Mozilla has released Firefox OS 1.3 to hardware partners, and the new $100 ZTE Open C smartphone is one of the first phones to ship with the latest version of the browser-centric operating system.

Key new feature include support for phones with dual SIM cards, camera improvements, and improved audio and video performance.

Firefox OS 1.3 lock screen

Here are some of the highlights in Firefox OS 1.3:

  • Improved graphics, audio, and gaming support with WebGL, asm.js and WebAudio support included in the operating system
  • Dual-SIM support for customers that use multiple phone networks on the same device
  • Camera improvements including continuous auto-focus and flash on supported devices
  • Gallery app now lets you sort pictures by month and display file details
  • Music playback controls from the notification tray and lock screen
  • Play FM Radio through the phone’s speaker
  • Apps are arranged on your home screen into “Smart Collections” by categories such as Social, Games, or Music
  • Support for email notifications and POP3 email accounts
  • Support for sharing multiple files at once over Bluetooth connections

Mozilla has also rolled out experimental support for NFC, but at this point the NFC features aimed at developers rather than casual users.

While Firefox OS is designed to run web apps, Mozilla has been working hard to make those apps run nearly as well on Firefox OS as native apps run on competing platforms. The demo video showing Where’s my Water in action o Firefox OS 1.3 makes a pretty good case that Mozilla is making good progress on that front.

You can read more about Firefox OS 1.3 at Mozilla’s developer site. You can also get a sneak peek at features that are due in upcoming releases.

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