Apple and Google are clearly the two front-runners competing for market share in the mobile world, which is why it’s no surprise we think of iOS and Android when we think of apps. With the growth of the smartphone industry also came the resurgence of native apps (thanks largely in part to Apple’s App Store which still dominates the space). However, Mozilla hopes that web apps will soon mature to provide a comparable experience for end users and an even better alternative for developers.
“We are aiming at providing all the necessary APIs to build a basic HTML5 phone experience within the next 3-6 months”
While Chrome OS has shown promise, it isn’t the only browser-based platform planning on entering the web app space… If Mozilla has its way, developers can use the results of their new WebAPI project to build an “HTML5 phone experience” that’s compatible across all operating systems (whether it’s Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc).
A report from CNET claims Mozilla has plans for the APIs to “interact with a phone’s dialler, address book, contacts list, and camera”, essentially giving you access to the same functionality of native apps but directly in your device’s browser.
The WebAPI project certainly isn’t trying to create a full-blown operating system. However, working hand in hand with Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project, which aims to build a “complete, standalone operating system for the web”, it could create a potentially compelling alternative to Google’s browser-based Chrome OS.
It appears that Mozilla is serious about the project, as a report from CNET claims they’re in the process of hiring full time programmers and plan to have the basics in place by February. expand full story