One of the nice things about getting FFOS 1.2 on my device is being able to use App Manager instead of the simulator plugin to do development. Given that the App Manager replaces the Simulator Dashboard in the newest versions of Firefox, it seems like the kind of thing developers should have access to. So hopefully ZTE figures out a way to get a 1.2+ release on their developer phones.

Note however that the app manager is available in the Firefox 26 series, which is current the pre-alpha release. You can install Aurora side by side with the current stable Firefox release (that’s the default on OS X at least). The app manager is available without having to install anything, but you’ll need to install the ADB helper to connect to an actual device. Details are in the using the app manager document. I’ve been testing it out primarily with my locally built FFOS 1.2 on the ZTE Open (inari) device.

Now comes the hard part of trying to figure out what you can put on the device to make sure everything is working before you dive too far into hacking around on your own. You’ll probably run across things like the Firefox OS Quick Start example and the Mozilla templates for Open Web Apps. None of those seem to be working to generate something you can install on a device (they work great for the simulator, running on the same machine as your development tools). Seems like there haven’t been a ton of folks working with physical devices yet.

This Firefox OS boilerplate app serves as a fantastic starting point however. Just a clone and then “Add Packaged App” in the app manager and you’ll be able to refresh and run on the device. There’s some rough bits, like geolocation isn’t working within the app on my device, and “Take picture” has some issues. However I can “Pick image” and choose camera as the source and that works okay. And the rest of the stuff like vibrate, ambient light, device orientation, and check battery are all working.