A while, back in August, we were discussing some potential new features in Firefox OS 1.1. Now, the speculation has ended as Mozilla has oficially introduced the first updated to its mobile Firefox OS. The very first updates to Firefox OS adds some important new features, performance improvements and additional language support. Here is the breakdown of some of the most important changes that have arrived with Firefox OS 1.1.
What is new in Firefox OS 1.1
- MMS support: send and receive pictures, audio and video files
- Push Notifications API: deva deliver timely notifications to apps ans reduce battery consumption
- Adaptive app search is now front and center on the home screen
- Contact Management enhancements: Gmail and Hotmail contact import, add call logs to contacts (finally!), dialer suggestions
- Performance improvements: faster load times for apps and moother scrolling
- Firefox browser downloads: save images, audio and video from the browser
- Keyboard improvements: auto correction fixes accidentally misspelled words
- E-Mail enhancements: draft mode, download audio and video attachments, sending image attachments
- Music Search: new music search functionality
- Calendar enhancements: direct event creation, calendar event reminders
- 15 more languages supported
Those of you that have a Firefox OS phone (such as the ZTE Open that was available on eBay) or developer phones will be able to install the update. Shortly after detailing the Firefox OS 1.1 update, Mozilla also announced that we will “soon” see new Firefox OS smartphones and probably tablets being launched in more markets around the world. No exac dates have been provided.
More Firefox OS devices are incoming
At the moment, some of the countries where Firefox OS has made its appearance are: Spain, Colombia and Venezuela through Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom in Poland. Like we previously reported, much more countries are envisioned, such as Greece or Japan. Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s Chief Operating Officer said:
“The positive market reception of the first Firefox OS smartphones demonstrates that people like the user experience and openness we’re building with Firefox OS. We continue to enhance Firefox OS to deliver the best experience for the many people around the world buying their first smartphones. We are looking forward to seeing the response to the next round of Firefox OS launches.”
Yotam Ben-Ami, Director of Open Web Devices at Telefónica also weighed in:
“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.”
For some, Mozilla has engaged itself in what seems to be already a losing battle against the likes of Android, iOS, and perhaps even Windows Phone. But we know that carriers love the Firefox OS concept, and that might be one of the winning reasons for Mozilla.