Overview: Firefox OS

After the period of raining tablets now its time for raining Operating Systems. Now when nearly all the major companies are targeting mobile platforms, why will Mozilla remain silent. So, here we have a new OS specifically tailored for the mobile platform. Lets have a look on what this bundle has to offer.

User Interface

In Firefox Operating System the entire user interface is a web application. From its first look, the interface appears to be clean and lag free. The transitions are smooth and minimalistic. On swiping from top to bottom of the screen we get to see a overlay just like that of android. The overlay contains options to turn your phone to silent or to toggle WiFi and Bluetooth.

A Look Inside The OS

The Firefox OS runs on top of Linux kernel. Gonk the hardware abstraction layer handles all the low level I/O. Just like android, Firefox OS also implements a virtual machine known as Gecko which implements open standards like HTML, CSS and JS. It also implements a networking stack, graphics stack, layout stack and a virtual machine. Gaia implements the user interface for the OS and controls everything that is drawn on screen. By default Gaia provides an implementation of lock screen, home screen, phone application, messaging app, a camera app, settings app and firefox marketplace. All the apps in Gaia are  using HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Devices

To provide an early look to the Firefox OS development Mozilla has launched two devices namely Geeksphone keon and Peak featuring the latest Firefox OS current stable builds. These devices are intended for developers so they can get familiarity with the OS and can start developing apps for it.

Pros:

  • Based on Linux Kernel.
  • Built on open web technologies.
  • Simple application development.

Cons:

  • Supports ARM platform only.
  • Small App Ecosystem

Where to head next

So, if you are a developer or a geek who loves to check out new OS, here is your chance. Mozilla has recently released its third version of Firefox OS simulator available in Mozilla’s add-ons centre for Download. The simulator is an add-on for Firefox browser through which you can experience the new Operating System.

Saurabh Badhwar

A tech freak, likes programming and love developing technologies that can change the way we use computers.

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