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Firefox demos dev tools and mobile OS

Mozilla has been setting out the future of Firefox, which it hopes will heavily impact on end-users, openness advocates and developers. On mobile, Firefox OS is described by Mozilla as a “new mobile ecosystem built entirely to open web standards” that will “enable the development of smartphones where every feature can be developed as an HTML5 application”.

In a new video of the in-development operating system, Mozilla showed off various features, including a page-based app icon grid, dialling, a camera, an image gallery, app installation, app switching and, naturally, its web browser. In the video, the OS appeared a little laggy, but when it’s complete Mozilla noted it will “for the first time allow HTML5 apps to access the underlying capabilities of a device, previously only available to native apps”, which it argued will improve mobile web performance through a lighter OS and faster browser, thereby providing “the best mobile web content and app experience”.

For those people developing the apps, further improvements have been outlined for the Firefox desktop browser's developer tools. The new ‘Markup panel’ enables you to manipulate on-page styles and the DOM, the refreshed Web Console improves auto-complete and boosts clarity, and the Page Inspector no longer places a ‘dark veil’ over everything but the selected element, instead highlighting a selection with a dashed line.

The changes are available on the Aurora channel and scheduled for release later in 2012.