Android Lollipop vs Firefox OS vs Ubuntu Touch - interface comparison

Android Lollipop vs Firefox OS vs Ubuntu Touch - interface comparison
We love doing user interface comparisons here at PhoneArena. It's a perfect format to illustrate the evolution of an interface (like TouchWiz) over the years, the changes between major Android releases, or the differences between operating systems. But why do we care so much about interfaces at all? It's because the interface stands between you and your smartphone. It can make it or break it. A poorly optimized interface can make the most powerful hardware gasp for breath, turning your experience into wrestling your smartphone for control. And an ugly skin can make even the prettiest device unappealing. Simply put, interface matters!

Today, we're turning our attention from the Android flavor of the week to two OS underdogs that are slowly, yet ambitiously nurtured to challenge its dominance. We're talking about Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch. The former is a lightweight operating system made to run on entry-level devices and designed with first-time Internet users in mind. The latter is an elaborate piece of work that stands strong in design, but odd in usability - outside of developer circles, it is yet to prove itself as a reliable daily driver for the masses. Heck, in Ubuntu, you can't even make screenshots without a PhD in Computer Science! We actually had to photograph our testbunny Nexus 4 in a dark room and crop the images, which is something we haven't done since the era of feature phones ended.

Now, we invite you to breeze through the slideshows and appreciate how different the three operating systems look and feel compared to stock Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. No, we won't trade the Google-y operating system we know and love for Firefox or Ubuntu yet. But we're all for the fresh perspectives and diversity Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch's creators are bringing to the smartphones that we've gotten so used to.

Android 5.0.1 Lollipop

Firefox OS

Ubuntu Touch



1. brunelian92

Posts: 79; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

Fire Fox looks almost like its for children.

5. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

...because of it's icons. They all look more or less the same to me. Won't be surprised even if Ubuntu Touch and Firefox OS were forked versions of Android.

11. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2427; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Ubuntu Touch is actually based on software frameworks by Maemo/Meego. Firefox OS is just based on framework of general Linux and built up by the team at Mozilla. I also don't see as much of a resemblance between Android and Ubuntu Touch. I mean if you were to say the icons look the same as the operating systems being the same, then you could point to Android being similar to iOS in some regards.

14. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

The icon comment was meant for Brunelian. However, the rest of the comments were more in favor of the layouts and functions and transitions nothing to do with the icons.

12. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3145; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

They're all forked versions of Linux, including Android.

2. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Firefox is ugly. Ubuntu design outdated. Both look fail to me.

17. WarumLinuxBesserIst

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 03, 2014

Ubuntu design is the design for the convergence. ONE desktop for all Devices. PC/Tablett/Phone. And I use the Ubuntu Phone since month, as my primary phone. Since last Update Nov. 19th, I can connect an external mouse and the desktop is the same like on the PC. In 2016, there will be a BQ smartphone, which can be a smartphone and a full desktop PC with external screen, keyboard and mouse. And the goal is to install the same software on PC, Phone and Tablett. Not different software for every device. Because different desktop, means you can not easy switch between devices with the same software.

3. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Ubuntu looks better developed than Fire Fox, they both have a long way to go to match Android at least with GUI is concerned. That being said, I hope that they find some market, Apparently Microsoft isn't up to the task of being a real competitor so maybe one of these two will have a chance.

4. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 892; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Both look like android & features are also the same. The only thing which can generate a competition is that if the performance is better than ios & android. The apps will grow once this performance issue is sorted out. I see real player in ubuntu ( coz it will have backward compatibility with android apps)

6. tokuzumi

Posts: 1919; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

While having the most simple looking interface, I actually like the Firefox OS. I think it looks better than ubuntu. Ubuntu looks way more polished, but from the screenshots, I'd rather use Firefox. I still have no plans to switch from Android at this time, but if app support were to happen with Firefox, I could see myself using that OS.

7. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Firefox os has potential. if it was designed to run on high end phones instead of entry/low end phones it would be drastically different at least visually. because it currently looks a little childish. ubuntu has a long way to go enough said.

9. NateAdam8

Posts: 439; Member since: Feb 17, 2012


10. Awalker

Posts: 1981; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

They all look similar. Both Firefox OS and Ubuntu look like they could be Android custom launchers.

13. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3145; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Because they're all forked versions of Linux. Even webOS, my all-time favorite, was a forked version of Linux.

15. nathan.carter

Posts: 416; Member since: Aug 11, 2014

To the Computer users. We Know this already. LInux was the begining. BUt you dont see any one carrying around a desktop in thier pocket. Please get over it.

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