LG reportedly building first Boot2Gecko phone as Mozilla preps app store

LG logoMozilla's Web-centric Boot2Gecko (B2G) mobile platform is maturing at a rapid pace. As we reported earlier this month, the operating system has already attracted hardware partners and will be demoed at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event. Mozilla is also planning to unveil its new application storefront, called the Mozilla Marketplace, which will allow third-party developers to sell applications that are built with standards-based Web technologies.

A new report from ExtremeTech cites anonymous sources who say that LG is one of Mozilla's hardware partners. The company is said to be working towards the launch of a developer-focused smartphone that will ship with an early version of the B2G operating system.

The initial developer product will give B2G contributors and application developers a real-world hardware environment for testing their work. Mozilla's road-map indicates that B2G will be ready for actual consumers in the second half of 2012. At that point, it will compete with Android and other mobile operating systems.

As we explained in our previous coverage, B2G pairs Mozilla's Gecko HTML rendering engine with the Linux kernel. The platform's application stack is built entirely with standards-based HTML and JavaScript. Hardware capabilities and other platform features are made accessible through JavaScript with a new set of APIs that Mozilla is working to standardize.

Mozilla's long-term goal is to see those APIs widely supported in browsers on other platforms so that mobile Web applications will be able to do all of the things that are possible today with native software. The Mozilla Marketplace will be a platform-neutral distribution channel for applications built with those APIs and other standards-based Web technologies. Mozilla will begin accepting applications in the store when it opens next week during Mobile World Congress.

"We are enabling the Web to be the marketplace, giving developers the opportunity to play on the biggest playing field imaginable," said Mozilla innovation chief Todd Simpson in a statement. "By building the missing pieces, Mozilla is now unlocking the potential of the Web to be the platform for creating and consuming content everywhere."

Unlike Android, which is developed largely behind closed doors with periodic code drops, the B2G platform is being created entirely in the open. The latest code is hosted in public version control repositories and independent contributors can easily participate. The openness of the platform and the inherent potential for customization in an HTML-based user interface could make the platform appealing to hardware vendors who are looking for ways to make more heavily differentiated mobile experiences.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Boot2Gecko, LG, mobile phones, Mozilla

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