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You can try out Firefox OS without having to switch operating systems

Firefox OS is one of those things that I’ve been interested in enough to keep up with some of the more significant news, but not to the point where I’d actually consider getting a Firefox OS smartphone, no matter how inexpensive they are, and I’m far from the only one. It looks like Mozilla is aware of this, as the company has released a simple app for Android that acts as a launcher that replicates Firefox OS, that way people can get a feel for the operating system without having to buy a brand new smartphone or install a new operating system. It’s not on the Google Play Store, so you’ll have to download the 88MB APK from Mozilla’s website, but it’s still worth checking out if you’re curious. 

Have you been wondering what the deal is with Firefox OS, but can’t get around to trying out some hardware or flashing a custom ROM? Well good news, you can now try out the a little bit of what Firefox OS has to offer with minimum hassle, thanks to this ‘Developer Preview’ app. The Firefox OS 2.5 Developer Preview is essentially a launcher than you can install with a simple APK. The file is available to download directly from Mozilla, as there isn’t a Google Play option. The APK weighs in at 88MB, so it’s a modest download but there’s plenty to it. The launcher also comes with several system level applications; such as calls, messaging, email and even an app store; to give you a more complete feel for what Firefox OS 2.5 is like. Don’t worry about having to make a major commitment though, all of your other apps will continue to work as before. Personally, I find the home screen UI to be a bit oversized on my 5.5-inch handset, but in terms of features there are some interesting ideas. You can pin websites directly to the home screen and the ability to quickly hop to the address bar from anywhere is handy. There are a few little slowdowns in the UI, particularly with the animations, and the back button doesn’t seem to do anything, but it’s quite stable for software labelled as a developer preview. That said, there’s still a bit of work left to do before this preview app is likely to win many people over to Firefox OS.

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