Panasonic Firefox-Powered Smart TVs Debuted in Europe

Panasonic is finally back from a long sleep. After they stopped selling those awesome Plasma TVs, they pretty much lost the market share. But finally they are back and are offering new products such as Firefox OS-powered 4K Smart TVs. Panasonic’s VIERA Smart TVs are the first ones to run Firefox OS on such platform and are being offered in Europe. Mozilla offers several unique advantages that other players like Google’s Android TV platform, Samsung’s Tizen and Roku doesn’t provide (yet), such as HTML5 web apps including Netflix and Hulu, along with the ability to share content from any device with a Firefox browser.

“We’re happy to partner with Panasonic to bring the first Smart TVs powered by Firefox OS to the world,” said Andreas Gal, Mozilla CTO. “With Firefox and Firefox OS powered devices, users can enjoy a custom and connected Web experience and take their favorite content (apps, videos, photos, websites) across devices without being locked into one proprietary ecosystem or brand.” he added.

Coming to the products, curved 4K Viera 65-inch CR850 and 55-inch CR730 with CX series 4K flat TVs. Panasonic is also bringing a new wide color phosphor “4K Studio Master” picture engine to the table. It will deliver professional color accuracy using 3D look-up tables (LUTs) used by film industry color professionals. The CR models will also feature HDR and 10-bit color capability for more detailed gradations between colors.

Thank you Mozilla Blog for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Dday.it.

Firefox OS Phone Lands in Africa

Firefox OS smartphones went on sale in Senegal and Madagascar. Klif, first Firefox OS device is exclusive to French telecom operator Orange. The Alcatel Onetouch’s device is extremely budget friendly low-end sports 3G+ with connectivity speeds of up to 21 Mbps, 3.5″ HVGA display, Dual Core MediaTek CPU coupled with 512MB RAM and 2MP camera powered by 1400 mAh battery. It is by no means contender to Android and Apple’s Flagship. It runs highly optimised Firefox OS aimed for seamless web browsing experiences.

“We are pleased to partner with Orange to bring the mobile Web to users in a substantial number of new growth markets across Africa and the Middle East, I am also thrilled to see how the imminent arrival of Firefox OS has created excitement in the local Mozilla communities.” said Mozilla CTO, Andreas Gal.

They are trying to get devices in the hands of people who’ve never owned any type of smartphone. The main idea with this 3G smartphone is to get more people online in places where they previously couldn’t. After the announcement from Mozilla and Orange back in Mobile World Conference 2015 in February, Africa is their main focus. It makes strong sense to make affordable devices available in markets like Africa where the potential is huge and could bring significant growth.

Thank you Mozilla for providing us with information.

Firefox OS Set to Enter the US and Other Developed Markets in 2016

Mozilla has developed its Firefox OS in order to target low-cost smartphone markets all around the world. Its recent statement claims that the company is considering to enter more developed markets next year.

Mozilla has stated a project with US, Japanese, South Korean and Spanish carriers to get ready for shipping high-spec smartphones starting from 2016 onwards. However, the more developed markets for smartphones are currently owned and heavily competed by Apple, Android and Windows Phone. But Mozilla seems to be taking a rather strange and out of fashion approach.

Flip phones and sliders would be the main attraction and key feature of these new Firefox OS phones, as stated by Andreas Gal, chief technology officer at Mozilla. He stated that customers like the older form factors of mobile phones and this is the main cause of why they are stuck with older operating systems.

“Development of feature phones has essentially stopped, said Gal. “This project will bring a modern smartphone OS into this market.”

The project has been announced on Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, pointing out that Verizon Wireless, KDDI, LG uPlus and Telefonica will be the first carriers to start shipping these new smartphones next year.

Thank you Computer World for providing us with this information

Transparent Firefox Phone Set for Christmas Day Release in Japan

Mozilla and Japanese mobile operator KDDI is releasing an impressive-looking transparent smartphone, the Fx0, carrying the Firefox OS, on Christmas Day in Japan.

Though the specs are unremarkable – it has a 4.7-inch display, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and a 2,370 mAh battery – it boasts a unique and attractive design. It’s the first Firefox phone to feature 4G LTE and near-field communication (NFC).

The transparent phone, designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, is intended to represent the “openness, freedom and transparency” Mozilla wants to propagate. The Fx0 will cost 50,000 yen ($420). There is no word yet on whether the handset will be made available internationally.

Source: Mashable

Firefox OS Stick To Rival Chromecast

Chromecast is a pretty cool device, but what if you’re not a fan of the Google browser? If you’re more interested in flying the Mozilla Firefox flag then it looks like you’re not going to have to miss out on content streaming from your browser for very long as the company looks set to release their Firefox OS based media stick.

