Knock Knock, It’s Mozilla (Boot To Gecko or B2G or Firefox OS)

Knock Knock It’s Mozilla
It’s mozilla’s turn to introduce a mobile platform, Boot to Gecko, an open source mobile operating system. Possibly, tomorrow’s leader in mobile market. We have seen many mobile operating systems like Apple’s iOS, Open Handset Alliance, which is lead by Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Phone series, Nokia’s Symbian etc. Now Mozilla joins in this long list with Boot To Gecko.

In Mobile Congress 2012, Mozilla announced the Boot to Gecko(B2G), The open web standards based Mobile platform. That means Operating system is designed using Web technologies. There is no native APIs for developing the mobile apps, which means app developers no need to learn native APIs for each platform. HTML5, Javascript and CSS is there to help. These open web technologies and Web APIs helps mobile application developers to write platform independent Web Apps. Write once and run anywhere is the concept behind the B2G App development. Mozilla gave a presentation of the apps with a Samsung Galaxy SII in which the native Android is replaced with Firefox OS. B2G involves the three components code named as Gecko,Gaia and Gonk.

● Gecko is the run time for the OS, which is used for rendering the web standards like,
HTML5 ,CSS , Javascript ,etc.

● Gaia is the user interface, Which is entirely written using Open Web Technologies.

● Gonk contains the linux kernel and hardware abstraction layer.

Some leading network operators like etisalat, sprint has provided their support to the B2G. There are some mobile manufacturer’s have given support for launching Firefox OS based mobiles. Alcatel will launch the first on world B2G powered device followed by ZTE. Many other manufacturers may announce their products running Gecko in the near future. The success of the Firefox OS would add more manufacturers in developing B2G based devices.

Mozilla is currently building a web App store which act as a marketplace for Firefox Os based applications. Currently it is only open for Mobile application developers and Mobile app development companies to test and submit their applications. The Firefox OS has everything that a smartphone must have starting from Telephony to GPS.

The UI for complete system is built using HTML and other open web technologies only. The Modules which do not support open web for example ‘Telephony’, ’GPS’,’ Camera’ , etc., are developed using native kit. On the whole it is a complete OS designed for smartphones. Mozilla aims at lower and mid range smartphones to have Firefox OS. Currently, Firefox OS is available for download. If interested, any mobile application developers can download nightly builds and install OS.

Current builds were tested using Samsung Galaxy SII. Mozilla is working hard to release its first version. To get a hands on experience, either by try booting downloaded nightly builds or wait until release of the first phone running Gecko.

Mobile application development companies which have services for Apple IOS and Android platform, should soon start think about providing application development services Firefox OS based mobiles.

Aug, 14, 2012    Nash Ogden

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