Dan Appelquist at BBC News Labs : "firefoxOS - the web, mobile, web apps"
The Web, Mobile
Daniel Appelquist (@torgo)
Open Web Advocate, Telefónica Digital
What a difference 5 years
-Me in 2008 (http://www.slideshare.net/dappelquist/web2-expo-sf2008-
The Web is Mobile
Image from Brad Frost (http://bradfrostweb.com)
● Web apps are still second class citizens on
● Great confusion about the difference
between apps and Web
● Consumers being driven towards apps
● In the process, we are losing what the Web
has given us: interoperability, freedom,
(Native) Apps vs. Web
● Web has been a browser based experience
● Web has not had access to device APIs
● Web has not been very good with touch
● Techniques for responsive UX have not
...but now the Web is catching up
App Fatigue is Setting In
● How many apps do you use regularly?
Where is your apps graveyard?
● Do apps really make sense for news?
● Social content consumption and sharing
zings you between apps and Web
● What value is an app store bringing between
users and services?
● App stores remind me of pre-Web thinking
...but the Web has something
to learn from Apps
● People like apps
● Emotive feeling of ownership
● Having an install step conveys meaning:
additional privileges, expectations of use
● Offline operation
● Access to more APIs = richer experience
● Touch UI is different from mouse-driven UI
The Web has Staying
● Built on (open, royalty-free) standards
● International community of implementers
● Open to all content providers, open to all
● Don't like it? Fork it.
● People choose the Web because the Web
gives people a choice
● Solid architectural foundation
What is the Architecture of the Web?
What could a Web Future
● Web apps can be used in the browser or installed
● Visit a Web page, it might ask you "do you want me to
install as an app?"
● Installed Web apps can pop up in a chromeless view
and can access privileged APIs
● Plethora of (Web-based) app stores available, or buy
apps direct from publisher
● Web apps that invoke telephony functions
● Apps built with responsive design across device types
and form factors
● A phone built by the people who
brought you the Web
● All apps are Web apps (including
dialer, camera, etc...)
● All applications built on top of Firefox
engine (Boot to gecko)
● Everything open source - open for
● Yes, a Marketplace (for "privileged"
● Optimized for low-end smart phones
● Geeksphone keon / peak developer
● ZTE, Alcatel phones released
Bridging the Gap
● New APIs allow access to accelerometer,
camera, address book, calendar, telephony
(making calls), etc...
● New security model for privileged webapps
● Hosted apps and packaged apps
● Both can be used off-line
● Icons represent webapps to the user
● Curated app store from Mozilla - or roll your
Blurring the Lines
● Why should an app on your phone be
different from the Web?
● How can a WebApp dip into your personal
information and use your camera in a secure
● Is a chromeless WebApp still "The Web"?
● Is a packaged WebApp still "The Web"?
● How can I tell when I can expect to use an
● Unique search interface for
● "Try before you buy"
approach to discovery
● Integrated into Firefox OS
Some Challenges Still...
● Security - beyond the browser sandbox
● Protecting user privacy when apps can
access private data - what is the right
● WebRTC - in Beta
● Platform optimization
● Appcache / offline operation
Why Telefónica Digital?
● Easier app development across platforms =
● Lower cost handsets = more people using
● Google/Apple Appstore duopoly = bad for
developers, bad (in the long run) for
● Bringing a fresh approach = disruptive
● "Open Innovation"
Working with Standards
This is the Web. I know this.
W3C: HTML5, WebApps,
Geolocation, Sysapps, WebRTC,
Privileged APIs (e.g. Telephony),
Packaging, Improving Appcache,
Touch Events, Push
W3C Responsive Images
A group working on a solution for images in
<picture alt="Description of image subject.">
<source srcset="small.jpg 1x, small-highres.jpg 2x">
<source media="(min-width: 18em)" srcset="med.jpg 1x, med-highres.jpg 2x"> <source
media="(min-width: 45em)" srcset="large.jpg 1x, large-highres.jpg 2x"> <img src="
small.jpg" alt="Description of image subject."> </picture>
A proposed syntax and a polyfill ("picturefill") on
W3C Extensible Web Effort
● New idea for extending the capabilities of the
● Community Group here:
● Manifesto here:
Info from Mozilla on the Firefox OS project
Info from Telefónica on the Firefox OS project
Building blocks to help you create apps
World Wide Web Consortium join the conversation