Writing apps for Firefox OS phones
Life on Planet Firefox
Although the smartphone software market seems polarized between iOS and Android these days, other contenders are filling out or creating their own niches. Mozilla, for example is aiming at the modest part of the market share: the very low end phones. That doesn't mean that Firefox OS phones are bad. Quite the contrary. The few models I've seen so far are perfectly adequate considering their price tag. Additionally, they are real smartphones, with a great potential market in developing countries or for those who think that spending more than 100 bucks on a phone is a waste, which, let's face it, is most people.
Having a real device on which to test your software definitely helps. The good news is that Firefox OS handsets are cheap, and you can pick up a ZTE Open for less than US$ 80 (or as little as EUR 39 if you live in Spain). Even if you don't have a physical device, however, you can run, test, and debug your app using the Firefox OS Simulator.
If you have a Firefox OS handset, you can also Push your app to it. To do this, you first have to configure your phone by going to Settings on your device; then, scroll down and choose Device Information | More Information | Developer and check the Remote Debugging option. Next, connect your handset to your computer using the USB data cable, and … Presto! Your device will pop up on the dashboard.
The emulator itself, apart from simulating a handset, has two menus at the top. File allows you to Quit the emulator, and App allows you to Refresh an installed app.
Note that the Firefox OS emulator is still in a very early stage of development; hence, it's slow and resource hungry. It may also behave weirdly, lock up, or show results that are inconsistent with what you would see on a real phone, which can be annoying and sort of defeats the purpose of an emulator in the first place. However, unless you have a real Firefox OS device, it's the best you can do.
Before you start writing your app, you will want to grab the assets that Mozilla has to offer  and that you can use freely in your project. Not only will this make your life easier, it will also help maintain a consistent look and feel across all apps on the system.
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