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Mozilla Opens the Firefox App Store To Early Testers 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-are-never-enough-app-stores dept.
SternisheFan sends this quote from ZDNet: "Mozilla has opened its Firefox Marketplace, with Android device owners and developers getting the first access to the browser's app store. The access arrived on Thursday, in the release of the latest 'Aurora' build of Firefox for Android. Aurora is meant for developers and early adopters, as it is the test stream of Mozilla's browser. The storefront lets people find and install web applications delivered via the browser, and gives developers a place to publicize their apps. 'We're hoping that Aurora users, our awesome early adopters, will go experience the Firefox Marketplace on their Android phones and let us know what they think,' Mozilla Labs engineering manager Bill Walker said in a blog post. 'Our goal is to collect as much real-life feedback as possible about the Marketplace's design, usability, performance, reliability, and content.' ... Mozilla said it expects to follow with a Marketplace for the Firefox browser beta and Firefox OS launches next year."
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Mozilla Opens the Firefox App Store To Early Testers

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  • App Store? Marketplace? (which is it?) Why?

    Yes Apple came out with something and made lots of money, but is it really a good idea for you (as a generic non-Apple entity) to make one as well?

    If Ubuntu comes out with its own Ubuntu App Store, should I kill myself? And should I stop ending every sentence with a question mark?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is a Canonical Software Center. Been around for years.

    • Most App stores that are already out have both free items and pay items. The lack of pay items is the only thing keeping the Ubuntu Software Center from being called the Ubuntu App Store really. But if Ubuntu did start offering pay items through the Ubuntu Software Center, would that be so bad? More options in convenient places is a good thing. Similarly, more app stores can only give more options, not less, so that would be a good thing too. Or are you the type of person that WANTS to consume only what
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      Why?

      Probably to encourage add-on devs to keep their app up to date with their crazy release schedule.

      A lot of the current add-ons (or apps if you will) aren't compatible with the latest firefox versions.

      So make the user (probably) pay for it & encourage that the add-ons stay in compliance.

      Of course there is also the opportunity for new add-ons to be developed that are worth the asking price. An example on the android market would be the psx emulator. FF7 on my phone... worth the modest price of admiss

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      This is what is sad to me, its nothing but one company after another trying to force us into their own version of Apple's little walled garden...why? Do you HONESTLY think you are gonna take shit away from Apple when it comes to share? Here's a hint, Apple has a rabid fanbase that wait outside the Apple store like waiting for concert tickets when they release a new model...you ain't gonna compete with that.

      So just stop it Mozilla, its getting embarrassing. First with the aping Chrome, then with the aping

      • Ubuntu had a desktop apps store before apple so they are not ripping off apple but they have done more than enough to be on the fail train anyway

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Well when they started calling programs "apps" instead of programs or software I consider that an Apple ripoff, as hardly anybody called them apps before Apple started doing that.

          What seriously irks me though is how so many are just trying to ape Apple and Google instead of trying to innovate, its like the entire tech community saw how much money Apple was making and lost their damned minds. I mean we already HAVE an Apple and a Google, why would we want an ersatz copy? MSFT, Canonical, Mozilla, its like

  • If only... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Andy Prough (2730467) on Friday October 19, 2012 @02:38PM (#41709115)
    If only Firefox worked with the several hundred million smart phones and tablets running the older versions of Android, then this would be about 1000% more useful. I can watch TV and movies on my Samsung Android phone, I can stream all kinds of music, I can run my desktop computer remotely from it, I can learn to speak and write Chinese, and I can make free international phone calls on it via my Vonage account. But I can't run the Firefox browser. I would say "WTF is your problem Mozilla???", but that just seems so unprofessional.
    • This.
      Requiring 2.3 instead of 2.2 like a lot of other apps is...weird, to say the least. And since their browser won't run in my cheap android device, I can't care less about it.

      • You are right - and maybe I should go slap down a few Benjamins and upgrade my Android phone so that this ONE browser would work. However, there are over 15 web browsers I can add in the Google Play store right now - but not Firefox? C'mon Mozilla - pull it together.
      • Re:If only... (Score:4, Informative)

        by BZ (40346) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:51PM (#41709809)

        http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/mobile/platforms/ [mozilla.org] says Firefox for Android runs on 2.2.

        • Huhmm? Must be a recent change, I am pretty sure I heard the opposite from Planet Mozilla's posts about FF for Android, though, unfortunately my RSS reader doesn't keep many posts, I'll have to dig to find the source.
          Also the fact that it refuses to install in my 2.2 tablet, which never refused any other piece of software marked for 2.2. It can run Chrome and Opera, Dolphin too, Firefox is the only one that doesn't, but should.

          • by BZ (40346)

            Uh... Chrome needs Android 4.0. There's no way you're running Chrome on a 2.2 tablet. ;)

            What's the actual tablet model, if you're willing to say? I'll see if I can figure out why you can't install it. Also, what version did you try installing?

    • by BZ (40346)

      Andy, what Android version do you have? Firefox runs on 2.2 and above, which according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#Usage_share [wikipedia.org] as of today covers about 96% of Android devices. It's possible you're in the 4%, but it's also possible that your real problem is your processor, not your Android version. If so (if you're using an armv6 processor), there is ongoing work to make Firefox work on those that should hopefully ship in late November.

      • Uhmm, I just checked and it's armv7, so it should work. There is enough space in the internal partition, and other browsers run properly. It just refuses to install.
        I mean the device is cheap but not THAT cheap...

