Diamonds– err, Emeralds– In The Rough
With iOS and Android dominating the mobile space, it’s sometimes hard to remember that it’s actually a congested and cluttered market. They are quite a few operating systems that are either in an incubating period, or already in your local Verizon store vying for your attention. This attention costs a lot of money and it’s really hard to exploit when these units are tucked away in a corner, or merely advertised on an endcap.
But I’m not here to talk about Windows Phone 7. I’m not here to talk about Blackberry or Symbian. See just like on the desktop, there are other things out there. Operating systems that can run on your ARM-powered tablet or phone that are not found on store shelves. Let’s start with the most important ones first.
1 B2G (Boot 2 Gecko)
This project is interesting because while it tries to be self-serving to the Mozilla Foundation, it is actually an attempt to realize the future of the open web. We’re not there yet, but as we’ve discussed on The Powerbase before, a reality like this is very possible and just makes good sense.
B2G aims to bring HTML 5 apps directly to the user and present them in such a way that’s not unlike Android and iOS. Apps are arranged together and are launchable directly from the device. The “app” itself is merely a hyperlink. B2G identifies itself with user agent string that tells the website to display itself in a format that works well with a B2G device. It’s a no-brainer.
Below is a demonstration of B2G running on the Samsung Galaxy S II and loading the web version of Cut The Rope. No trips to the Android Market for this!
No, I’m not talking about the elven races from The Elder Scrolls. I’m talking about the open-source successor to MeeGo! When Nokia was still producing its lackluster line of MIDs running Maemo, Mer was developed as an opensource alternative. Its goal was to replicate Maemo’s functionality completely.
When Nokia released its first and only MeeGo device, only to bury it alive months later, Mer underwent a transformation and becaome a fork of MeeGo. At its core, it is a nicely packaged RPM-based distribution that can be used as a base or a springboard for other mobile projects. One such instance is Plasma Active on the Vivaldi Tablet.