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Friday, November 27, 2015

Smartphone OS: Android Vs Firefox Vs Ubuntu
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Smartphone OS: Android Vs Firefox Vs Ubuntu  
With Android already dominating the smartphone market, do Firefox and Ubuntu stand a chance to win the market?   
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Thursday, January 03, 2013 Firefox would be joining the smartphone operating system race this year and we can expect to see the first Ubuntu based smartphone in 2014. Both of them would have to face a tough smartphone market mainly dominated by Android followed by iOS and Windows. It would be interesting to see how Canonical pitches its Ubuntu Phone OS, a year after, Mozilla would have already occupied some points with its Firefox operating system.

Both Firefox and Ubuntu will support HTML 5 applications and all other features are almost similar, other than tweaks in the user interface. Canonical has focused more on edge swipes and less on screen button while Firefox OS appears almost similar to Android. Ubuntu Phone OS might have an edge over Mozilla as Linux fans would want to try a touch optimised Ubuntu Linux OS on smartphones. On the other end, it seems Mozilla would have to pitch in its Firefox OS in a better way to attract Android lovers.

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Canonical has made a smart move by creating hype of using Linux on a smartphone, which is something new. But it seems like Mozilla is just pitching itself as an Android alternative and will have to try harder to fight with Google.

We already have a lot of smartphone operating systems in place. Few of them are also dead like webOS, Bada, MeeGo. So, attracting users just by creating a new user interface would be very difficult, as a common question will follow- what new Firefox OS or Ubuntu Phone OS is providing that Android isn't? Also, price would play a major role. If OEMs fail to make Firefox or Ubuntu OS cheaper than Android, then it would be a mamoth task to attract newbees.

Coming to apps, it is too early to comment but both Mozilla and Ubuntu must have a collection of quality apps and not just clones.

A big minus of Android is millions of useless apps. Also, there is a growing concern over Android security. To attract users, both the upcoming smartphone operating system would have to ensure complete data security along with quality apps without much of advertisement if possible.

On the hardware front, keeping the price of Ubuntu smartphones lower than Android would be a diificult challenge as Ubuntu Phone OS needs a minimum hardware of A9 Cortex processor clocked at 1 GHz along with 512 MB RAM.

Lastly, performance holds the key to success. If Ubuntu and Firefox can deliver more than Android, then open source enthusiasts won't mind shifting. Looking from an average smartphone user, Firefox and Ubuntu needs to do a lot of homework to make people get out of the Android hangover.

Debashis Sarkar, EFYTIMES News Network

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