Firefox OS - Initial Reactions

When I got back to my office after some time at the beach I found a GeeksPhone waiting for me. Regular readers will remember that I have been eager to try an all HTML phone. The best option right now is Firefox OS and this GeeksPhone is the first Firefox OS phone I have gotten my hands on. I could barely pay attention to anything else in the office yesterday. All I wanted to do was play with this thing.

This post is all about my first impressions. I won’t focus too much on the hardware since there will be a number of handsets made that run Firefox OS. Instead I will focus on the experience of using an all HTML phone.

I’ll give you the punch line and then work backwards from there. If I had to use this phone because I could not get my hands on something else, I could make it work for me. But there are a bunch of compromises required to use an all HTML phone and at this point, they aren’t worth it for me. Of course, I could have predicted that and so could all of you. But it is one thing to imagine the experience and another to have it first hand.

That said, here’s a tour of the experience. I apologize in advance for some of the photos. I needed to shoot at an angle to avoid the glare of the lights but that caused the screen to show hand marks. I went back and reshot some of the photos but not all of them.

Like Android and iOS, you get a home screen with apps on it. The things is the “apps” are just bookmarks to mobile web apps.

Firefox os home screen

There is a screen with a collection of categories of apps on it which are “pre-loaded”

Firefox os app categories

Here’s a look at the “social” category

Firefox os social category

I went into the marketplace and two of the most popular apps were Twitter and SoundCloud (!!!!!). So I added them.

Here is Twitter

Firefox os twitter

Here is SoundCloud

Firefox os soundcloud

I am not surprised that Twitter and SoundCloud were the two of the most popular apps (along with Wikipedia and Solitaire). They have invested a lot in their mobile web experience and it shows. Both apps work great on the GeeksPhone although the default font size on all the apps is about 2-3 points below what is legible to my old eyes (with glasses on).

The default maps app that comes preloaded on Firefox OS is called HERE.  It looks like this.

Firefox os here maps

Needless to say I have added Google Maps to my home screen since taking these photos. It is much superior to the HERE maps.

My biggest disappointment was email. Gmail sucks on Firefox OS. First of all, I can’t figure out how to get to my priority inbox on the Gmail app in Firefox OS. And the too small font size problem really makes email impossible. And for some reason I keep crashing the Gmail web app on Firefox OS.

Firefox os email

The Google calendar app works a lot better. I decided not to take a photo of that because it reveals all of my meetings today which I did not want to do.

Foursquare works great on Firefox OS

Firefox os foursquare

As does Tumblr

Firefox os tumblr

I did not try the camera out because it requires a memory card and one does not come with the phone. I didn’t have one handy in my work or home office. There are front and back cameras, 8mp on the back, 2mp on the front.

I also did not try out the phone because I did not have a mini sim handy. I suspect it makes calls and texts just fine.

I find the keyboard a bit difficult to use. It is a bit smaller than the android keyboard I use and it is not as responsive as I am used to. I find myself making a lot more typing errors on the Firefox OS phone.

The audio experience is fine. I am listening to music on the Tumblr app right now on the GeeksPhone, something that works really well in Tumblr’s mobile web app but sucks in their native mobile app. And as I said before SoundCloud really shines on this phone.

So who would this phone work well for right now? I suspect anyone who does a lot of texting but very little email would find this phone a decent option. Web apps that have great mobile web versions (Twitter, SoundCloud, Foursquare, Tumblr, etc) really do great on this phone. So maybe a teenager or student who needs an inexpensive smartphone but doesn’t need a ton of productivity apps could make this work.

But I can’t. I really wish I could. The three wishes I have for Firefox OS are; bigger default font size, better keyboard, and get Google to build killer mobile web apps for this phone. If you do that, I will come back and give it another shot. I am so rooting for you.

UPDATE: The team at Sketchfab sent me this 3D embed for the GeeksPhone. It’s cool so I am adding it to this post

#Uncategorized

Comments (Archived):

  1. scottythebody

    Very cool. I can’t wait to give this a try.

  2. JimHirshfield

    What about settings – things specific to the device. How are they presented? Just a web page?

