Most desktop users are more than familiar with Mozilla’s Firefox web browser. What you may not be aware of is that Mozilla has been working on a Firefox Marketplace for web-based apps, and finally have opened the curtains for people to have a peek at what’s inside the marketplace. Surprisingly though, Mozilla has decided to go the mobile route for testing, and are making the Firefox marketplace available on the Aurora build of Firefox browser which is available for Android users.
Other platforms will have to wait till a compatible Aurora build is made available for them, or till the builds are updated to include the marketplace. Even users with access to Mozilla’s Firefox OS need to wait for now, till Android users get to test out the marketplace first.
Keep in mind though, that the Firefox Marketplace is still in early stages of development, and one of the key things to a marketplace – a payment system- has not yet been integrated. So for now, Android users testing this out, will only be able to view and download free apps.
The marketplace can be accessed directly from within the Aurora Browser’s Apps Option, which opens up the marketplace page in the browser. From there on, you can browse the categories, and the apps within each category. Installing a web app, is quite similar to installing a native Android app from Google Play. Only difference is that apps installed from the Firefox marketplace will not appear in your Android App Drawer, but will show up in the Apps section within the Aurora Browser – obviously, since these are all web-based apps, and not native Android apps.
While it is logical to expect some difference in the performance and smoothness between native Android and web based apps, the Twitter client I installed was surprisingly smooth. But I guess, that may also be dependent on the device and your internet connection. Users with a high-end device and a high-speed 3G connection are likely to experience better results than others,
The only catch is, if performance between native Android apps (of which there is no dearth in the Play Store) and Web-based apps is in a best-case scenario, the same, why would anyone want to use web apps on their mobile devices. It would be rare these days to find something which is only available as a web app. But let’s wait and watch how this pans out for Mozilla.
If you want to check out the Firefox Market place on your Android phone or tablet, you need to download the Aurora build for Android. Hit the download button below to get it. You would need to transfer the apk to your phone and manually install it though. Once installed, simply go to Options > Tools > Apps in Aurora, and access the marketplace.[button link=”https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mobile/nightly/latest-mozilla-aurora-android/en-US/fennec-18.0a2.en-US.android-arm.apk” icon=”arrow” style=””]Download Aurora for Android[/button]