Mozilla brings Firefox OS Simulator to 1.0 milestone, retools private browsing

Mozilla has released a Firefox OS 1.0 simulator in order to give developers a chance to start building apps for the platform ahead of its release on mobile devices next year; it has also changed the way its desktop browser deals with new private browsing windows or tabs.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor on

Mozilla has released version 1.0 of its HTML5-based Firefox OS Simulator, but is leaving the 'preview' tag on the software as it is still undergoing development work.

The not-for-profit organisation said the software, which was first released on 15 November, is an extension for the company's Firefox browser (installed through the Firefox add-ons menu) that allows potential handset buyers and app makers to get a first look at the platform before committing any time or money to buying a device running the platform. The first phones to use the system are expected to be released next year.


Although it is still early days for the platform — no phones have yet been released that use Firefox OS — users can install apps from the Firefox Marketplace on it to see how well they work.

For the 1.0 release, the Firefox OS team had been busy "squashing bugs to get the simulator ready for use", Robert Nyman, Technical Evangelist for Mozilla, said on the Mozilla Hacks blog on Tuesday. He added that the simulator had been extended to support many more versions of Linux.

Unlike some other mobile simulators, Firefox OS Simulator is a Boot2Gecko desktop — a version of the project built for desktops to keep load times down.

In addition to the release of the Firefox OS Simulator, Mozilla also released a new nightly build of its Firefox browser that has been re-tooled to change the behaviour of the browser when a private browsing session is opened.

Previously, whenever a private tab or window session was owned, the browser would close any open windows and reopen a new blank private session. Now, however, it simply opens the selected link in a private session, without closing existing tabs or windows.

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