Play with Firefox OS in your desktop Firefox

Mozilla marches toward Firefox OS's release in 2013 with a new browser-based simulator designed to help app developers.

Firefox OS

(Credit: Mozilla)

You can now get a taste of Firefox OS straight from your desktop browser, thanks to a new Firefox add-on called r2d2b2g that bakes a Firefox OS simulator right into your desktop browser.

Mozilla wrote in its blog post announcing the simulator add-on that the tool has two complementary goals for helping developers. Currently at version 0.7, the company hopes that by version 1.0 the add-on will be stable enough to let developers easily create apps for the new OS.

The second goal for the add-on is that it frees developers from having a device to install a pre-release build of Firefox OS. Given that the Mozilla has said that the initial target audience of Firefox OS will be emerging markets, this could be a boon for developers who may have limited access to multiple mobile devices. It works via the B2G desktop client, which can't emulate device hardware but does have several non-desktop APIs enabled.

Although Mozilla says that it's not having problems getting developers interested, it's hard to imagine that it's not an uphill struggle as Firefox OS joins a crowded field of mobile operating systems. While Symbian is on its way out, and iOS and Android get the most attention from developers, the new Windows Phone 8 and the upcoming BlackBerry 10 will also be clamoring for developer attentions.

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