At MWC last week, we had the privilege of having a one-on-one demo of the new Firefox OS, an operating system based on HTML 5 which offers an alternative to the other operating systems available for mobile devices.
Like all other OS, the Firefox OS offers all of the popular apps that users use on a regular basis, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In addition to that, a key feature of the Firefox OS which makes it unique, is its search functionality. Because the Firefox OS is internet-based, the app search function acts much like an internet search. Because of this, searching for apps linked to keywords couldn’t be any easier; rather than producing a list of apps which feature a certain keyword that you have searched, Firefox’s search function only shows apps which are closely related to the keyword, even if that word isn’t in the app’s name.
As you can see in the video demo above, searching U2 doesn’t just conjure up apps with U2 in their title; it also finds related apps which feature music or information about the band, making it far easier to discover relevant apps.
Also, the operating system operates a ‘try before you buy’ policy when it comes to apps which means that you can use an app a couple of times without having to commit to downloading it and thus cluttering up your home screen.
What’s more, with the Firefox OS, you can pay for apps using just your telephone bill, as opposed to entering your credit or debit card details. This is great for security reasons, especially as many users are reluctant to give out secure information as this. Having your purchases show up on your phone bill each month is also an easier way to manage your expenses, as all outgoings related to your phone come out of the same account.
Finally, because the operating system is open, it allows users to access all of their apps on multiple devices, meaning that you don’t have to download each programme again if you changes phones or buy a tablet, for example.
The Firefox OS is a really exciting take on the traditional mobile phone operating system. It is being rolled out in eight countries with the Firefox’s 19 partners, and is already up and running on the ZTE Open, which will be launched initially in Brazil.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel