Sunday, 12 October 2014

How FireFox Phones Are Fast With Basic Specs: HTML5

FireFox Phone Running HTML5 App

I am watching Firefox phones since the very first one was launched. I covered it in my previous company's blog and was pretty excited about it. I was and am equally excited about Ubuntu phones, Jolla and whatever other smartphones are emerging as I despise monopoly.
No company, no matter how big or trustworthy it might seem should have a monopoly. The smartphone market is presently controlled Google, followed by Apple with Microsoft fighting tooth 'n nail to make its presence felt. Like Julian Assange said, it is very dangerous the way billions of people's total information is stacked up in Google's server. I can not agree more to that.

This is why FireFox phones appealed to me. Firstly, the total source code is released for public so if you think you can understand, go ahead and understand it.
Secondly, Mozilla is fighting for free internet for a long time, something which I do stand in support. Recently, Mozilla stood in support of the “internet slowdown day” to protest against the proposed monetization of internet. Mozilla was also the first browser to include the “Do Not Track” option in its browser.

I am particularly happy that, 3 phones reached India recently which run on FireFox OS. While two were made by Indian companies, Intex and Spice, the third one came from Alcatel, which modified its existing handset to match the price offered by its Indian competitors.

The Intex FireFox Phone (Looks Like The very First iPhone)

The Best thing about these phones are there HTML5 apps. When you see a phone offering a 1GHz processor with 128 MB RAM in 2014, its an instant turn-off. I wouldn’t deny. Instead of keeping the price absurdly low @ INR 1999, they could have offered at least a dual core processor with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal memory with support for at least 32 GB external. (Alcatel model do support 32 GB but I ask you to refrain from using it. 32 GB with 128 MB RAM will slow the phone to death).
A 4 MP camera with at least a VGA front camera, 3G support and that’s it. I don’t think I am asking for much. I am ready to pay INR 3999 for that FireFox phone.

Alcatel OneTouch Fire E- The Best In The Lot

However, it doesn’t mean that these phones will lag badly. How can a phone run smoothly with 128 MB RAM? The reason, my friends, is these are HTML5 apps. Let's understand this in details.

If you know HTML, you know that HTML is (or was) the language to create websites. For years we created websites for so many purposes, watching video, using emails, selling products and making girlfriends. For every purpose there was a website.
Then came the app-era. We need an app for everything. Watching video- Youtube app, using emails- Gmail app, selling products- Amazon app, making girlfriends Line messenger apps.

Then we realised that it is not possible for phones to install apps for everything. Some apps are just too heavy to run in a phone. Then came the concept of web-app.

Have you used Google Drive? If you have, you can know that even if you don’t have Office software loaded, you can create office text document or spreadsheet or presentations using Google drive. But the creation software must be somewhere, right? Yes, it is on the Google server. We are using Google drive to use the software on the Google server. In other words, Google drive is just the interface, using it we can use the software which we don’t have locally installed.

You Are Already Using HTML5 Apps Without Realising

This is exactly how HTML5 apps work. These apps are just the front-end, the interface. The original software is in the provider's server. All you need is an internet connection. For example, when you install Youtube app in Android, you are installing the whole software but when you install it in FireFox phones, you are just installing the interface which allows you to use the main software from Google's server.

This is exactly why HTML5 apps can run efficiently on 128 MB RAM.

Another advantage of these apps, as they don’t run locally, at least the main software, it doesn’t matter if your processor is strong enough. A decent enough processor which can run the interface is sufficient for you.

The downside? You need a constant internet connection to make these apps work. But you can't do much with Youtube without an internet connection anyway, can you?


Faiz said...

this is a test comment