Since April, Firefox has made official its plans of developing a mobile operating system which it wants to swirl other competitors, but a release interval was not available until the moment. Just recently, we’ve found that Firefox OS, codenamed Boot2Gecko, will be indeed launched in early 2013 in Latin America and shortly after in Europe, just as we were expecting. So, starting with the first quarter of the next year, Android and iOS should expect extra competition, Mozilla’s planning to outwit platforms like BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, Symbian, webOS and take the podium.

Firefox OS officially comes in Q1 2013

Firefox OS is a mobile platform based on Linux, just like Android, but it also promises to bring something new to the table by integrating Gecko features. This is an open source layout engine developed by Mozilla, which is used in many applications, including the Firefox browser. As developers affirm, the future OS should be way lighter, faster and more open source than any other competitor, including Android. Besides the Linux kernel and the Gecko rendering engine, a user interface layer Gaia, built entirely in HTML and JavaScript, will be added.

Previously known as Boot2Gecko, the system contains everything we would expect from a smartphone platform and the main trick performed by this magician is using HTML5 to open applications. Actually, developers have set a rule that all apps should be written in Internet’s primary coding language, a rule which should grant Firefox OS a plus in wowing programmers. Most applications used on Android, iOS and any other mobile platform out there is actually written in HTML5 and then tailored according to specific needs.

Gallery with Firefox OS pictures

To celebrate the announcement, those working with Mozilla have also released some pictures, demonstrating the capabilities of the future platform. The gallery below illustrates the interface of Firefox OS and some of its elements:

  • the calendar
  • the lockscreen
  • the menu
  • agenda
  • contacts
  • notifications
  • the ringing screen
  • the dialing menu
  • incoming and outgoing calls look
  • peak into widgets and even more.

Developers who want to already start tweaking the platform will be pleased to known that Mozilla released builds of a B2G testing environment, which can be run on a regular computer. The only requirement is an x86 architecture and with a little configuration work you will be able to test the latest nightly builds coming with Gaia included. The configuration steps are documented on the Gaia Hacking page and the software should be compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows powered PCs.

[via] TechWeekEurope

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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.