iPhone would suffer if Apple locked out HTML apps, says Mozilla
11th May 2012 | 16:15
Web-based apps will win out, suggests Firefox maker
Apple would risk losing its audience if it locked down its browser to ensure users did not shift to HTML apps, according to Mozilla.
Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, is starting to push the horribly named Boot to Gecko (B2G) that uses HTML to create a smartphone-esque user interface through a phone's browser.
Currently it is looking to run its offering on Android handsets, but principal evangelist Tristan Nitot is keen to see apps based in HTML code and through the browser open out closed ecosystems such as iOS.
TechRadar queried whether someone like Apple would allow its browser to assume much of the functionality of its operating system, but not locked into its app store or system.
"Well it could be tempting for them, but would you want a handset with a broken web browser? responded Nitot. "I think not in the long term. It would lose its appeal pretty fast."
Part of the appeal of web-based apps is that they would be available on any device and not constrained by a single company's rules on what is acceptable, suggests Nitot.
"Something with B2G is Mozilla Marketplace and we want to bring the good sides of the app stores to the web without the bad side," he said.
"So the good side is monetisation but also discovery of apps and what is task focused rather than a website which is more about information.
"Giving the ability for people to discover apps and rate them is something you need a store for.
"The risk of censorship in having a single app store is something we don't want to do, so we want people to build web apps and sell them through several outlets – directly from their website, from a general purpose app store or it could be bought via a general retailer.
"There are a lot of choices where to buy and because they are HTML they are the web, they can be put on an Android or iOS device – anything that uses the web.
"So you can use it on whichever device without paying again for it. Because vendor lock in is pretty bad."
In the same briefing Nitot had been hugely critical of Apple's processes, and it appears that Mozilla is taking firm aim at anyone who tried to lock customers into a single ecosystem.