Is Firefox OS a worthy smartphone challenger? Judge from the screenshots!
Android, BlackBerry OS, IOS, Maemo, Palm OS, Symbian, webOS, Windows Phone … there are plenty of operating systems for mobile phones, but Mozilla Foundation intends to win in this fiercely competitive world with Firefox OS.
Based on Linux and Gecko, Firefox OS was announced in April and demonstrated by Telefonica in July. It should appear first in early 2013 in Latin America, and then perhaps in Europe. It runs applications in HTML5, and the Foundation claims it is lighter, faster and more open than Android.
Updated images available: the operating system is under development, and Mozilla has informed us that these images are somewhat out of date: “Those screenshots are of Firefox OS, but are outdated,” said a Mozilla statement. “We’ll share new images soon. As an open source company developing products in the open, you can expect to see in-progress mock ups and screenshots of all of our projects as they evolve. These are not any indication of the final product.”
TechWeekEurope has asked Mozilla for clarification of the questions posed by readers on this article, and will bring answers to you as soon as we can. [For those that asked, we are also waiting on an update for our Image Gallery plug-in – Editor].
As you can see, Firefox OS contains everything you would expect from a smartphone OS, including support for calls, texts, calendar and contacts. It also manages the camera and runs apps, which sit on the screen in a normal grid of icons. Yet underneath this, all the applicatinos are written in HTML – which could make it an easier platform to develop for. Most apps are built in HTML5, then customised for iOS or Android, or whatever OS they are intended for.