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Firefox OS, Mozilla’s attempt to make a dent into the crowded smartphone market, has reached another milestone today with the release of Firefox OS Simulator 3.0, the new developer tool that allows developers and smartphone enthusiasts alike to give the smartphone operating system a try, straight from their computers.

Similarly to previous versions, Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 takes the form of a simple add-on for the Firefox browser and is therefore incredibly easier to set up. After an installation process that takes less than a minute, users are able to try out the operating system in all its glory, straight from a window within their operating system. To get the simulator up and running, simply navigate over to the Tools menu in Firefox, then select Web Developer followed by Firefox OS Simulator.

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The new version makes interesting changes and adds really useful features that have been requested by developers for the last few months. The most relevant addition is “Push to Device”, allowing users with a device running Mozilla’s smartphone operating system to automatically load apps being simulated straight onto the device. There are also other features worth noting, such as rotation simulator and geo-location, which will allow developers to test new features within their apps without the need for a physical device.

While first envisioned in 2011, work on Firefox OS has quickly gathered pace over the last few months. Following the release of the first iteration of Firefox OS Simulator late last year, Mozilla announced a global rollout of the smartphone operating system earlier this year, with devices shipping in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela. Smartphone makers such as LG Electronics, ZTE and TCL Corporation have all announced intentions to develop devices bundled with the new operating system.

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If you are looking to give Firefox OS a try and see what it is all about, this might be a great time to do it. Even without a device, you will be able to dig deep into what the new platform has to offer. More importantly, the simulator is available completely free of charge as a Firefox Add-On, for Linux, Windows and OS X. Users should note that no full Windows support is available at present, though Mozilla promises progress in the near future.

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