      • Yeah, I'm running 2.3.6, and its supposed to be a 1 GHz Snapdragon on this thing. Maybe Firefox doesn't play nice with the Snapdragon, I don't know. According to Wikipedia, I'm probably running the armv7 processor instruction set on it. It's an older, cheaper phone, but slick as hell and runs amazing apps. I hope Mozilla makes it work on these chip sets in November - that would be great to try. If I don't buy one of those Note 2's next week, that is -- man those are some cool looking monsters.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Firefox is available for almost all android platforms just not in the final versions. They are available in beta, aurora, and nightly stages. Check the link. https://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/Platforms/Android
      Just make sure you download the version that matches your phones OS version and Processor.

  • by GerbilSoft (761537) on Friday October 19, 2012 @02:39PM (#41709127)
    Now that any generic webpage can be considered an "app", how long will it take before everything's an "app"? Photos? Apps. Videos? Apps. USB cables? They're no longer USB cables, they're "app cables". Heck, drop the cables - they're just "apps" too.

    Besides that point, most of these so-called "apps" are worthless. I remember a time when Apple fans used to proudly proclaim that even though there was less software on the Mac platform, they were higher quality than Windows programs. Now that the iPhone has hundreds of thousands of apps, quality doesn't matter anymore.

    At least Firefox hasn't gone full Windows 8 and reduced everything to 16 colors (yet)...
  • Hey Mozilla (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AuMatar (183847)

    You're doing a halfassed job of writing your flagship browser at the moment. There's no way in hell I'm using your app store or your OS. This type of wasted effort, useless featuritis, and loss of focus is why you're losing ground.

    • Re:Hey Mozilla (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:10PM (#41709427)

      You're doing a halfassed job of writing your flagship browser at the moment.

      Well, considering the alternatives, I'd say they're doing OK:
      IE) is and always has been an application supporting only bastardized version of the HTML standard and focused on adoption of M$ proprietary extensions/standards.

      Opera) Closed source and Ad-ridden.

      Chrome) All your Web belong to Google. Dubious "Sandboxed" native code execution.

      Konqueror/Rekonq) Seems to work sometimes.

      Given the alternatives, I don't see Firefox doing anything egregious. In fact, their efforts are laudable. They make an effort to maintain an open-source product that you can download for free. The Mozilla offerings are probably the least suspect when it comes to privacy issues. Mozilla has their fair share of bugs, but honestly a lot of the complaining I read about Firefox is due to misbehaving plugins as well as users not understanding their system resources.

      Maybe I live under a rock but the Mozilla products work great for me. Can you point out some factual information behind your rant? If One of the other offerings are far superior I'd really be interested.

      • by Desler (1608317)

        Protip: Opera removed all ads in 2005.

        • by Threni (635302)

          They're never going to live that down, are they? "Opera - Browser of choice for phones too shit to run a decent browser like Chrome or Dolphin, or with not enough memory to run Firefox. But hey, no adverts - and it's free now!".

      • by aliquis (678370)

        Yeah. You seem to know what you're talking about.

        Not.

        I do understand my system resources. Firefox do to. And Opera, Firefox and Chrome likely all use them differently. IE doesn't since it doesn't run on my machine. Well. Chrome more or less don't either, just occasionally.

  • The storefront lets people find and install web applications delivered via the browser

    So... it's the internet? No?

  • Makes kinda sense (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Floyd-ATC (2619991)
    This must be what they've been doing instead of fixing the crazy startup time, shutdown time and memory consumption. Kinda logical really, if you can't fix the underlying problem just make sure users make an investment in some apps that only work with Firefox. That way the users are less likely to give up and just use a competing browser. Some of you may have seen this trick before.
    • You do realize this will fix the things you are asking for, right. Addons are the ones that usually cause crazy startup time, shutdown time and memory consumption (which is crazy low, already). If people pay for addons, may be the addon developers can spend some quality time in fixing their addons. May be that is all is needed to fix the problems you asking for.

  • 1. Start an app marketplace
    2. ???
    3. Profit!
  • Who's the audience for this?

    1) People who love free browsers so much that they'll buy apps for them?
    2) People who can't find what they want among the Android's 500K free apps?
    3) People who switched to Firefox to avoid browser lock-in (e.g., IE) but now want to their apps to be locked to specific browser?
    4) Developers who would purchase some kind of developers license in the hopes that someone won't instantly clone their app before they make their developer fee back?
    5) ???

    Seriously - can someone "on the insi

    • People who want better addons. I am not on the inside though, just some random guy.

      • Paid is not better. Paid is usually only more expensive unless there's no alternative at all.
        Geez, I can't wait for the PRO version of adblock or noscript, it'll be hilarious.

        • I suppose you meant especially when there is no alternative. The addons I use are all GPLed. The chances of there being no alternative is close to impossible. If the developers become dicks or greedy, I am sure there will free GPLed alternatives available.

    • by BZ (40346)

      1) Users of Firefox OS

      2) You're assuming the apps are not free as in beer. A number of them will be, of course. That's true in both the Android and Apple stores...

    • by Burz (138833)

      People who choose Firefox OS instead of Android, iOS, etc. and want their apps available on other machines too.

      The problem with this is the "apps" are mostly websites where you don't get to see the URL and you're treated like a big, fat dummy in other ways too. Mozilla are hopping on Apple's anti-browser bandwagon.

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