Saturday, 4 August 2012

Official Firefox OS screenshots appear ‘inspired’ by Android, iOS

Barely two weeks after the first set of screenshots from Mozilla’s upcoming Firefox OS for smartphones leaked on the Internet, we have the official screenshots that show new features of the platform. The images were published a few hours ago by Robert Nyman, a technical evangelist for Mozilla. The current screenshots are a work in progress and Nyman warns they change all the time but it is clear that the platform draws heavy “inspirations” majorly from Android and some elements of iOS. 

In its current avatar, Firefox OS seems to be a mashup of ideas from multiple platforms. While the homescreen layout with four icons docked at the bottom is typical of UIs developed post iOS, the rounded icons seem familiar from Nokia Belle. It has a drop-down notification bar as well, just like Android, along with system shortcut buttons we find in Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on its Android smartphones. Even the treatment given to the settings menu is similar to Android. The open tabs layout looks different but then does not seem to offer anything interesting.

To be fair to Mozilla, the screenshots do not portray the final version of the UI. However, even if they represent the direction which Firefox OS is taking, it looks highly inspired than inspiring. The difference, hopefully, would be the kind of hardware that would run Firefox as as we are expecting much lower system requirements than a typical entry-level Android smartphone.