Emerging Technology

Firefox OS update released, developer version available in Australia

Andrew Sadauskas /

Mozilla has announced the second round of launches for devices running its Firefox OS smartphone platform along with a new version of the operating system, with a developer device now available in Australia.

The company has announced the release of a new version of the Firefox OS operating system, including MMS support, push notifications, adaptive app search, the ability to add contacts from Gmail or Hotmail, music search, calendar enhancements and support for 15 languages.

Mozilla also promises performance improvements in Firefox OS 1.1, including a more responsive keyboard, faster application load times and smoother scrolling.

The news follows the release of the first two smartphones using the low-cost Firefox OS platform, the Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open, in Spain, Colombia, Venezuela and Poland.

While sales volumes for the devices haven’t been published, Latin American carrier Telefónica describes the launches so far as a success.

“These first launches of Firefox OS in Spain, Colombia and Venezuela have surpassed our expectations demonstrating a strong consumer appetite for a great value and open smartphone offer,” Telefónica director of open web devices Yotam Ben-Ami says.

“We now look forward to bringing the benefits of Firefox OS to our customers in Brazil and three other Latin America markets during Q4 2013 as well as making it available through many more Telefónica operating businesses during 2014.”

Aside from Brazil and other Latin American markets, Mozilla has announced the devices are officially launching in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro before the end of the year.

While the platform is yet to launch on a major Australian mobile carrier, Telstra and Optus have both expressed interest in the devices, while ZTE ships unlocked ZTE Open smartphones to Australia through its official eBay store for $US104.99.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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