maanantai 27. toukokuuta 2013

Version 1.4.0 has arrived

Version 1.4.0 of Hydra widget platform (PRO) is now available from Nokia Store! Besides the improvements for packaged Firefox OS applications described in my previous text, it introduces a very significant usability boost by changing the default device-pixel-ratio from 1 to 1.5. In practice this means that all applications are by default scaled by a factor of 1.5 to compensate for the high pixel density of N9. This makes all the touchable areas such as buttons much more pleasant to use.

In case you find an application that does not work well with the new UI magnification, it can be turned off (per app) from settings using the Hydra manager (see screenshot below). Version 1.4.0 also adds support for viewport meta element, which can be used by applications to dynamically customize and/or override the visible viewport and scale factor.

New widget settings view introduced in version 1.4.0.

torstai 16. toukokuuta 2013

Hydra and Packaged Firefox OS Web Apps

Hydra widget platform (PRO) 1.3.7 has now been available for a few weeks and a major issue has risen with the Firefox OS compatibly. As you may know by now, Firefox OS supports two kinds of deployment mechanisms for it's web applications, called hosted and packaged. Usually applications are distributed in the hosted format, but apps that require a certain level of device access can only be deployed in the packaged format, which is in many ways similar to W3C's widget packaging format. While Hydra supports both of these formats, it is currently only possible to install hosted applications from the Firefox Marketplace.

When I originally developed the support for Firefox OS web apps, packaged applications could be installed without any issues. But it seems that since then the Marketplace has changed the way it detects what kind of device is used to view it's content. The reason they have done this change is to properly detect Android devices and block packaged apps from being available (hosted web apps can be installed on Android using Firefox Aurora).

To make up for this inconvenience, I'll shortly release an updated version of Hydra and the Marketplace widget that the Marketplace once again recognizes as a genuine Firefox OS device. In addition to that, packaged applications are getting support for automatic update detection (see the teaser below).

Updates will be indicated in the Hydra manager app and device notifications area.

Updates will be fully supported for packaged Firefox OS web apps.