Twitter to offer app for Firefox OS

Mozilla announced Sunday support from 18 operators and four device makers for the new operating system

Twitter plans to offer an official app to run on the new Firefox OS, in a significant endorsement of the operating system.

Mozilla said Sunday that 18 operators were supporting the new operating system. Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE are planning to roll out phones built around Firefox OS starting this summer, with devices from Huawei Technologies expected later in the year.

The Twitter for Firefox OS app will be available in the Firefox Marketplace when the devices begin to ship, Twitter said in a blog post on Monday.

The OS is being positioned as a better alternative for low-end smartphones in emerging markets, and is built around applications written using HTML5.

Recognizing the need to have an app store to compete with other mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, Mozilla said its own Firefox Marketplace will offer apps in categories like games, news and media, business and productivity. The marketplace will include popular apps such as AccuWeather, Airbnb, Box, Cut the Rope, Facebook, Nokia Here, MTV Brasil, Pulse News, SoundCloud, SporTV, Terra, Time Out and Twitter, it said.

"Firefox OS will break down the walls between apps and the Web because Firefox OS apps are built using Web technologies, like HTML5," wrote Jay Sullivan, Mozilla's senior vice president of products in a blog post. "We expect to see lots of amazing apps people love built for Firefox OS because more developers are already creating for the Web than for any other platform."

"We're excited about the future of Firefox OS, and look forward to phones shipping with support for our new Twitter app," Twitter staff engineer Manuel Deschamps said in a blog post.

The Twitter app for Firefox will, similar to its other mobile apps, feature the Home, Connect, Discover and Me tabs, as well as the Tweet icons for search and composing Twitter messages. The Twitter app will also support Web Activities on Firefox OS. "This lets you tweet photos directly out of any app that also supports web activities such as the built-in photos app," wrote Deschamps.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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