Slowly but surely, browser maker Mozilla is rolling out its own mobile operating system, and prospective buyers can already grab a handset -- the ZTE Open and Alcatel One are available through Ebay. The OS has not yet managed to catch on, though its still very early in the process. However, Mozilla is steadily pushing forward, today rolling out version 1.1 of the platform.
The latest iteration of Firefox OS claims to add, not only performance improvements and additional language support, but also a slew of new features.
The platform now supports MMS (multimedia messaging service), which is a must-have for many of today's mobile customers, thanks to the proliferation of texting, which is gradually replacing using a phone to actually make a call.
Other new features include the ability to import contacts from both Gmail and Hotmail (Facebook was already included); the ability to add contacts from your call log, SMS or email by long-tapping your choice; adaptive app search on the home screen; the ability to download media files from the included Firefox browser; auto-correct for the touch keyboard; music search and the ability to tap on a desired time slot in the calendar to create a new event.
The organization also claims that performance improvements included in version 1.1 will bring faster load times for apps, In addition, support for 15 more languages is included in this update.
Developers need not feel left out, as Firefox OS now includes an API for push notifications, claiming "developers can make use of push to deliver timely notifications to apps and reduce overall battery consumption".
"There have been hundreds of improvements added to Firefox OS", claims Chris Lee, Director of Product for Firefox OS.
The update will begin reaching handsets shortly, but the big question remains -- can Firefox OS compete in a market that has been whittled down to a three-horse race? For now the organization is targeting the low-end of the market, selling phones via Ebay in the US for as low as $79.99. Its an intriguing mobile platform, but Apple and Google need not worry, at least not anytime soon.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.