    1. fredwilson

      That’s in the OS

    2. Gene Vayngrib

      Settings App is one of the core HTML5 apps, collectively called Gaia, see the full list here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Gaia, they are all available on github: https://github.com/mozilla-…Core apps are just normal Firefox OS Packaged App and are not part of the OS per se, except they are given a higher level ‘Certified’ security clearance, which allows them to use more sensitive WebAPIs (code marked with blue https://wiki.mozilla.org/We

  3. Fernando Gutierrez

    Your comments are very much in line with what I thik about Firefox browser. I would love to love it, but everytime I try to go back to it I miss some Chrome extension or the performance of Google Apps. I not sure Google is interested in making really good web apps for Firefox OS or browser.

  4. Avi Deitcher

    When you say the “apps” are just links to mobile Web apps, do you mean bookmarks, and there is nothing native, and thus nothing available offline, unless an app was online and used html5 LocalStorage? Or do you mean that they are all written in JS/CSS/HTML but run inside some sort of special local container (like the old Firefox extensions)?

    1. Richard

      I think that they are just bookmarks.

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Well, it is a philosophy, at least consistent. But I cannot see that working. iPhone really took off in 2008 when they launched the app store.

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          And sometimes signal is weak or inexistent, so depending on apps to implement LocalStorage is inconvenient.

          1. Avi Deitcher

            True. Even if you make offline available, it needs to be part of the container, not the app.

    2. fredwilson

      They are web apps

      1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

        some web apps could be very good. For example, the Financial Times are running a web app (I think based on HTML5) and it works really well. However, I do think the FT app is an exception rather than the rule. Native apps are still superior

      2. Gene Vayngrib

        They can be just web apps, and they can be a lot more. Firefox OS apps come in two types: Hosted and Packaged. Assets of the Packaged apps (css, html, js, images, etc.) are zipped and installed the same way as native apps are on iOS and Android. Hosted apps are normal mobile web sites that provide an extra manifest file, which is mostly used to request the user to grant access to device APIs, not dissimilar from the Android app manifest. Device APIs, which Mozilla calls WebAPIs, give both Hosted and Packaged apps practically all the capabilities previously reserved to native apps.Both Hosted and Packaged apps can be submitted to the Firefox Marketplace. Since the code of the Packaged apps is verified by Marketplace’s human reviewers it can be granted access to a wider set of WebAPIs, see the full list here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/We…Some WebAPIs conform to of HTML5 and WebRTC standards, but most are new and have not been standardized yet. The most important to me is a SimplePush API which allows an app to be woken app by a push message from the server. It allows cheap phones with 256M RAM to work decently well as even the core apps do not need to be running in the background.Another WebAPI, IndexedDB, although not specific to FirefoxOS as it is just a part of HTML5, is crucial to allow web apps/sites to be engineered as offline-first, i.e. to paint all screens and take all user input without the Internet connection.Google Chrome offers its own variant of Packaged Apps with the matching capabilities, although mostly different APIs, .. sigh.. But unlike Firefox Apps, which are mobile, as they work on Firefox OS devices and on Android (in beta), Chrome apps only work on desktop and on Chrome OS.Thanks to Mozilla and its partners (Telefonica did a lot of technical work), web apps are not just the web sites with a responsive design, they are as native as the native apps.

  5. Avi Deitcher

    What about pricing? Could this be an alternative for lower-cost options? Or is Android so cheap (at “free”) that hardware cost is what matters, and some manufacturer with scale (LG, Samsung) will produce a low-cost phone running Android?

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      There are already many low cost Android phones. They are usually very bad, but they are easy to find. What I would love to see is a cheap iPhone with pure Google Android. I’ve flashed CM in several phones whose owners were hating and their perception changed completely.

      1. Avi Deitcher

        What hardware, what OS? Sounds like the reverse hackintosh movement.

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          I’ve installed several versions of CyanogenMod in friend’s phones. Now I can think of a couple Galaxy Minis, a Galaxy SII, a Sony Xperia (don’t remember the model) and an HTC Hero. It’s easier every day and totally worthy.

