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First in-depth look at Firefox's mobile OS

Posted: , by Scott H.

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First in-depth look at Firefox's mobile OS
Firefox OS, what was originally called Boot to Gecko, was recently mugging for the camera to show off its HTML5-based UI. Firefox OS aims to be a totally open and free mobile OS that runs HTML5 web-apps, meaning that developers who make apps for Firefox OS devices would be able to distribute them to any other mobile platform with an HTML5-complient browser. The OS is expected to arrive on its first commercial phone is expected to launch on Brazil’s Telephonica toward the end of this year or early in 2013.

The mobile OS also has support from Sprint and Deutsche Telekom, so we may see several Firefox OS phones next year. The real question of course is what will the OS look like? Happily TechWeek Europe got its hands on a slew of images from current versions of the operating system, which we present below. You can see that much inspiration has been drawn from both Android and iOS, and the result is a nice-looking and clean user interface.

Based on what you see, do you think Firefox OS has a strong mobile future, or will they fall to the wayside?





source: TechWeek Europe via Business Insider

50 Comments
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posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:46 58

1. thedarkside (Posts: 652; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


its like android and ios had a baby.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:51 15

2. Ohrules (Posts: 320; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


priceless comment!

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:08 10

10. JcHnd (Posts: 81; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


exactly what i was thinking... and the first caller looks so depressed... we'll see in the future if this OS it's good!

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:08 14

11. disneydad (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)


With proud Uncle WP8 and Aunt Symbian there for the birth. Older brother BB was none too happy.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 17:01 9

17. thedarkside (Posts: 652; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


i wonder what auntie webOS would think if she were still here to see this miracle! LOL

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 20:49 10

29. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3033; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


If PA didnt mention this was a Firefox Mobile OS, I would have thought it was just custom Android ROM or new UI skin over ICS.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 21:22 6

31. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


So instead of just suing, Apple will sue for custody!
Ugh that was terrible...but that icon grid worries me...

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 08:17

44. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1007; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


best comment of the day lmbo

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:52 11

3. Elvis. (Posts: 25; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I'm not impressed...

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:53 6

15. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


Me neither. I thought for sure that it would be better than this. ;_;
I just don't like the lockscreen (because it looks just like Android) and the homescreen because it just looks weird.
All in all, we haven't seen all of it yet and I still have faith in Mozilla to create a good OS.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 22:48 2

36. smartphone (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


Actually me too I was expecting some fresh UI ideas. Its like a theme on the IOS with some android coolness.
And please don't use drop down notifications or else it will be a complete rip off.

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 04:49 2

43. HTCFreak (Posts: 150; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)


HAHA if you look at the second picture, you can see that it says: Angry birds next to the Evernote app icon and Evernote next to the angry birds icon, lol! :D

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:55 13

4. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3033; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


I can see some lawsuits on its way.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:57 5

7. eDiesel (Posts: 141; Member since: 17 Mar 2012)


You beat me to it.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:55 7

5. Jyakotu (Posts: 822; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)


I honestly can't believe Sprint is on the fence about supporting Windows Phone 8, but they give their full support to Firefox OS.? That makes ZERO sense.! Look, on the Sprint website, the HTC Arrive is one of their HIGHEST RATED smartphones. Sprint customers want more Windows Phones, especially a Nokia Lumia device that Nokia is more than happy to make for Sprint. But NO, they're rather support with copy & paste Android iOS knock off of a smartphone OS. If my predictions are correct, I feel that Firefox OS will go the way of webOS, which is actually WAY better than this piece of junk OS to begin with.

/rant

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 17:13 4

18. snowgator (Posts: 3244; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Makes me feel good when a fellow P.A. user gets it off his chest.

The fact that I agree with every word you just said is a happy bonus.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:57 2

6. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


It looks great except the idea that somehow it must look like Apple's grid format, I surely hope that is something customizable as I am no fan of static icons with no personality.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 15:58 2

8. androidornothing (Posts: 143; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Wow this looks so lame. I honestly dont think there should be any new OS's cuz Android and iOS already have most of the market share so there is just no point anymore. Anythibg besides those two big monsters are going to fail.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:01 1

9. eDiesel (Posts: 141; Member since: 17 Mar 2012)


The one advantage this has over both of those is that Firefox os is COMPLETELY free. The play store is 10 bucks a pop.

