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Packaged apps without dependency

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János Fehér

Feb 8, 2015, 6:53:37 PM2/8/15

I'm wondering if there is a way to create packaged apps for Android (and iOS, if possible) packaged with a headless Firefox? My team would like to create apps and it would be very convenient for the end users if we would be able to create a self-contained app with the dependencies. Is this possible now or do you plan to release such version of the APK Factory Library?

Thank you,

Fred Wenzel

Feb 9, 2015, 4:06:44 PM2/9/15
to János Fehér,

I don't know of any concrete plans to create self-contained APKs including
a bundled version of Gecko, though you do have a few options.

As you know, keeping running against Firefox for Android is option 1. It
has the caveat of requiring Firefox for Android as a separate entity, but
it also keeps your package size relatively small.

Second option is using Apache Cordova / Adobe PhoneGap[1], which will --
mind you -- not run your app on Gecko, but it *will* be a self-contained
package (relying on Android's built-in WebView). There is also CrossWalk[2]
which is similar to Cordova (partially API compatible, I believe) and
bundles another Webview that's also not Gecko (it's Chromium) but that too
will be self-contained, and you can write the same code and compile it for
Firefox OS and Android that way.

Finally, there's a project called GeckoView[3], which aims to bring a
Gecko-based Webview to Android, and that can be (conceivably) used to power
Cordova on Android. I remember such attempts to be underway, but I am
fairly certain no stable public release of this (Cordova + Geckoview) has
been made.

While none of these options are turn-key, I hope this gives you a better
overview of which directions you might want to push in.


On Sun, Feb 8, 2015 at 3:53 PM, János Fehér <>
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Gangadhar Nittala

Feb 11, 2015, 10:21:24 AM2/11/15
to Fred Wenzel,, János Fehér
Fred, this is a good email detailing the possible options. János, is your
end objective running apps that are based on the HTML5 standards (WebApps -
online / offline) or is there a different reason why you would like to
package the Gecko runtime along with your application? Is there any other
need - like containerization / process isolation etc. that you are looking

Thank you

János Fehér

Feb 11, 2015, 12:13:59 PM2/11/15
Fred, Gangadhar,

Thank you for the through answer!

Why I'd like to have self-contained apps is mostly the convenience for the
end-users (the dropout rate would be high if they have to install a browser
for it).

Bit I also quite quite like the features that only Gecko offers at the
moment, such as the MediaRecorder API or Asm.js.
I know it is possible to do with Cordova, but the ideal goal would be to
develop one web application only and provision it to all the devices below
1% code deviation. The Cordova apps is for mobile devices only, I can't use
the same features such as Capture or Camera API on desktop without drastic
change. Some of the emerging platform such as Firefox OS or Tizen is not
well supported yet.

Gangadhar Nittala

Feb 11, 2015, 9:19:50 PM2/11/15
János, given that you would like to build one app that would work across
different mobile and desktop platforms, I think Cordova will be a better
bet in the long run. As the new platforms evolve, there will be development
in Cordova and that will ensure newer versions are available (I am not 100%
sure if the resources in the Cordova apps can update themselves, so that
the user installs the native app from the store only once and then on all
the resources are updated by the app itself).

And also, the adoption rate of Tizen is lower than FFOS, which is slowly
growing. The bigger concern will be the availability of W3C APIs on the
Android and IOS devices, so that you are able to get your application out
into the market sooner.

Hope this helps.

On Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 10:43 PM, János Fehér <>
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