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Mozilla offers Firefox OS peek with developer tools

16 Nov 2012
A Firefox logo

Mozilla is offering an early look into its mobile Firefox OS with the release of new developer tools.

The company has posted a "simulator" utility which will allow developers to test out code on a virtual instance of the platform.

While the simulator has been designed to give developers a head start on tuning their applications to work with the operating system, the tool also allows users to get an early glimpse at what the Mozilla platform will look like.

Much like the iOS and Android platforms, Firefox OS will sport a "grid" layout for applications along with a fixed bar on the bottom screen for phone and browser functions.

Where the Firefox OS will be different, however, is under the hood. Mozilla said that the platform will operate using standard web develop languages, including JavaScript and HTML By doing so, the company believes that it can simplify the process of developing, distributing and maintain apps on the platform.

"Part of the magic in making that happen is that we’re giving the web platform new superpowers that enable it to access more device capabilities and data sources," the company said in a blog post.

"Using the web as a basis for apps means that you can build a single app that works on many platforms and with a lot more freedom as a developer."

Developers can obtain the simulator for Windows, OS X and Linux environments via Mozilla's download page. The company noted that the simulator is a prototype version of the platform and should not be considered a final version.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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