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 00:53 1

39. skymitch89 (Posts: 1081; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


What are you talking about "$10 a pop"? There are a lot of free apps in the Play Store. As of right now, Firefox OS is "a totally open and free mobile OS", but we'll see how long that lasts if and when it gets adopted by multiple manufacturers.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:33 3

13. plgladio (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Healthy competition is always good. Unlike the current competition.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 20:08 3

27. Aeires (unregistered)


WRONG. The same could have been said about Android and look how it turned out. If a new OS has something good to offer, bring it on.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 20:41 1

28. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5620; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Android was refreshing because it was the only real competition to iOS, even WP7 was welcome for the Windows fans but this doesn't fit in anywhere. it'll be hard for anything to. the smarter thing to do is to just make an Android Skin and be done with it.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:17 6

12. MistB (Posts: 574; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Are you saying people shouldn't have a choice besides IOS and more specifically judging by your avatar, Android? Like it or not, not everyone likes Android and there are more to OS's than just the big 2, WP8/BB10 if BB is still around/MeeGo/Tizen and Firefox OS, with Amazon as a potential contender to challenge Google with it's own mobile OS. The more choice the better and so people aren't just restricted to IOS and your favourite platform, Android. The only thing we need are more OEMs and more Apps for each ecosystem, something that WP8 has that the others don't, although Nokia/BB did fine back in their day. IMO, there should be no less than 3 mobile platforms and at the very least, 4. My preference would be either MeeGo or Tizen as the 4th and 5th Mobile OS.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:36 1

14. plgladio (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


IMG 3: Now who calls round corner icons? Mozilla made round icons :P

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 16:59 1

16. bluechrism (Posts: 99; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Nokia/via Symbian Belle and Meego, though i suppose they are "Squircles".

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 17:18 2

19. e.wvu (unregistered)


See, Mozilla is so late into the OS market that their OS resembles iOS and Android in so many ways. They should just integrate their OS into Android.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 17:24 6

20. snowgator (Posts: 3244; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Bck when this was first announced (here:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Mozilla-build​ing-an-open-source-OS-for-smartphones-and-tablets_​id20642), there was pretty much a feeling there was no room for this. And now, over a year later, I see even less space for it in the mobile jungle:

-There are the 2 big 300Lbs gorillas to take on(Android and Apple).
-There is the aging Lion, with a strong Pride and deep food reserves trying to get back in shape (BlackBerry).
-There is the young Wolf Pack, nipping at everyone's heels and trying to find some new hunting ground (WP).
-There is the Jackal, everyone is laughing at, but when set free may find a place to eat some meet left over (open sourced WebOS).
-There is a new animal, sighted and fascinating, a different breed of Tiger that may be strong in certain ranges (MeeGo).
-And rumors of a Yeti, though only a couple of pictures lend truth to it's existence (Tizen).

Where does this DoDo Bird fit in exactly? I would support at least 5, maybe 6 of those before this....

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 17:33 3

21. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


Dont expect anything to exciting, mozilla already said that this is going to be geared towards first time smart phone users. Ie, none of us.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 17:40 1

22. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5620; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


https://apps.facebook.com/tmobilespintowin/?u=452818

Spinning and Winning? that's two of my favorite things!

SPIN FOR YOUR KING! SPIN!

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 17:53 4

23. networkdood (Posts: 6276; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Open source OSes are always welcomed...

