Cordova web apps ready for release on Firefox OS

Summary:Mobile web apps that use the Cordova platform for cross-platform compatibility can now be released on Mozilla's Firefox OS.

Developers of web apps that use the Cordova platform will be able to release those apps on phones running Mozilla's Firefox OS.

The Apache Cordova framework allows developers to port their apps to many mobile platforms without having to significantly rewrite code or sacrifice too much functionality. 

Mozilla yesterday announced that apps built around Cordova can be released on Firefox OS, its mobile operating system released last year. "Significant" support for Firefox OS was added to Cordova in its version 3.4 release yesterday. Cordova already supports Android, Blackberry, iOS and Windows Phone.

"Over the past few months, Mozilla has been working with the Cordova team to integrate Firefox OS into the Cordova framework, making it possible to release Cordova apps on the Firefox OS platform," according to the Mozilla blog post.

Cordova apps are typically written using web technologies - such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript - but are generally hosted on the phone handset, rather than a server. The platform's APIs allow JavaScript to interact with key parts of a phone's hardware, such as the camera and accelerometer. Cordova apps are also packaged using the platform SDKs, and can be made available for installation from each device's app store.

PhoneGap, the Adobe-owned popular platform for cross-platform mobile app development, is a distribution of Apache Cordova.

Mozilla has created a how-to for developers wanting to get started creating Cordova apps on Firefox OS, demonstrating simple apps that can access the compass and accelerometer on Firefox OS handsets.

Firefox OS is designed to install and run apps built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Open Web APIs developed by Mozilla provide access to core mobile phone and tablet hardware and OS features, such as push messaging functionality.

Reviews of early Firefox OS handsets, such as the ZTE Open, have criticised a lack of responsiveness, slow speed and the basic functionality of apps. However, the OS is being updated frequently, with new releases every quarter. Mozilla has also said that higher end Firefox OS phones will be released this year .

Early Firefox OS handsets have been launched in countries where smartphone ownership is relatively rare, such as Latin America, as part of Mozilla's strategy to provide an "affordable, smartphone that brings the web and brings mobile to people who don't have it already" .

Read more on Firefox OS

Topics: Web development, Mobility

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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