Firefox OS is launching early next year, and Mozilla needs to make sure that developers have some apps ready before its launch. It's a little early to get hardware into the hands of developers though. That's where software solutions come in, and Mozilla had just the thing.
Mozilla announced that the Firefox OS Simulator prototype is now available for download. It was introduced in an early form as a Firefox Add-On last month, but now the Boot2Gecko team is hard at work pushing the simulator towards a version 1.0 release.
By using the simulator, developers will be able to install apps directly on to their Firefox browser. Apps can either be loaded from local sources, or they can be loaded from a URL, such as a GitHub repository. Once everything is set up, developers can launch the simulator to see how apps perform in the Firefox OS environment.
Interestingly enough, the Firefox OS Simulator is built on the Boot2Gecko desktop project. It's different from a regular hardware emulator in that it's not built upon a virtual machine. That means that simulator will run much smoother on older hardware, but it also implies that Mozilla may one day bring its HTML5 app market to the desktop version of Firefox.