While the native-versus-mobile-web debate has become stale — “boring” in Eich’s words — the technologies interweaving our devices and our data are evolving at ever more rapid rates. Firefox OS, the mobile operating system Eich has been working on at Mozilla, is showing off some of that evolution today.
“We will close this gap with the native stack,” he says. Although Facebook famously turned its own massive back on the mobile web for its iOS app, Eich says, “You’ll still see a lot of web and hybrid apps.” Largely because, as I point out and he agrees, most app developers don’t face the technological demands of a Facebook and can’t afford to build two or three fully native apps.
What does all this mobile web talk have to do with Firefox OS? Everything, because the mobile web will be powering Firefox OS’s applications.
The Firefox OS on it own is, as we’ve already seen, a pretty interface on par with what we’re seeing from Apple and Android. Eich tells me it’s built on the same basic Linux kernel Android uses.