Firefox OS could be flashed to certain Android devices before, but if you don’t have a compatible device or you’re not comfortable loading up a whole new OS you’ll be happy to know that another route to success has opened. As of Firefox OS 2.5, you can now download the OS as an Android app and preview it on any Android phone you have.
This is made possible by Firefox developing the OS as an Android launcher replacement. It effectively “hides” the true Android experience and brings forth an experience close to what you’d find on a full installation of Firefox OS. It has all its own apps — web apps — which can be run right alongside the Android apps you already have on your phone. Win-Win.
That said, there are bound to be bugs and quirks that must be dealt with. For instance, Firefox OS has its own task manager, navigation functions and other things which may conflict with your Android device (Firefox OS doesn’t use a centralized Back button, for starters). Mozilla’s done their part to mitigate the headaches associated with most of these conflicts, but note that there could still be a couple of bugs and annoying interactions roaming throughout.
With that, here’s what version 2.5 is bringing for those interested:
- Add-ons: Just like the add-ons we’ve come to love in desktop browsers,Firefox OS add-ons can extend just one app, several, or all of them, including the system app itself.
- Private Browsing with Tracking Protection: A new Firefox privacy feature, Tracking Protection allows users to control how their browsing activity is tracked across many sites.
- Pin the Web: Pin the Web removes the artificial distinction between web apps and web sites and lets you pin any web site or web page to your home screen for later usage.
Want to try it yourself? All you need to do is visit this link from your Android phone and you’ll be whisked through the installation process in no time. Now is the perfect time to give it a try if you’ve been curious to see what a Firefox operating system looks like.