tiistai 19. maaliskuuta 2013

Mozilla web apps

Today I will demonstrate the simple steps required to install Mozilla web apps on your N9. To begin, you will need Hydra WRT installed (at least version 1.3.7 that will be released in the near future - hang in there for a while longer!).

Step 1. The first step is to install the Firefox Marketplace shortcut widget. You can do this by opening the Hydra management application ("Web apps" in the launcher), then selecting the paper clip icon in the toolbar. From the shown list, pick Firefox Marketplace and hit the Install button (as shown in the screenshot below). After this, details of the Marketplace widget are shown and you must confirm the installation.

Step 1 - Installing Firefox Marketplace widget
Step 2. When the installation is complete (it really only takes a second), you can use the normal web interface of the Firefox OS Marketplace to browse it's content. Please note that you the system's default browser is not compatible with the Marketplace and the installed shortcut widget must be used to browse and install new content from the store (a "Marketplace" shortcut is created in the application launcher view during installation). To install an item from the store, simply hit the blue colored "Free" button shown on app details view. The button's text will change into a progress spinner (as shown in the screenshot below) and soon an installation confirmation view will be shown.

Step 2 - Installing content from the Marketplace

Step 3. After installing a web app, you can find a shortcut to launch it from the system's regular application launcher view. Enjoy.

Step 3 - Running the apps

Known issues and limitations:

  • Only a few web app permission requests are recognized, for any apps requesting Firefox OS specific APIs the installation will simply fail
  • Apps requiring geolocation are allowed to be installed, but geolocation is not actually provided
  • Marketplace widget shows some minor graphical errors
  • Marketplace widget crashes randomly (appears to be a webkit issue - actual installation is done by another process so there is no risk of corrupting any files)
  • Marketplace sometimes returns corrupted app manifest, which will cause the installation to fail (Marketplace bug, though it seems possible to create a work-around for this)
  • Some unsupported web app management APIs such as uninstall, check for updates, request app details and request apps installed from same origin
  • App details returned by the JavaScript API after successfully installing a web app contain a timestamp that is (slightly) different from timestamp stored to disk by Hydra
  • HTML5 offline cache and web storage are not supported (yet) 

My top-3 web app recommendations so far:

10 kommenttia:

  1. I installed the Google Drive app but there seems to be no way to sign out of an account.

  2. Currently you will only be signed out by uninstalling the web application. I might add another way to sign out at a later time.

  3. Thanks! I am looking forward to the new release with Mozilla Marketplace support :-)

  4. I have installed the latest version and have the firefox marketplace now in place. Great idea and implementation.
    However you seem to indicate that Here Maps is working, while on my N9, I can not even try: it says "this app is available on only Firefox OS" and the 'free' button to launch the install is grey out.

    I was not able to install pulse as well.

    But still I am happy with what I could get :)

    1. Seems that they have changed the detection method they use. I'll see if this can be fixed to a later release.

      With a bit of reverse engineering, you can still get the HERE Maps installation package using a regular desktop browser. It should still install nicely by sending it to the device and installing it from the management interface.

  5. I tried to access it via a desktop browser (firefox) at
    but still I have the same message :(
    I guess they want to limit the use of their app to strict user of firefox OS.

    1. The download is blocked for all browsers that the store detects as "not Firefox OS". This used to work for Hydra because I used the user agent identifier of Firefox OS, but something has been changed in the detection. With a modern desktop browser and minor HTML knowledge, you can still find the URL to the package from the source code (hint: use Google Chrome's "Inspect element" on the download button).

    2. thanks it works perfectly well (given the limit that you have mentioned like no geolocalisation)

  6. That's Great! I was searching for the apps like that, it is nice to have Mozilla application like this I am always curious about Web apps! either it is online application or mobile, web portal or M2M.

    Mobile Application

  7. Most of the apps end with installation failed, invalid manifest.
    Here maps installed but only maps, can't change to satellite or other views, so I removed it. Gmaps widget is very nice and much better than Heremaps.