Simulator

Firefox OS Simulator 4.0 released

It’s a good day for Firefox OS developers as we are releasing version 4.0 of the Firefox OS Simulator to the masses. In particular, this release is a boon for those developers that want to make money using their app in the Marketplace.

What’s New in 4.0

4.0 Updated Simulator Dashboard
An overview shot of the revised Dashboard

New Connect Button

There is a new ‘Connect’ button for each app that opens a developer toolbox connected to that specific app. This means that you won’t have to search through messages in the Console or filter through scripts in the Debugger in order to find information specific to your app.

Testing Receipts for Paid Apps

There is now a dropdown menu in each app’s dashboard where you can select a receipt type. The simulator add-on will then download a test receipt from a Marketplace receipt service and reinstall the app using it. This way you can test receipt verification with the various types of receipts that you may require – valid, invalid, and refunded.

4.0 Updated Simulator Dashboard Buttons
The new Connect button, Refresh Button, and Receipts drop-down

Remote CSS Styling

If you connect to an app while using a Nightly or Aurora build of Firefox, there is a Style Editor tool you can use to edit the style sheets for your app. Changes are applied instantaneously.

4.0 Updated Simulator Live Style Editing
Live editing the Firefox OS Boilerplate app to have a less than charming red background

Simulated Touch Events

Gaia’s touch events simulation has been integrated such that interacting with the Simulator using a mouse now generates real touch events. This fixes a myriad of issues in core Gaia apps that assume touch interactions. It also means you can test third party apps that rely on touch events without needing to fall back to mouse events.

Hidden Feature: Shift-Ctrl/Cmd-R

When using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-R (Cmd-R on Mac) to refresh an app, if you also hold down the Shift key, then the Simulator will clear persistent data such as AppCache, localStorage, sessionStorage, and IndexedDB while refreshing the app.

Check Out The Simulator Walkthrough

Still want to get into grittier details? Check out the simulator walkthrough to get a deep dive into the details of the Simulator, and the MDN documentation here.

Download and Install the Simulator

You can install or update the Simulator from the add-ons website.

Bugs? Feedback?

Leave general feedback in the comments below, we’re listening! If you encounter a bug we would be grateful if you could file it here.

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Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 released

About 6 weeks ago, we wrote about the preview of Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 and now we’re happy to release it!

New features

In our preview coverage, we listed the new features for this version:

  • Push to Device
  • Rotation simulation
  • Basic geolocation API simulation
  • Manifest validation
  • Stability fixes for installation and updates to apps
  • Newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia (the UI for Firefox OS)

Since then, apart from verifying and making the above functionality stable, other notable improvements are:

  • Keyboard shortcut to repackage/reinstall/restart the current app – drastically improving workflow speed, especially for packaged apps
  • Significantly reduced download/installation size of the Firefox OS Simulator
  • Faster start time (partly due to above with smaller size)
  • Much newer versions of Firefox OS and Gaia
  • General bug fixes, making it more functional and reliable
  • OS-standard ways in the menu to close the Simulator, with corresponding keyboard shortcuts (Alt + F4 on Windows, Cmd + Q on Mac, Ctrl + Q on Linux)

Firefox OS Simulator documentation

As part of this release, we’d also like to highlight our updated Firefox OS Simulator documentation on MDN and also our Firefox OS Simulator walkthrough example.

Download/install the Firefox OS Simulator

You can download version 3.0 of the Firefox OS Simulator from our add-ons web site.

Please let us know what you think in the comments! If you encounter any bugs or problems, please file a bug.

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Firefox OS Simulator – previewing version 3.0

Three months ago we were proud to release the 1.0 version of the Firefox OS Simulator. We’ve made a lot of progress since, and version 2.0 came out about a month ago (latest official version). Now, moving forward, we’d like to present and introduce you to a preview of the upcoming 3.0 version!

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We discussed whether we should talk about this new version yet, since it’s a bit rough around the edges, but we decided to give it a go for two reasons:

  • We’re Mozilla. We do things in the open, and we share our progress. Because we want you to know what’s going on and to be able to come along with us in the process
  • It gives you an unique opportunity to test it out, give feedback, contribute and much more before it’s released

New features in the preview

We’ve listened to the feedback and have tried to target the most common features being requested and well-needed. New features include:

  • Push to Device
  • Rotation simulation
  • Basic geolocation API simulation
  • Manifest validation
  • Stability fixes for installation and updates to apps
  • Newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia (the UI for Firefox OS)

Push to Device

This means that if you have an existing device supporting Firefox OS, connected via USB, you will be able to push apps installed in the Firefox OS Simulator directly to that device.

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Please note:

  • Remote debugging has to be enabled on the device, via
    Settings > Device information > More Information > Developer > Remote debugging
  • On Linux (at least Ubuntu), you must create the file /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules as root and then add a manufacturer-specific entry for the device as described by Android’s Setting up a Device for Development. Example for one of our test devices:entry:
    SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}==" 19d2", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"
  • Not complete Windows support yet. Planned to make it into the final release.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of Firefox OS on your device (especially due to recent fixes like bug 842725)

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Rotation simulation

There’s now a feature to rotate the simulator, get events and more, to adapt your contents to both portrait and landscape. Supports the mozorientationchange event.

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Basic geolocation API simulation

The simulator now also supports geolocation, so you can test it in your app, and read out longitude and latitude values.

Coming soon: an enhancement that lets you specify the geolocation to provide!

Manifest validation

When you add an app to the Firefox OS Simulator, it also does a quick validation of your manifest file for errors and warnings, including problems that prevent installing the app in the Simulator, usage of APIs that the Simulator doesn’t yet simulate (not all APIs in there yet), and missing properties that are required by the Marketplace or devices.

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Downloading the preview

We have all the versions of the Firefox OS Simulator on our FTP server, under its working name r2d2b2g. Here are the direct links to the installation files (installs as an extension in Firefox)

Once installed, it will be available in Firefox in the Tools > Web Developer menu:

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Give us feedback!

Please let us know in the comments here or by filing a bug. Hopefully you will like the improvements and they will benefit you with developing apps!

Getting started with Firefox OS & building Open Web Apps

To get started, we have had a number of articles here on Mozilla Hacks previously:

Additionally we have some other resources:

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Firefox OS Simulator 1.0 is here!

Three weeks back, we introduced the Firefox OS Simulator, a tool that allows web developers to try out their apps in Firefox OS from the comfort of their current Windows/Mac/Linux computers. We’ve seen a number of comments from people who used the Simulator as an easy way to get a peek at Firefox OS today, which is fine, too.

Since that last blog post, the team has been squashing bugs to get the Simulator ready for more use. Linux users in particular will be happy to know that the current release will run on many more systems. With today’s 1.0 release, we hope to see many more users!

Installing

We’re leaving the “Preview” tag on the Simulator for now, both because the Simulator is new and because Firefox OS itself is still in development. This is a perfect time to create apps that work on Firefox OS (and Android and the web at large!) because your apps can be ready for the big launch.

Install the Firefox OS Simulator from addons.mozilla.org today!

Screencast showing Firefox OS Simulator in action

(If you’ve opted in to HTML5 video on YouTube you will get that, otherwise it will fallback to Flash)

Getting help

If you spot any bugs, please file them on GitHub. Got a question? You can ask us on the dev-webapps mailing list or on #openwebapps on irc.mozilla.org

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