September 09, 2013

Mozilla’s ‘Phone for Apps’ Program’s Second Phase Targets HTML5 App Developers

Mozilla (NewsAlert), it seems, is looking for a few—or more than a few if such can be found—good app developers to bring HTML5 apps to the Firefox operating system for mobile devices. While its early steps in that direction, as exemplified by the “Phone (NewsAlert) for Apps” program that started back in May, have proven fairly sound, Mozilla is looking to step up the program by getting into the second phase of the Phone for Apps program, especially targeting HTML5 app developers.

The second phase of the program calls for a little extra incentive to get HTML5 developers on board with Mozilla’s mobile OS, specifically, offering developers a free Firefox OS device to port apps from HTML5 to Firefox OS. The device in question is a Geeksphone Keon, and Mozilla will be handing out said devices to any developer who has “already built and shipped an HTML5 Web app and (has) the time now to port that app to the new Firefox OS.”

Those who qualify under that guideline have to head out to Mozilla’s website and fill out an application form, which will allow Mozilla to select the apps in question and figure out just who gets one of the Geeksphone Keon models. Those interested will be expected to provide a link to said application—which should be found on an app store already, be it Amazon Web App, Chrome Web Store, BlackBerry (News Alert) WebWorks or similar—and the rules indicate that those interested should start working on porting an app directly, as the completed port should be on hand in the next two months.

This does mean there’s a possibility that those interested will be putting in some work without getting a device, but given the overall potential for Firefox OS to be a big seller, it may be worthwhile to have an application ready for the system anyway. So for those interested, it’s probably better to think of it as getting an app ready for a new market with an outside chance of getting a free device out of the deal.

Mozilla, it seems, has the right idea here. For a new OS to really prosper, it’s got to have apps. If no one can do anything with that new phone packing that new OS, then what’s the point of buying that new phone? But if that new phone can do a lot of exciting and interesting things—and more than a few of which can’t be had elsewhere—then that will likely prompt many more users to make the switch from the current brand of choice to the Firefox label.

But for this to happen, Mozilla needs apps, and with the Phones for Apps initiative in its second phase, it’s much more likely to get the kind of bulk it needs in the app store department before rolling out fully. That’s going to give Mozilla a boost, and hopefully allow it to better compete in the field.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


HTML 5 Demos and Examples

HTML 5 experimentation and demos I've hacked together. Click on the browser support icon or the technology tag to filter the demos.... Learn More

HTML5 GAMES is the largest and most comprehensive directory of HTML5 games on the internet... Learn More

The HTML5 test

How well does your browser support HTML5?... Learn More

Working Draft (WHATWG)

This is the Editor’s Draft from WHATWG. You can use it online or print the available PDF version... Learn More

HTML5 Flip Book

Free jQuery and HTML5 flip book maker for PDF to online page turning book conversion... Learn More