People who are used to using one type of Internet browser may be reluctant to trying another brand, even when people claim the wonders of one over the others. While programs like Internet Explorer® serve many people well, some users may want to consider Firefox® if they have dealt with certain issues, like security breaches and download problems, in the past. Each browser software has its own pros and cons, but Firefox® is often considered to be among the fastest and safest available. It does have disadvantages, however, including compatibility and memory issues.
- Speed — Firefox® is reported to be the fastest browser when it comes to download speed. Not only do programs and files download faster, but users get a record of all their downloads in the form of a table, so they can erase or move them at their convenience.
- Tabbed browsing and other advanced features — Tabbed browsing allows the user to open an unlimited number of pages in a single window, thus helping to organize browsing. Firefox® also has an embedded memory, which means if the computer is turned off by mistake, the browser will remember which sites were open and offer to restore the previous session
Mozilla has developed Web APIs so that HTML5 apps can communicate with the device’s hardware, which was only possible for native apps until now, e.g. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Camera, etc.
Mozilla Foundation has always worked to make the Web more accessible to everyone, and apart from Firefox OS, there are other tools such as the Firefox Browser, Firefox Marketplace, etc. However, some critics report that it a Mozilla tactic to reach a bigger mobile audience in order to level up to its primary competitor, Chrome.
“Built entirely using HTML5 and other open Web standards, Firefox OS is free from the rules and restrictions of existing proprietary platforms.” – Mozilla
Firefox OS is different – you can think of it as something more than a browserrunning on a very lightweight Linux-based operating system. Every app in Firefox OS including the Camera and the Dialer is a web app, i.e. a website in the form of an app. Simple!
Android is the inspiration for the user interface of Firefox OS. Hence, it has a lock screen, home screen and notification bar. However, there are some changes as compared to Android. The home screen shows a background image (along with the time and date) and has no support for widgets for now.
Sliding right on the home screen shows the list of installed apps; there is no dedicated icon to open the app drawer like on other mobile OS. Sliding left on the home screen shows the list of app categories, which when clicked, shows installed and suggested apps in the chosen category.
Firefox OS, powered by Gecko engine, runs only websites in the form of apps, known as web apps. These apps are built using HTML, the same technology that powers the Web. These web apps will run on many operating systems in addition to Firefox OS. Every operating system (including Android and Windows 8) that runs Firefox browser will be able to run these web apps distributed through Firefox Marketplace.
Web apps will come in two forms for Firefox OS: hosted apps and packaged apps. Hosted apps will be hosted on Mozilla’s server and will be downloaded and loaded each time you access them, i.e., they are quite like web pages instead of apps, and they will not run if data connection fails.
Packaged apps will be downloaded once in the form of a compressed package and will be loaded from the local source each time you access them, i.e., they are quite alike apps on other operating systems. This is possible due to the local storage and cache features of HTML5 language.
Devices currently supporting Firefox OS:
Mozilla has released two phones with Firefox OS but so far they are only available for developers:
- Keon by Geeksphone
- Peak by Geeksphone
Firefox OS can be built and installed on some other compatible devices too. Check the guide for installing Firefox OS on a compatible device. It is even reported that Firefox OS can be dual-booted with Android on the Samsung Galaxy S2.
Some of the devices supporting Firefox OS are:
- Samsung Galaxy S
- Samsung Galaxy S 4G
- Samsung Galaxy S2
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus
By:- Anand Gupta
Student of ASET,Noida | FireFox Student Ambassador
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