        2. andyidsinga

          for all the hw that CM is available for go to http://get.cm..the answer – A LOT ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. andyidsinga

        yup – CM FTW! …it will be cool when/if b2g gets the kind of porting breadth that CM does.—galaxy sii sgh-i777 CM 10.2

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          Yes, it’s amazing what CM has been able to pull off. My new S4 is not yet on CM because I had some early energy problems and didn’t want to risk the vendor rejecting to solve them, but now that everything seems to be ok (it was just a faulty battery) I can’t wait to get rid of all those Samsung crapware (the new Google edition phones are not available in Spain, so even if you pay full price –as I did– you get TouchWiz)

  6. Avi Deitcher

    Last but not least, is this “not good enough” the way Android originally was, but rapidly improved (didn’t you write a post years ago about their speed of iteration)? Or is there something more fundamental?

    1. fredwilson

      Its a different architecture. You need to be online to get utility from the apps. Think chromebook

      1. Avi Deitcher

        So the phone is just a Web browser + 3G + phone + a few convenience settings in a small platform? I can see a value, but only if it is wildly cheap.

        1. Cam MacRae

          I don’t see how it can be wildly cheap as it needs all the same bits as an ordinarily cheap device, many of which sold on the basis that profit trails marketshare… something, something… ecosystem… (A rationale very difficult to apply here).

      2. Tracey Jackson

        Lame question – what if you can’t get online? No apps?

        1. markslater

          not a lame question – elephant in room question…..

        2. ShanaC

          no, really important question

          1. Tracey Jackson

            Do you know the answer or are they still working it out? I would hate that. If you aren’t in an Wifi zone – it’s a nightmare.

        3. fredwilson

          get a book! ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Tracey Jackson

            You know anyone who sells good ones?

          2. fredwilson

            i know someone who sells old ones ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Richard

    Fred, what is the default font size on the handset?

    1. fredwilson

      Don’t know but its too small

  8. Abraham Oloya

    very glad to have the chance of sharing my opinion with others.

  9. Julien

    I may be wrong, but most of the apps you testes are actually “mobile versions” of the website. It’s ok, but apps can actually be a lot better with support for AppCache (offline support!) as well as better APIs/integration (all HTML5/js based).

  10. Cynthia Schames

    I don’t get why this is a thing. The fact that it’s pretty much bricked without a good connection just seals the deal for me–I’m already frustrated when my Gcal or Gmail is slow & wonky. Why would I want a whole phone’s worth of apps like that?

    1. fredwilson

      Because its the web on a phone and benefits from write one read anywhere and all that that architecture allows for

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        Yes, but write-one-read-anywhere is a direct benefit for the developer, not the consumer. Not many will put up with less than what they have. Of course, many things that are good for the developer are then good for the consumer (in this case more and better apps in your platform of choice, less frangmentation of your info), but that is a difficult sale.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Don’t know. Going from the front end, we have the basic iPad. You start typing in search and get the array of contacts suggested rather than web sites. Not sure if the more current iPad has this inconvenience solved or not, but I guarantee you the normal user would appreciate not having to perform the more labor required.

          1. Fernando Gutierrez

            In the latest iPad it’s the same. You search and the first thing that appear is apps, then emails/contacts and then it offers to search the web… Maybe it can be configured somewhere, but truth is I mostly use it to browse the web with chrome, so I haven’t bothered to check (maybe I would use it more if it had multi user support and I did not have to sign out my wife from every app I want to use! #OffTopicRant)

          2. Dave W Baldwin

            Thanks! Love the walled garden.

        2. fredwilson

          the easier the innovation, the more of it, the better for the consumer the web is the perfect proof of that

