The office is still buzzing with excitement from the fantastic FirefoxOS launch in Spain. Huge kudos to our amazing FirefoxOS team and to the amazing Mozilla community who are the lifeblood of everything Mozilla does.
Not only will we have all biggest apps in the world on the Marketplace, we’ll also have some leading content from Interia, one of the leading news and entertainment portals in Poland. Here’s a sneak peak at Interia’s great mobile HTML5 apps!
It is a great day here at Mozilla central as we see the results of over two years work finally hit the market, FirefoxOS is real and is in stores now.
But as we know, the joys of a smartphone extend beyond simply making calls, the big question is what apps do you have? What can you do with the phone?
Happily developer of all stripes are lining up to support FirefoxOS and HTML5. Out of the gate we’ve got one of the more innovative and fastest growing developer ecosystems. Sure, there is still a lot of work do to, but one day one check out who we’ve got on-board with FirefoxOS:
…customers will also benefit from easy access to familiar global and local apps through the Firefox Marketplace. Content partners supporting Firefox OS include EL PAÍS, La Caixa, AS, eBay, Badoo, Terra, Telepizza, Pisos.com, KAYAK, The Weather Channel, TMZ, AOL, Wikipedia, CNNMoney, Huffington Post, TIME and Tuenti. This growing list joins existing apps including Facebook, MTV Brasil, Airbnb, Time Out, Twitter and SoundCloud and demonstrates the continuing evolution of the content ecosystem.
SporTV just released 21 apps for the major football teams (Corinthians, Fluminense, Sao Paulo, Santos, Internacional etc.). This also includes a aggregate Hub App (SporTV Futebol).
SporTV are owned by Globo, the largest TV provider as well as broadcaster of all the live football games.
As we know, Brazilians live and breathe football — so this is a major win for the Firefox Marketplace and lovers of Brazilian football around the world. The apps provide fixture lists, scores, match reports, video highlights and well as league standings. Download and install them today.
A majority of add-ons on AMO are reviewed by volunteer contributors, and they are a big reason why addons.mozilla.org is a safe, thriving place for submitting and downloading add-ons. With the launch of Firefox Marketplace, contributors will again play an important role in helping to shape and nurture a new community.
App reviewers ensure apps submitted to the Firefox Marketplace adhere to security and privacy policies, and meet quality and user experience standards. In return, reviewers enjoy perks such as invitations to special Mozilla events around the world, fast-tracked reviews of their own apps, and cool gear from the incentives program.
You’ll have front-row seats to the apps arriving in the Marketplace, and as one of the first reviewers, you’ll have an opportunity to mentor new reviewers, and have a voice in how the community evolves.
Did we pique your interest? Learn more about the program here, or apply today!
Fast is good. If light didn’t travel at the speed of light, things would be, well, dark.
Fast running can earn you a ribbon or medal; fast thinking may get you out of a jam; fast food can… Well, never mind. But you get the idea: In general, fast is really good.
Fast updates for apps are really good, too. If you’re a developer, you’d like to get the latest and greatest versions of your apps out to users as quickly as possible, right? HTML5 is the right tool for the job.
Here are just a few examples:
Version control and updates: Need to fix a bug or publish an upgrade, large or small? With HTML5, developers can update once on the server and they’re done! It means that your customers will get the update right away. Not so with a native app; in that case, the user won’t receive the fix or new feature until she goes to the app store and downloads the latest version.
A/B tests: With HTML5, developers can easily run A/B tests to compare upgrades or other changes and determine which alternative brings about the best result. For example, you might want to compare features to see which drives users to make more purchases, or you can test different instructions to see which explanation helps users better.
Quick response to market conditions: The marketplace can change in the blink of an eye, and you want to be able to respond to those changes as quickly as possible, right? A new security threat might require you to make a quick change, or you might need to make adjustments to accommodate a new device. Again, HTML5 delivers that crucial “update-once” speed.
Deploying your app to the Firefox Marketplace is quick and easy, too. Check out our Developer Hub, and you’ll see how HTML5 can be your fast friend.
Predictions and prognostications regarding the future of HTML5 abound. Everyone’s got an opinion.
But what about the people actually doing the developing? What do developers think about HTML5? Kendo UI decided to ask—and the results are interesting.
Last fall, Kendo UI surveyed more than 4,000 software developers about their usage, attitudes and expectations around HTML5. The results demonstrate widespread adoption of HTML5: The majority of developers (82%) reported that HTML5 was already important to their job—or would be within 12 months.
Respondents noted why HTML5 development is more appealing than other options for writing software:
The familiarity of language (72%)
Reach/ Cross-platform support (62%)
Others reasons: Availability of tools/libraries, productivity, it’s based on open standards, the cost of development, and community.
You can see a summary of these survey results here.
Fifty percent of respondents have developed in HTML5, and 90 percent plan to in 2013.
Only 15 percent of developers would go native-only when building an app for multiple platforms.
Only a quarter of developers now believe that HTML5 is overhyped; almost half strongly believe it’s not.
And developers are using HTML5 for all sorts of apps. Respondents cited productivity (54%), utility (38%), consumer (39%), LOB (22%), social networking (18%), entertainment (17%), lifestyle (12%), travel (9%), games (8%) and other (13%). (See these statistics and more, along with a handy infographic, in this Venture Beat article.)
HTML5 has widespread adoption around the globe, according to this latest study. The largest percentage of developers already using HTML5 is found in North America (70%). But roughly 60 percent of South American, European and Chinese developers are using it, and about half of developers in Africa are.
Amazing what you can learn when you ask the folks who are doing the work.