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 18:18 1

24. androidornothing (Posts: 143; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


@Mistb-dude u dont know what the hell u are talking about Firefox doesnt have a chance. Whether u like it or not 90% of smartphone users out there dont care about WP8, BB, etc and people dont know anything besides Android or iOS. The big 2 are android and iOS

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 00:36

37. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


True, but this is really free and that would give competition to google. Google may reduce its prices a little and that would finally get the ifans to buy android/firefox instead of ios. so, it's good, whatever this is happening.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 18:20 1

25. androidornothing (Posts: 143; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Everyone knows that when someone goes to buy a smartphone these days all they ask about is either an iPhone or Android (its even safe to say Galaxy S3 as of tday). So dude just shut up and dont be a hater.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 19:36 2

26. nicholassss (Posts: 351; Member since: 10 May 2012)


It looks pretty weak right now. Throw it on a few lower end phones, let the devs and consumers get a taste of it and ill bet we could have something great in a few years time.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 21:01 2

30. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


i have a question... what will be the html5 apps means? this OS and the phone will run only on an internet ready phone? is this phone is base on the internet?

will it run offline? please explain to me... im really wondering what can this OS do that it will be different on android iOS WP8 meego and BB10....

and as far as i know tizen is also base on html5... what can firefox OS and tizen OS can do?

can they run offline? can they have a lot of apps? or is this OSes run only online?

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 00:40

38. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


i do not know this technology but my guess is that the interface is html5 based. which means that whatever you see are "web"pages. Just like you can see the same webpages offline, you can see these offline.

So, that dialer - that is a webpage. That contact calling with the picture of the contact. That's a webpage, too.

If you're connected, you can see current dynamic content. If not connected, you still see the saved / synced content, etc.

posted on 22 Jul 2012, 20:11 1

47. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


ehhh... thanks anyway... i hate the web base thingyyy... but firefox OS is really good looking... i hope that they are like android (minus the lag and battery consuption)... and just run html 5 apps, not an OS base on html5!!

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 22:10 2

32. azafirster (Posts: 43; Member since: 01 May 2012)


Enough with the arguements, Firefox, please say that we can flash this on any smartphone, simple setup, and then have go at saying wheather its good or bad

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 22:46 1

33. Shubham412302 (Posts: 298; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


so many new os but i want to try meego as n9 wasn't launched in india

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 22:46

34. Shubham412302 (Posts: 298; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


so many new os but i want to try meego as n9 wasn't launched in india

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 22:47

35. Shubham412302 (Posts: 298; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


so many new os but i want to try meego as n9 wasn't launched in india

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 01:00

40. IamYourFather6657 (Posts: 321; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


It's beautiful but it's too like iOS

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 01:07

41. skymitch89 (Posts: 1081; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


I can see a lawsuit coming from Apple and possibly Microsoft. From what these pics show, it seems as though Mozilla has taken bits and pieces from Android, iOS, & WP7/8 and put them into one OS. As of right now, I think there is more of a chance to see device manufacturers like ZTE, Huawei, Kyocera, and possibly HTC adopting and developing devices to run this OS. As of right now it looks good, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the public takes to Firefox OS. I think that the main thing that this OS has going for it would be the fact that it is built on HTML5.

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 04:20

42. getaway (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


I'm not impressed at all, however I think it may make some success here in Brazil if the price is affordable enough. A lot of people are moving to Android but I think this would be a great opportunity to those who want a clean and easy interface on a smartphone.

posted on 20 Jul 2012, 15:09 1

45. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


Lol they put this on the n9

posted on 22 Jul 2012, 03:48

46. shuaibhere (Posts: 1597; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


its jus luking like an custom anroid.... i cant see any ios like things here... only the background colour is same as ios.....and i like that lock screen incoming call screen.... and i dont think html5 vl be good for OS...

posted on 25 Jul 2012, 23:17

49. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


well its also linux base... i also agree that htlm5 base OS isnt ready for primetime... if they just make it similar to android (minus apple suing android manufacturer that mozilla is avoiding) it will be a hit!

posted on 25 Jul 2012, 12:44

48. cdgoin (Posts: 369; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)


So how long till Google AND Apple sue, and handset makers start to pay MS for patent rights..?

posted on 25 Jul 2012, 23:30

50. hookwan (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Jul 2012)


Firefox should cooperate with Amazon to make the best "cloud" smartphone! anyone engaging in this market alone wont be successful~~~~

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