Mozilla has just released Firefox OS 1.1 with MMS support, a new push notifications API and more.
Firefox OS is a big deal for Mozilla and it does seem to be making modest inroads into the overwhelmingly Android and iOS dominated mobile market. At the moment the people buying a Firefox phone seem to be a mixture of geeks who want an open phone that runs open software and low end users who probably aren't making a fully informed choice. It remains to be seen if a critical mass of users can be created by a fairly clever marketing approach that makes it reasonable to buy a more up-market phone when the hardware becomes more widely available.
As well as having a lot of good quality apps available, it is also important that the actual OS becomes stable and feature complete. The developer phones we are using for our tutorial series stil say "pre-release" for example. Mozilla has just announced version 1.1 which will be included on the newer Firefox phones as standard and should be available as a download for existing phones "in the near future".
The most important of the new features is better stability and a speed increase. From the end user's point of view the best new features are the ability to send and receive MMS pictures, audio and video. A new search facility is provided on the home screen and it claims to be "adaptive" although what this means is vague. You can also now import contacts from Gmail and Hotmail and from the call log. The keyboard has added autocorrect and e-mail is easier to use with auto-draft mode.
For the developer the only major upgrade is the Push Notifications API. There is no precise infomation on this, but presumably it is based on the Simple Push API that Mozilla has been working on. This is available for installed apps and allows the app to be woken up based on a mesage received from a server. This could be used to provide fresh data for the app to display for example. It is another currently non-standard element in Firefox OS.