Their stick is designed much like the Chromecast, allowing to you “fling” any content to your TV using any software. It comes equipped with a hacking friendly open bootloader and can even mimic a Chromecast.

The stick is still in development, but the team at Gigaom managed to get hands on with it (see video below) and see what it can do. Mozilla haven’t even spoken out officially about this yet, so it’s likely that we could be waiting a few months before we see the final product.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/VS0VUOfrycw[/youtube]

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

Firefox Adds Accounts, Improved Sync and Customizable UI To Its Aurora Browser

Mozilla has announced a few extra features to be added to its Firefox Aurora browser. The features consist of Accounts, a customized UI feature that lets users personalize their interface and an improved Sync feature.

The Accounts feature adds something that is already available in Firefox OS, and that is the ability to sync all personal data including bookmarks, opened tabs, history, etc., and load them on every device that has a Firefox browser and is signed in with the account on which the data was synced to.

The improved Synch feature is designed to help Accounts and the ability to securely transfer all your personal data to the various devices synced. The features added consist of a public key cryptography, a BrowserID protocol, client-side key stretching and end-to-end encryption, all of which are designed to prevent user data falling prey to a hacker in case of Firefox servers being compromised. Firefox is said to include these features into Firefox OS later on.

Another feature mentioned, the ability to customize the Firefox UI, is now available to all Mac, Windows and Linux versions, allowing users to remove any browser buttons, add-ons, as well as drag menus, toolbars and tab bars to fit your preferred visual experience.

All of the above features are now available in Firefox Aurora through and update released recently. If you have not updated your Firefox Aurora yet and want to try out any of the features, you can do it now. Alternatively, you can download Firefox Aurora from the official website.

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information

LTE and 64-bit Support Brought Forth In Upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 410

It was only a matter of time before Qualcomm would try to enter the market with its own chipset capable of supporting 64-bit, though the processor does not appear to be of the high-end range. The Snapdragon 410, however, is a 28nm SoC that seems to be focused more on lower-end devices and emerging markets instead. The new Snapdragon is expected to arrive at manufacturers in the first half of 2014, with it reaching consumer devices somewhere in Q2 2014.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, though not as high-end as we would have hoped, does come with plenty of extra feature support. One of the main features is the LTE, which Qualcomm says is a feature it wants to bring to all of its products. In particular, this next-gen connectivity comes with multimode and multiband support, ensuring that many devices carrying the chip will work on LTE networks around the globe. Another feature of the Snapdragon 410 will be an Adreno 306 GPU, which will offer support for dual and triple-SIM devices. Other features consist of having 1080p video playback capability, a 13-megapixels camera range, Along with GPS/GLONASS, enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity, NFC and Bluetooth.

Qualcomm wants to dominate the smartphone and tablet market in terms of processor manufacturer, therefore the new Qualcomm Snapdragon will have a compatibility table spanning from Android to Windows Phone and even Firefox OS, all the way to “high-volume” devices in emerging markets which sell for under $150.

Although this is just a low-end processor that Qualcomm announced, it would not make sense if they did not release any high-end version in the near future. Especially when CES and MWC are not too far away.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of news.softpedia.com

First Firefox OS Smartphones Sell Out On Launch Day

The first smartphones to run the open source mobile operating system, Firefox OS, have gone on sale. On the same day as launch they rapidly sold out and crashed the retailers website. Geeksphone, a Spanish startup company, is producing and selling this first wave of Firefox smartphones via its online shop.

The website sold all stock rather rapidly and the website has since been taken down for maintenance to help it cope with the high traffic. The two phones that are selling are called Keon and Peak and are both budget smartphones running the Firefox OS. The Keon costs €91/£78 and the Peak costs €149/£130. The specifications are pretty decent for the money and can be seen below:

Keon 

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1Ghz
  • UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
  • Screen 3.5″ HVGA (320×480) Multitouch
  • 3 MP Camera
  • 4GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
  • MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proxmity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB
  • 1580 mAh battery
  • Over the air updates
  • Unlocked, add your own SIM card

Peak

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.2Ghz x2
  • UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
  • Screen 4.3″ qHD (540×960) IPS Multitouch
  • Camera 8 MP (back) + 2 MP (front)
  • 4 GB (ROM) and 512 (RAM)
  • MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proxmity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB, Flash (camera)
  • Battery 1800mAh

Firefox OS for mobile devices is an operating system that is open source and currently in a process of continuous development. Currently only Geeksphone will be selling smartphones running this hardware but larger manufacturers like Alcatel, Huawei, LG, Sony and ZTE have all shown an interest.

Good app support is going to be crucial to the success of Firefox OS and the open source nature of it will surely help get app developers onboard.

You can learn more about the Firefox OS for mobile devices here.

What are your thoughts on Firefox OS and the first batch of smartphones supporting it?

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