Mozilla caused a stir earlier this year when it announced plans to create an operating system (OS) for smartphone devices. Seen as a direct rival to Android, Mozilla’s Firefox OS is set to dominate mobile development in India.
Understanding the differences between certain makes and models of phone is important for customers, but few people pay sufficient attention to the pros and cons of operating systems. This can be a big mistake, as the operating system affects the entire performance and functionality of a mobile device.
Google’s Android operating system has taken the biggest slice of the smartphone market, eclipsing software developed by BlackBerry and chief rival Apple. The search-engine giant’s dominance in the sector could be under threat, however, after Mozilla announced plans to develop Firefox OS. Here are eight reasons why Firefox OS will succeed in India and many other countries.
Having spent years developing open-source browser technology, Mozilla’s approach to business is fundamentally different from that of Google and Apple. Mobile-phone experts ought not to be surprised, therefore, that Firefox OS will be relatively inexpensive. According to the latest predictions, Firefox OS will cost less than 5,500 Indian Rupees, which is approximately $100 or £65. This should enable manufacturers to reduce the cost of smartphones built around the new operating system. And there are other aspects of Firefox OS that should result in cost savings for customers.
2. Advanced Technology
Based on the secure, stable and popular Linux infrastructure, Firefox OS is anticipated to be robust and powerful. Designed to be lightweight, the operating system ought to be faster and more reliable than Android and Apple’s iOS 5. Mobile developers in India will be particularly keen to exploit the stability of Firefox OS. According to Matthew Key, the COO of Telefonica, which intends to make use of the Firefox OS, the new operating system will overcome the fragmentation and update issues that beset Android devices.
Firefox OS will be unlike Android and iOS in so far as it is expected to be released as a browser-based operating system. Mozilla essentially intends to create an entire operating system in the style of a web browser. Accessing the same Linux kernels as Android, Firefox OS will be more similar to Chrome OS than most other smartphone operating systems. The advantage of this is that Firefox OS will provide native support for HTML5, which is revolutionizing the way developers build programs for the web. Native support should result in faster, more stable functionality.
4. App Porting
Telefonica estimates that up to 75 per cent of apps produced for Apple devices are based on HTML5, so it stands to reason that the majority of existing apps should be reasonably easy to port to Firefox OS. The operating system’s Linux foundations will facilitate the porting of non-HTML5 apps, so there should be few issues with compatibility.
5. Lightweight and Flexible
Mozilla is a company for the people and as such Firefox OS is expected to run well on all smartphone devices. Unlikely the resource-hungry iOS 5 and several chunky varieties of Android, Firefox OS does not require a miniature supercomputer to operate without error. In fact, sources close to Mozilla suggest the operating system will function well on any device powered by a 600MHz processor or better.
Firefox OS will not always be seen on the biggest, most powerful devices, but that does not necessarily mean it will not appear on the most technologically advanced smartphones. The browser-based operating system will benefit from Qualcomm’s superb Snapdragon processors, providing users with a fast, reliable experience. Firefox OS devices will include USB connectivity, Bluetooth, cameras and other standard features, but they are unlikely to be weighed down by large, space-consuming hard drives.
7. Cloud Storage
One reason why Firefox OS devices can afford not to use large hard drives is that apps will not be saved locally on devices. Instead, they will be stored in the cloud. Remotely accessing apps does mean that users will need to be connected to the internet to enjoy their favourite games and programs, but costs will be further reduced as a result.
8. Google Maps
Another benefit of the operating system’s native support for HTML 5 is that users will be able to experience the full version of Google Maps. Mobile developers in India should be able to take advantage of this to create even more advanced and useful apps.