The first smartphone based on Firefox OS is supposed to reach the market in the first half of 2013. Firstly, it will be released in South America, and later on, make its way towards Asian and European markets. As far as the hardware part is concerned, it has teamed up with trendy-named firm called Geeksphone, in partnership with Telefonica.
The two smartphones that will be running on this mobile operating system have been named Keon and Peak. Mozilla has partnered with Chinese manufacturers ZTE and TCL Corporation for the production of these devices. The upcoming mobile OS is fully compatible with HTML5 to access the underlying capabilities of a phone. The most striking feature of this OS is that there are no native apps i.e. everything from Camera app to address book is based in the web.
The major software layers underlying the Mozilla Firefox OS are:
- Gonk: consists of the Linux kernel and the user space Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL). It is basically a simple Linux distribution program with which the developers can expose interfaces to Gecko.
- Gaia: the user interface of Firefox OS which includes implementations of a lock screen, home screen, telephone dialer and much more.
Now that we have an idea about the hardware and software underlying this new and promising mobile operating system, let's have a look at its features:
- Cost Efficient: Due to the removal of unnecessary middleware layers, the Firefox OS based smartphones are expected to offer richer experiences at a lower cost.
- Completely Open: The Firefox OS evades the patent traps in which the Android like smartphones fall as it completely relies on the openness of the worldwide web.
Besides these, the smartphones supporting the Firefox OS have easy app porting as 75% of the apps in Google Play and the Apple AppStore are written in HTML5,have social networking integration, Google maps, Qualcomm processors and a lot more. Firefox Mobile OS claims to offer a simple, speedy yet efficient user experience even on handsets running on modest 600MHz processors.
Though the Firefox OS is compatible with devices like Otoro, Nexus S, Nexus S 4G, Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus, it will still face a fierce competition from BlackBerry 10, Ubuntu, Tizen and Jolla software due to the release of these smartphones before the end of 2013.
Until the finished version of Firefox OS comes out, it's hard to say whether it will be a success. But one thing is sure that it will create a new revolution in the smartphone market and provide a new type of diversity to the user that wasn't prevalent before.
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