What did we do before mobile devices and great apps? It’s getting hard to remember those days.
Mobile social media extends our reach and lets us engage with the world immediately, wherever we are—whether it’s keeping up with the news, booking somewhere to stay on vacation or listening to music.
And where can you find some of the best apps and experiences, such as Twitter, airbnb and SoundCloud? The Firefox Marketplace, of course.
Twitter calls itself the global town square—the place to connect with everything.
“It’s what’s happening in the world,” says Twitter’s Michael Ducker.
“We really like Firefox OS,” Michael says. “It’s a great platform for our product to succeed. So the Firefox Marketplace is a great channel for us to reach out to new customers.
“The Marketplace allows us to have a place we can call home,” he adds, “where users can come to the marketplace to look for an app—and Twitter’s right there.”
Airbnb enables hosts around the world to list their spaces, and travelers use it to look for unique accommodations. It lists spaces in 20,000+ cities in 192 countries.
“Firefox OS is interesting because of being able to interface with all ranges of mobile devices,” says Airbnb’s Andrew Vilcsak.
“We decided to build an HTML5 mobile web app because it allows us to code once and deploy to an incredible number of platforms,” he adds. “Every distribution channel is another way of reaching another segment of mobile users, so the Marketplace was an obvious decision.”
“SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform,” explains the company’s Thom Cummings.
It empowers creators of sound—from Foo Fighters and Madonna to smaller bedroom artists and podcasters such as The Economist and the BBC—to share their sound with the world.
“We want to be in as many places as our audience is,” Thom says. “We’re platform-agnostic in that sense. HTML5 is an important part of that strategy.”
HTML5 and web technologies in general give great flexibility both in terms of development cost and development time versus native apps, according to Thom.
“I think both have their place in the world,” he says, “but we’re really excited about the future of HTML5.”
Luckily, you don’t have to worry anymore about those scary days before mobile social media. And you’ll find just what you need to get social on the Firefox Marketplace.
An elephant never forgets. For the rest of us, there’s Evernote—a service that helps you remember everything.
Do you have scraps of paper lying around the house with brilliant opening lines for that novel you’ve been meaning to write? Have you forgotten where, oh where, you stored the URL of that really interesting website?
Your notes, ideas, pictures, audio clips and more will be everywhere you need them to be, because Evernote is on mobile, desktop and the web—and all those apps sync.
“Using modern web technologies lets us give the best and richest experience we can for our users,” said Jason Terk, lead web service engineer. “HTML5 has all the things you expect from a desktop app, whether drag and drop, bio manipulation or rich-text editing—all of that just inside the browser without a heavyweight app installation.”
Box, an enterprise content management solution, is another great tool that offers many features businesses need—including security and permissions administration.
Box demonstrates another advantage of web-based business applications: ease of sharing information with colleagues.
“It’s the simplest way for business users to manage, share and access content they care about,” said Indy Sen.
Box also takes advantage of HTML5.
“At its very core, our product is a web product,” Indy said. “Supporting it to HTML5 was just a matter of adding on a couple of extra things.”
Lanyrd addresses another important need: getting the most out of professional events and conferences.
“We help people find the right events to go to, meet the right people while they’re there, and then we help gather together the slides, videos and notes afterwards as a permanent record of what happened at the event,” explained Simon Willison.
“There’s a whole bunch of reasons why HTML5 makes sense for us, especially for mobile,” Simon added. He mentioned four, in particular:
Providing access to many devices
A zero-step install
Lanyrd has a great team of web native developers, so it uses existing in-house skills
It makes financial sense to use one technology that covers so many different devices
With the ubiquity of the web and a little help from HTML5, apps like Evernote, Box and Lanyrd are able to provide useful tools for doing business on the go.
Now, can Evernote just help me remember where I put my keys?
Direct carrier billing is opening up the world of mobile apps to new markets—enormous, underserved markets. And that’s fantastic news for app developers and consumers.
When a marketplace offers carrier billing, consumers have the option to buy apps (and in-app transactions) through their mobile provider instead of using a credit card. Purchases are simply added to their bill or counted against their pre-paid balance. No credit card or bank details required!
Multiple Options, Flexible Business Models
“Carrier billing requires fewer clicks, which leads to more transactions,” says Rick Fant, Mozilla’s vice president of Apps and Marketplace. “In emerging markets, this is the standard for downloads and in-app purchases—and Firefox Marketplace supports that standard.”
From the customer’s perspective, it’s making life much easier. Consumers appreciate a streamlined purchase experience, the ability to take advantage of existing billing relationships and the option of privacy.
Hello, 1.7 Billion New Users!
According to Mobile Payments Today, emerging markets represent the biggest growth opportunity for carrier billing in 2013.
“Let’s remember, carrier billing is the only available electronic payment channel for 1.7 billion people in the world, who own a mobile phone but don’t have a bank account,” it said in this recent article. (Emphasis in original)
Welcome to the Firefox Marketplace
Firefox Marketplace has incorporated carrier billing across multiple geographies and currencies. Consumers don’t need a credit card; their purchases can be billed by their mobile provider.
So what are you waiting for? Get your apps up on the Firefox Marketplace and say hello to 1.7 billion new potential customers!
As for bringing actual commercial products to market that are based on these techniques, Best noted that Mozilla is already working with the likes of Disney, Electronic Arts and ZeptLab (which already brought an HTML5 version of Cut The Rope to the web after working with Microsoft). When Mozilla talks to potential new partners for this effort, Best told me, most of them are pretty skeptical at the beginning, but “by the end of the week, we usually have quite an excited partner.”
Yep, that is pretty much how the conversation goes.