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Old 07-02-2013, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
1,178 posts, read 1,354,312 times
Reputation: 389

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Mozilla's Firefox phone: Why Telefonica's new ZTE Open matters.

Mozilla, the nonprofit behind the Firefox web browser, will launch its first Firefox smartphone tomorrow in Spain. It's not clear when the phone is coming to the United States, and you might not want to buy one even when it does. But you should root for it to succeed anyway....

...But as more of the world does its computing on phones and tablets, Mozilla risks being squeezed out, no matter how good the Firefox browser is. More importantly, the Web as an open platform could suffer in the long term as developers spend more of their time and energy building apps specifically for mobile operating systems like iOS and Android. The Web isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, of course. But given the choice, developers may focus on, say, sprucing up their iPad apps rather than optimizing the mobile versions of their websites. That would be great for iPad users, but not so great for those who can’t afford an iPad. And it’s certainly not great for openness, since Apple controls what is and isn’t allowed into its ecosystem. Android is technically open-source, but it's not nearly as open as the Web, and every minute spent developing an Android app is one not spent bringing the Web into the mobile age.


Enter Firefox OS. Rather than relying on developers to build new apps specifically for Firefox phones—which would be a nonstarter, given all the other options on the market—Mozilla built an operating system focused on Web-based applications. Click the Facebook app, and it takes you not to a native app, but to Facebook’s mobile website. Ditto Yelp, Accuweather, et al. The phone can store your settings and cached information for those sites separately and locally, like it would for native apps, and it does come with a suite of core apps like a camera, contacts, maps, and calendar. But when you download a third-party app from Firefox’s Marketplace, you’re basically downloading a shortcut to a mobile website. An “adaptive app search” allows you to search for, say, “sushi” and pull up a list of Web-based apps relevant to your search, like Yelp, Google Places, Urban Spoon, and Open Table.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 9,005,267 times
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Its great that people will have options. It really does push innovation. Its success will probably be more prevalent in emerging markets more so than in the US.

SO far we have Ubutnu Mobile, Jolla, Baidu, Tizen and of course all the various Android ROMs like CM and AOKP.
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