between pages, content and apps in a fun way that saves time.
  • Easy and direct sharing of content (and even software updates) in a secure way with NFC support, without the need for data or Wifi.
  • LTE support to make the mobile experience even faster.
  • Firefox OS will introduce Firefox Accounts and services. Firefox Accounts is a safe and easy way for users to create an account that enables them to sign in and take Firefox everywhere. With Firefox Accounts, Mozilla can better integrate services including Firefox Marketplace, Firefox Sync, backup, storage, or even a service to help locate, message or wipe a phone if it were lost or stolen.

As the platform evolves, Firefox OS will enable new technologies for the mobile industry. Mozilla is already leading the way in areas like gaming, privacy and security, WebRTC and other services. Firefox OS is a great platform for which partners can build additional services that meet the needs of their customers regionally and individually.

Early examples:

  • Telefonica offers a very helpful cost control app for customers to manage their usage and top off their account.
  • Deutsche Telekom just announced they are utilizing the deep levels of customization Firefox OS offers to develop new privacy features for the Future of Mobile Privacy project, a joint effort with Mozilla to create effective, user-driven privacy functionality for mobile devices.
  • WebRTC is an open, standards-based technology that enables operators to offer services like real time chat, image and file sharing. With WebRTC, operators can let users make calls to any desktop or mobile device, regardless of platform or service provider.

“We’re pleased to see the Firefox OS ecosystem grow so quickly as users, developers and partners come together to experience and build the future of mobile experiences,” said Andreas Gal, Mozilla Vice President of Mobile. “Firefox OS will continue to evolve and add more features to offer choice and customization that is unmatched by any other smartphone. We’re excited to see what other features and services will result from an open platform being contributed to by developers, partners and community around the world.”

Media Contact
press@mozilla.com