Mozilla Offering Geeksphones For Porting Apps
Written by Ian Elliot   
Monday, 09 September 2013

Mozilla is offering free Keon smartphone to app developers who have already created an HTML5 app and are willing to port it to Firefox OS.

The Firefox Marketplace needs apps and how better to stock it than by attracting established apps from other platforms?

And if you are a lone dev working on another platform spending $99 on a Geeksphone Keon might well be the main barrier to porting your app.

So the Phones for App Ports program seems likely a good idea all round.

But Mozilla isn't falling into the trap of sending out Geeksphone Keons to all-comers. Instead it wants to take a look at your existing app before making this decision and also know a bit about its inner workings - such as what WebAPIs it uses and the frameworks or libraries it utilizes.

Speed seems to be one criteria for being sent a Keon - the form specifically asks:

How many days will it take you to submit the app to Markeplace once you receive the phone?

and invites you to enter a number between 1 and 31. Not unreasonable as porting web apps could be as simple as creating a manifest. 

The form also wants to know:

If you wrapped an HTML5 app with a native skin please indicate the tool you used to wrap it.

giving a choice of , PhoneGap and Sencha. Presumably this information with help the Firefox OS team information that will help them support app development going forward.

At the moment the other barriers to developing for the Firefox Marketplace is the lack of information and documentation and the rapid rate of change in the platform. However, getting apps into the Firefox Marketplace might be good forward planning. Firefox OS phones are targeting first time smartphone users. The batch of ZTE Open in Orange phones that went on sale on eBay priced at $79.99 (£59.99) sold out within a weekend and as more devices become available they are likely to be snapped us equally enthusiastically.

Although the Geeksphone Keon is billed as a Developer Preview phone it has a pretty good spec. It's an open phone - so you can add the SIM of your choice and its features include: 

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1Ghz
  • UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA)
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE)
  • Screen 3.5″ HVGA Multitouch
  • 3 MP Camera
  • 4GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
  • MicroSD, Wifi N, Light and proximity Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB
  • 1580 mAh battery

Plus it comes in a bright tangerine finish. So if you have an HTML5 app worth porting hurry along to claim one.

  

More Information

Phones for App Ports

Related Articles

ZTE To Sell Firefox Phones On eBay

Firefox Phones Go On Sale, Marketplace Opens

Firefox OS Simulator Reaches 4

Web Apps Or Firefox OS Apps?

Getting Started with Firefox OS - The UX Building Blocks  

Getting Started With Firefox OS And Geeksphone Keon

HTML Apps - The Long Road Yet To Travel

 

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