Blahound's blog: B2G (Boot 2 Gecko)

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

B2G (Boot 2 Gecko)

I just had a proper test of the desktop builds of Mozilla's new HTML5 based mobile OS called Boot 2 Gecko. It is pretty glitchy but obviously unfinished so you have to look past the glitches. The OS already has some support from OEMs and networks so we should actually see some B2G devices in the wild sometime in the near future.

What is the Concept?

The entire OS is made using HTML5 so it will be completely open and easily editable to any web designer or person with a knowledge of HTML/CSS. Mozilla also say there will be a strong list of apps available since all B2G's app are HTML web apps there are already plenty of them out there.

How the hell is a HTML phone going to work?

Mozilla wrote special HTML5 apis for phone functions like calling and texting so that is how the actual phone part works and Mozilla made the smart move of using Android's hardware drivers which immediately opens up a lot of hardware avenues without having to do all the hard work (I'm pretty sure it still wasn't a walk in the part).

What is it like to look at?

There is a lot of Orange. It looks and feels quite Android like to me (again not necessarily a bad thing). It has a similar setup for now at least. The slide to unlock looks and feels very like the Xperia lock and has a camera shortcut on the left as you would expect. The notifications slide down like Android and iOS and have toggles (like CM,AOKP and TouchWiz) and a settings shortcut Ala stock Android.

It seems to use a home screen system like Android but there does not appear to be any widgets just round app shortcuts (I can't be sure but I remember there being a menu before, the emulator is not loading any virtual buttons so can't be 100% sure).

How does it perform?

This isn't really something I would get bothered about at this point since it is still pretty glitchy and running in an emulator so kind of worthless. It does run pretty smooth though.

Would I get a B2G device?

Yes an no. I would like to give the finished article a proper shot on a device but it would depend on the price. ZTE have confirmed they will be selling B2G devices and if one was easily obtainable in Ireland and around €50-70 I would probably pick it up to see what B2G is like.

If the B2G devices are quite expensive or I had upgraded to a newer Nexus then I would probably install B2G on my Nexus S to give it a try.

How to test it out?

The Mozilla wiki has a section about testing it out here.


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