Open Thinkering


I’ve got a Firefox OS phone

Geeksphone Keon

Note: I’m travelling at the moment and wanted to get this posted before I get home. Please excuse the use of someone else’s photos of the phone!

A few weeks ago I was told that, as a Mozilla employee, I could get a free Firefox OS phone. There were two caveats: it’s a developer preview, so it’s rough around the edges; and I’d have to ‘dogfood’ it – using it as my ‘daily driver’ and providing feedback to developers. I considered it for a while, flirted with the idea of an Android device, and then took the plunge last week. Since last Wednesday I’ve been using the Geeksphone Keon as my main phone.

Firefox OS box

Firefox OS is aimed primarily at the next billion web users, people who will experience the web for the first time through a mobile device. Instead of closed, proprietary platforms (or pseudo-open ones) the idea is that the entire ‘stack’ is open and easy to develop for. If you know HTML, CSS and JavaScript then you can create an app for a Firefox OS device. As someone who felt extremely empowered as a 16 year-old creating his first website, that’s something that certainly resonates with me.

Because of the aims of the Firefox OS ecosystem, the developer preview reference device (the Keon) is a pretty low-spec phone for 2013. The idea being, of course, that if an app runs smoothly on the reference device then it will run well on other devices. Although there’s some occasional lag, it’s a pretty slick experience – which makes me wonder what those quad-core beasts are doing with that extra processing power?

It would be disingenuous of me to pretend that the Keon does everything an iPhone or Android device does. Of course it doesn’t. I miss posting to Path, running with Nike+ and adding notes to Evernote. But to dismiss it based on current conceptions of what a mobile device should be would, I think, miss the point. It’s the first phone I’ve ever had that allows me to tick a ‘Do Not Track’ option, for example. 😉

This post is to ensure that you know someone who you can ask questions about Firefox OS. I’ll keep you updated as to my progress!

Images CC BY-NC-SA flod

3 thoughts on “I’ve got a Firefox OS phone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *