Mozilla reckons your smartphone is a jail

Mozilla reckons your smartphone is a jail
Let us out!

Think Android is free and easy? Well think again, as according to Mozilla it's a jail - along with iOS and

Windows Phone


Mozilla is doing a lot of work on HTML 5, mainly through it's Firefox OS offering, to provide a system which will work across all platforms without the need to develop for each different vendor.

"Mobile phones are jails, and you have to pick one to sit in. The vendors control everything that happens in them," explained Andreas Gal, Vice President of Mobile Engineering at Mozilla, at Qualcomm's Uplinq conference in San Diego.

"They are very shiny jails, they're nice jails, but you can't escape. As a developer you have to develop apps for each system separately, while users can't move their apps between operating systems."

What do we want?

So what is Mozilla doing about this problem? Well it's working hard on HTML 5, a web based standard which works across all platforms and devices including smartphones, tablets and computers.

You can access HTML 5 via any browser, meaning developers are not locked into a particular company's way of thinking and the one app can work everywhere which means less work and money saved for devs.

The advantages obviously extend to users as well, as you don't need to worry about the device you're using, as the HTML 5 apps and services will run happily on the browser, be it Safari, Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Now Mozilla is peddling it's own Firefox OS which runs on HTML 5, but as Brendan Eich, SVP of Engineering explained it's not looking to take on the big guns in the mobile market with it.

"We just want to get Firefox OS out there to show what can be done with HTML 5 and encourage others to adopt the standards," he said.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.