Mozilla just launched the latest Aurora version of Firefox for Android and with this, the organization is also opening the Firefox Marketplace to early adopters and testers. The Firefox Marketplace is similar to the Google’s Web Store for Chrome. Users can browse the store to find mobile web apps and developers can showcase their web apps. These apps run in full-screen mode and can also be pinned to the home screen. Distant Orbit, Jauntly, Soundcloud and Twitter are among the first apps in the store, where all the apps are currently available for free.
As Firefox engineering manager Bill Walker notes in the announcement today, the goal behind this early release is to “collect as much real-life feedback as possible about the Marketplace’s design, usability, performance, reliability, and content.” He also stresses that this is meant to be an open ecosystem, where “users have choices and developers have control over their content, functionality and distribution.” In order to facilitate this open ecosystem, Firefox offers developers number of APIs for app submissions, payments and app discovery.
After this early release, the Marketplace will slowly make its way through Firefox’s Aurora and Beta releases. In addition, it will also become a cornerstone of Firefox OS, Mozilla’s budding operating system for mobile devices.
Firefox is a Web browser created Mozilla Corporation. Since its release in 2002 (as Phoenix 0.1, later named as Firebird then Firefox as of 0.8 to present), the browser has become one of the most popular Web browsers in the market, trailing only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as of July 2009.
Born from Netscape’s 1998 open sourcing of the code base behind its Netscape Communicator internet suite, Mozilla Firefox currently holds approximately 22.48% of the world market for internet browsers as of April 2009. Version 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004 after a series of name changes, and within a year close to 100 million downloads of the browser technology had occurred. The following two years saw upgrades to version 1.5 in November 2005 and 2.0 in October 2006....