Posts Tagged ‘Firefox OS’

Facebook Home

Colored houseI happened to be awake last night so I caught the announcement via livestream for Facebook Home. I’m glad its just a system launcher. There are many (I myself on my phone use Nova Launcher), but from the demo, this is beautifully designed with a new take on the interface. The demo showed it being smoother than butter ;)

Chat heads look interesting. Some may claim it being bothersome or unintuitive, but most iOS users have this already turned on via accessibility settings assistive touch since the home button breaks far too easily. Why a little white dot when you can now make it do things for you?

I was impressed with the amount of partners on launch day. Buy-in from manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Alcatel. Chipmaker like Qualcomm. Telcos like AT&T, Orange, EE. I can only expect this to grow of course. Gives great competition in the mobile landscape for 2013.

You see, FirefoxOS has a huge amount of partners & buy-in. I continue to be surprised that Ubuntu doesn’t have a similar page.

Am I switching from iOS as my main phone? Unlikely. I’m almost certain that many at Facebook, including Zuckerberg runs on IOS. But I will be playing with this on my secondary device (the Galaxy S3). I’m a little surprised that the April 12 launch isn’t available for the Nexus set of phones… and in Asia, the Galaxy Note form factor is popular, where did that go?

HTC First will be the first device to come with the Facebook Home system launcher as a default. I’m not sure how this is different to them applying skins and admitting that Facebook does it better. This isn’t the first time they’re playing around with a Facebook phone though.

Interesting times as Facebook has confirmed that their strategy is clearly mobile first. The fact that they built this on top of Android can’t really impress Google very much ;)

Others have also covered this well, i.e a strategy for Facebook, how this isn’t good for privacy.

Mobile landscape: Ubuntu, Firefox OS

LandscapedLong-term I’m bullish on Android. Its everywhere, its like the multiple Linux distributions. I have a preference to Google-sanctioned devices (i.e. the Nexus series), but each and every Android device manufacturer has their own bells & whistles.

The mobile landscape is actively changing. I was in Paris when I watched the announcement that there would be an Ubuntu for phones. I was a little disappointed that the announcement was for the possibility with no manufacturers or no actual device being announced. You’d presume that’s what you would get with the countdown on the website, and all the hype built up around it. To add to my confusion, there still exists Ubuntu for Android, which has been around for quite some time with no one biting. I heard its vaguely opensource so you could run it on a device, but I’ve not seen much.

The idea is amazing (carrying your phone, plugging it in to see a full-featured desktop) and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014. It seems like the developer environment is Qt/QML for a native feel, but you’ve also got HTML5. They’re going to leverage on the Ubuntu community. I just think the hype around this is being built too early.

However, what’s more exciting is Mozilla’s recent announcements. They have a Firefox OS developer preview phone announced. They tell you how to use Firefox OS today. There are also AppDays happening worldwide. And they have a phone coming soon as a partnership with Geeksphone & Telefonica of Spain. Here it seems clear that your HTML5 apps are going to rock (see the Firefox Marketplace). When I say soon, I’m saying next month, i.e. February 2013. I’ve signed up to buy one.

The mobile landscape is changing. Nokia was the king of phones with Symbian, and today they’re backing Windows Mobile. Most of the top manufacturers are building Android devices (opensource). There are many companies signed up to make Tizen devices in 2013 and beyond (opensource). Now you have opensource Ubuntu & Firefox OS. Apple may have started this modern trend but iOS device sales aren’t stellar (witness Apple’s recent stock drop). iOS to be fair is also built on opensource (itself its closed).

Year of the Linux desktop? Who needs that. You’ve already arrived at the years of opensource computing.