An Insight into the Firefox OS
Firefox OS is definitely creating buzz in the smartphone industry, but is it really capable of competing with the stable and most widely used Android and iOS? Well, As Mozilla puts it, Firefox OS is not developed with a sole purpose of being a mobile operating system, but through this platform they want to break the norm and make web completely open. Thus, it wants to replace native applications with browser-based ones built on open standards. This article will cover the highlights of the all new mobile operating system.
Codenamed as Boot to Gecko (B2G), its basically a web app which is built using standard web technologies. It is capable of launching other web apps too with an enhanced access to mobile device hardware and services.
What's different in Firefox OS compared to other mobile operating systems?
- Mozilla has specifically developed Web APIs thus making it possible for HTML5 apps to communicate with the device's hardware, which was only possible for native apps until now
- Its just something more than a browser which is running on a very lightweight Linux-based operating system using the Monolithic Kernel
- So everything in this OS, including the camera, bluetooth etc. is a web app, which is just like a website in form of an app
- Firefox OS is powered by Gecko engine, runs only websites in the form of apps, known as web apps
Let's now learn about the main components of the Firefox OS as mentioned in the figure above.
Gecko – This is the web engine, the one which connects hardware to HTML. As such, it has the HTML5 parsing and rendering engine, graphics stack, networking stack etc.
Gonk – Gonk is the Kernel level component for the Firefox OS. It initiates the complex hardware level requests and controls the mobile device.
To know about the architecture in details, please follow this link.
Can you start developing apps for Firefox OS ?
You can either create a packaged app or a hosted app. To check out the currently available apps, you can visit this link.
Its currently supported on the devices like, Keon and Peak by Geeksphone, these are meant for developers only as of now. For others, the supporting devices are Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S 4G, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Otoro, Unagi and Pandaboard.
So, what's the future of Firefox OS?