With the launch of Firefox OS at this year’s MWC, I think it is a good opportunity for small time developers like me to venture into.
The iOS and Android app markets are way too crowded, and the launch of a new mobile OS which is expected to ship in Q4 of 2013, is something to look forward to.
So How to build and What to build ??
Let’s begin with the “What” first.
Nearly 3 years ago, I started a small company Geeks Inc. with a batch mate and iRajanee was the second app we built and by far the most popular one from our portfolio.
We kind of treat iRajanee as a “Hello, World!” app. All it does is generate a random number and load a joke on Rajinikanth , from an XML file.
See the simplicity of the app ?
So now we know what to build. But, “How” to build it ?
Well to begin with, Firefox has two kind of apps, or webapps to be more precise.
Hosted apps and Packaged apps.
Hosted apps will be fed from a server and packaged apps are downloadable zip files which reside on the device itself. Depending on the kind of app, packaged apps will require permissions from Mozilla to use certain device specific APIs.
I came across this really cool boilerplate template for moving ahead. The code is well structured, commented and documented.
I cloned the above repository to my local machine, tweaked it here and there, et voila !
What are Manifests ?
Manifests are THE most important files for a Firefox OS app. They contain the metadata, developer info, and asset information for your apps.
Documentation on how to make the manifest file can be found here.