Twitter has revealed details about its HTML5 client for Firefox OS, which it says will ready by the time devices running the platform hit the market.
The Twitter client was one of the few major apps for the OS mentioned in Mozilla's announcement on Monday, where it was revealed that 18 operators would carry devices that run the platform. Alcatel, LG and ZTE are expected to deliver Firefox OS devices to emerging markets beginning mid-year and Huawei is to follow later in the year.
Twitter staff engineer Manuel Deschamps stressed its HTML5-based Firefox OS app will have "similar" features to its other mobile apps, including the Home, Connect and Me tabs as well as the search and compose icons. Debate about the relative strengths of HTML5 versus native apps was sparked by Facebook's decision last year to switch it development emphasis from mobile to native.
In addition, Twitter will support Firefox OS Web Activities, a feature that allows the user to tweet photos from the built-in photos app.
Firefox Marketplace will include popular apps such as AccuWeather, AirBnB, Box, Cut the Rope, Disney Mobile Games, EA Games, Facebook, Nokia HERE, MTV Brasil, Pulse News, SoundCloud, SporTV, Terra, and Time Out.
Some European carriers view Firefox OS and its emphasis on open web standards as a way of clawing back power lost to internet giants like Google and Apple.
At Mobile World Congress on Monday Telefonica chief executive Cesar Alierta hit out the dominance of a "small number of players" on the internet, stating that Firefox OS will help bring "balance" back to the sector, according to a Guardian report. Telefónica is planning to bring Firefox OS devices to Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Venezuela by mid-2013.