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Mozilla previews latest version of Firefox OS Simulator

Mozilla this week previewed version 3.0 of its Firefox OS Simulator, a tool for developers to test apps for the Firefox operating system from their Windows, Mac, or Linux computers.

The new version is "a bit rough around the edges," Mozilla admitted, but the company moved forward to keep with its tradition of openness, and to allow developers the chance to offer feedback and suggest fixes.

Firefox OS Simulator launched in November, and each new version includes features that target the most common and needed requests. Version 3.0 comes with push to device, a fairly self-explanatory function that allows developers to connect via USB a device supporting Firefox OS, then push apps installed on the Simulator directly to the connected machine. For the feature to work, Mozilla noted, remote debugging must be enabled, and the latest Firefox OS must be installed.

Meanwhile, a new feature rotates the simulator to show content in portrait and landscape modes, and developers can now test basic geolocation API simulation in their apps, which will then read out longitude and latitude values. Mozilla also plans to add an enhancement that allows specific geolocation in the future.

The Simulator now also allows a quick validation of manifest files for errors and warnings, including problems that prevent app installation, usage of APIs that aren't yet simulated, and missing properties required by the Marketplace or devices.

All versions of the Firefox OS Simulator are available on Mozilla's FTP server, under the working name r2d2b2g. Once installed, the feature will be available in Firefox, via the Tools—Web Developer menu.

The company unveiled two developer preview phones in January, dubbed Keon and Peak. We got our first look at Firefox OS during MWC, and some hands-on time with the Alcatel One Touch Fire Firefox OS Phone.

The first Firefox OS phones will launch this year in nine countries.