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Firefox OS: Changing the Web into a Better Place.

Firefox OS Logo

In the light of struggling for mobile supremacy, long-time web browser maker, Mozilla, enters the crowded market of mobile operating system and promises an ample space in the market which was previously ruled by Android, iOS and BlackBerry. The Firefox OS, once considered as Project B2G (Boot-to-Gecko), is a Linux, Web and HTML5-based mobile operating system that was derived from Gecko, its runtime application.

User Interface and Features

Interestingly, Mozilla called the Firefox’s UI as Gaia, everything you see when you boot a device running on Firefox OS is HTML5. The interface is simple and straightforward, you can unlock your device by swiping upwards from bottom to top of the screen. Afterwards, you’ll have two options: go to Homescreen or go to the camera app. The Homescreen is a friendly place for you to find the iOS-ish dock with four icons (dialer, browser, camera and phone). Firefox OS UI Screens From Homescreen, you can access the adaptive search bar if you swipe all the way left but unlike iOS’, this search function covers the Web and the Firefox Marketplace (the direct equivalent of PlayStore and AppStore). You can navigate through your apps by swiping from right to left, and you can also discover new apps by doing a left to right swipe gesture. The Lockscreen is very a minimalist affair. It only contains the date, time and the name of your network provider. Likewise, it flashes your relevant notifications like email, SMS, etc. The Notification Bar is also well thought of. It houses other information like battery status and WiFi.

How it differs from other mobile OS

Unlike other conventionals like iOS and Android, Firefox OS is purely a browser-based platform. It gets a tight grip on the lower-end market where most Android phones are a generation behind. With the high-influenced HTML5 interface, you can enjoy the same flagship-ish speed. Several devices have been released with Firefox OS like the Geeksphone Keon, Peak and ZTE Open, this goes to show that Firefox OS guns for lower-end hardwares.

Features and Web Browser capabilities

Aside from the built-in apps like Facebook, Nokia Here, etc, Firefox OS is heavily driven by its native apps in its Homescreen. The Contact Apps is a hub to friends and people you know. Since the OS integrates with Facebook, you can check your friends’ Facebooks statuses here. The camera app, which is also available in Lockscreen, gives feature-rich tabs for photos and videos. A built-in gallery app can also be pulled to give you editing features. Just like the same technology in the Web, the native browser is fastest and safest when used in a Firefox OS. The native browser takes advantage of the web-based platform from the maker where it’s named from. Mozilla for Firefox is faster compared to its Android version since it's clearly using HTML5 in a web-based application. The integration of the browser's features is comparable to the integration that Google gives to its web products in a pure stock Android or Nexus devices.

Summary

Mozilla's vision of integrating world-wide web on your mobile device is simply ingenious. Android and iOS may have been too far above. And while Window Phone and BlackBerry struggling for rejuvenation, Mozilla's Firefox OS, on the otherhand, fights for the web to be a better place.


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