back to article Sony lifts skirt on Firefox OS with developer ROM for Xperia E

The Mozilla Foundation doesn't expect the first phones running its Firefox OS to appear until this summer – and even then, only in select markets – but developers can start tinkering with the platform on real hardware today, thanks to Sony Mobile. Just days after Mozilla announced the first commercial release of Firefox OS at …


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  1. SkippyBing Silver badge


    So they got the camera to work but not the phone bit, you'd have thought it'd be the other way around, along with networking, so developers can test porting all the websites dressed up as apps. Or are they targeting Instagram?

    1. Bush_rat

      Re: Hmm

      I could be mistaken, but there are only a handful of different cameras in the Xperia E series, where as there are many different carriers to sort out, wifi and bluetooth definitely should've been sorted out thou, but cellular networks are a whole different ball game.

    2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Well, they are Sony and Ericsson is just a spec in the rear-view mirror now. If it was still SE it might have been a little different.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      It's not that they don't work, it's that the radio firmware need approval in most countries, which they don't have.

      It's always the case with Sony beta ROM's the radios are always non-functional.

  2. stizzleswick

    It's experimental, fergossakes...

    Even three months ago, Mozilla said it's early alpha. Don't expect miracles from something that is in the very early stages of development.

    But if you're a developer, maybe you should realise the market potential: the promise of FirefoxOS is that it won't call home (as Android and Windows Phone do without you being able to curtail that, and opposed to MacOS X, where you can actually limit the OS in its sharing your every move with its manufacturer, but only if you know what you're doing).

    I guess the Ubunto phone OS is at a similar stage of development right now. Don't ignore them, is my view and advice. Give 'em a year or so to become ready. Then decide.

    1. Muckminded

      Re: It's experimental, fergossakes...

      Market potential: -1

      Not only will it go nowhere, it distracts Firefox from useful endeavors.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good on Sony for looking to move away from the market of mediocre that is android and onto a truly open mobile platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "market of mediocre"

      My Xperia S was fantastic, my Nexus 4 is great, my wife's One S is great.

      Sounds like:

      a) you have been buying the wrong Android devices (or are one of those idiots that think a £99 Android device is the same as a £499 Android device).

      b) you are stupid enough to believe that a phone that only supports HTML applets is going to somehow rock your world. (despite the fact it's trivial to make HTML5 apps already in iOS and Android by wrapping a webkit control in a app container).

      1. Bush_rat
        Thumb Down

        Re: LOL

        "b) you are stupid enough to believe that a phone that only supports HTML applets is going to somehow rock your world. (despite the fact it's trivial to make HTML5 apps already in iOS and Android by wrapping a webkit control in a app container)."

        I dont know about Android, but iOS has 2 JS engines, one for Safari and apple apps, and another for HTML web apps and third party apps that runs at half the speed, and as you can't use another rendering engine this limits we apps to being just websites.

  4. StephenF

    Still Rough

    Not a criticism of Firefox OS (as it's developer prerelease), but if you're thinking about blazing the trails, you may want to read on ...

    I recently put Firefox OS on my Nexus S (the most supported non-developer phone) and it's still rough in places. The touch screen has some quirky responsiveness issues here and there and some OS widgets are not well sized or placed and so therefore are tough to select. The calendar cannot do reminders which was a major dealbreaker for me. Landscape mode didn't work in a bunch of the applications, most annoyingly the text message application. I had some problems with the wireless staying connected as well. Other more fringe problems include the email app didn't work with Lotus Notes IMAP for some reason. It appeared to connect fine and I could send messages, but it said there were no messages in my inbox. I was surprised how good it is, but it wasn't workable for day-to-day use for me.

  5. The BigYin

    Nice OS

    Shame about the OEM. Is the included rootkit GPL?

    Or will Sony start moaning about Firefox OS being MPL?

    And will they respect the license, or get caught like they did BusyBox?

    Then tried to create a new project kill BusyBox off.

  6. W. Anderson

    tougher yet for Microsoft

    Neil McAllister' description of Mozilla's HTML5 mobileOS "developer" issue as "half baked" is non-sensical in that Sony, HTC and several other Asian and European handset manufacturers feel the release is timely and stable enough for them to start serious application development, even without networking fully implemented.

    Unfortunately all the Microsoft fan base technology writers are quite disturbed that their favourite gods in Redmond are not getting the traction, good publicity or respect that was though as forthcoming to make any credible dent in the Android/iOS market dominance, and now must deal with these "side" intruders of Blackberry, Mozilla and Ubuntu Mobile efforts.

    What is a once dominant, draconian bully with all it's media warriors to do?

    I would not be surprised if many of these Microsofties start throwing themselves out of their Windows 8 mobile public relation offices buildings.

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