      2. JLM

        .One day all that will matter is direct access to the web/cloud and all interference, including apps, between a customer and the web will disappear — watch, glass, phone, phablet, tablet, lap top, desk top.It will all be seamlessly integrated and will be driven by voice commands and eye blinks.That convergence is upon us and is happening every day. In five years, we will not even remember how it was done once upon a time.Remember dial up?JLM.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          So the future will have no locally autonomous smart gadgets ?Locally autonomous smart gadgets that can co-operate on a hardware-locked private intranet controlled by me, by you or by groups of us.Is it possible that we are just at the beginning of history on autonomously clustered smart gadgets ?At some point computational conveniences will become so cheap and ubiquitous that it will afford us the opportunity to refocus/revisit our priorities and reestablish our viscerally indwelling primal need for privacy by extending it into our digital extentions of self.Let us not dismiss the fact/hint that DNA revolves around locally autonomous METHODS & DATA fire-walled by judicious external exchange!From Doc Searls blog post on privacyMetaphorically, privacy is a possession. We speak of it in possessive terms, and as something valuable and important to protect โ€” because this has been our experience with it for as long as weโ€™ve had civilization.โ€œPossession is nine-tenths of the lawโ€ because it is nine-tenths of the three-year-old. She says โ€œItโ€™s mine!โ€ because she has hands with thumbs that give her the power to grab. Possession begins with what we can hold.There is also in our embodied nature a uniquely human capacity called indwelling. Through indwelling our senses extend outward through our clothes, our tools, our vehicles, to expand the boundaries of our capacities as experienced and capable beings in the world. When drivers speak of โ€œmy wheelsโ€ and pilots of โ€œmy wings,โ€ itโ€™s because their senses dwell in those things as extensions of their bodies.This relates to privacy through exclusion: my privacy is what only I have. . . . . . . . . This sense of exclusivity also expands outward, even though our data.The problem here is not that our bodily senses fail to respect the easily-copied nature of data on networks, but that we havenโ€™t yet created social, technical and policy protocols for the digital world to match the ones weโ€™ve long understood in the physical world. We still need to do that. As embodied beings, the physical world is not just our first home. It is the set of reference frames we will never shake off, because we canโ€™t. And because weโ€™ve had them for ten thousand years or more.The evolutionary adaptation that needs to happen is within the digital world and how we govern it, not the physical one.

        2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          Ahhh JLM – i remember slide-rules and log tables !I think a huge disruption will occur when we STOP thinking mobile and start thinking fixed – because why should I have to carry a phone !I used to go to talk to the corner of a room, or a telephone kiosk and it was only a physical distribution problem.We placed (and wired and collected cash from ) from infrastructure which was largely where it was needed.I want to sit in a cab and use the comms equipment there, same for a bus, train, house gym etc etc.I do not want to carry a device that needs charging. Put it down where it can be stolen or lost, and or have to remember to take it off for swimming.And BTW one place they must ban mobile telephony not concerts but snowy back mountain trails – emergency use only please !

      3. AbbeyPost

        So iCloud if iCloud didn’t suck so bad?

      4. scottythebody

        I feel like the best mobile apps really are all “web apps” and that we’ve finally been freed from the tyranny of the browser. Still excited by this OS, though.

    2. andyidsinga

      because its fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. kidmercury

    you and all my fellow gSlaves will never find this as appealing as google android. as i am a dual slave to both google and amazon, i’ll always want android and amazon’s fork of android. maybe someday i’ll be a slave of another ecosystem in which case i’ll want their OS (probably a fork of android).i doubt this can be cheaper than low end androids.

    1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      I agree – if they try and compete on price they likely won’t beat the low end androids! It would be interesting to see how apple prices its new low end iPhone (if indeed it does come out)

  12. Guest

    I’m a fan of HTML5 — to the extent that its what I code in, alongside iOS’s Objective-C which I do love. Google Android never managed to “onboard” me because Apple’s developer community, monetization model and documentation works better.I was at Mozilla’s launch of Jetpack IDE years ago and immediately thought, “When this all works out, developers will not need to code for a thousand and one different handsets and screen sizes and touchscreen interactions (the commands for touch activation in iOS are so different from Android from Javascript, btw).In any case, iOS is indeed still most beautiful and smooth-fluid.However, there are touch interactions that were default in iOS which weren’t available in HTML5 but which now are. That makes it more interesting from the developer perspective.Mozilla, though, still can’t do the Bookshelf app that’s in iOS.I’m sticking with iPhone.

  13. Tracey Jackson

    This is when you really know I am not one of you guys, but why do most tech people hate iPhones and prefer the others? I know it’s about locked and unlocked or something. But never figured it out. Seems OS system works really well. At lest for a non techy like me.

    1. William Mougayar

      No Tracey, you are the normal one. You represent millions of others that Apple understands very well. We are the crazy minority ones here.

      1. Tracey Jackson

        Thank you William. I do like the fact the Genius Bar is a block away!

    2. Dale Allyn

      Tracy, lots of very tech-oriented people are using iPhones. There’s some political positioning regarding Apple’s “walled garden” which some do not like, but with that walled garden comes some great conveniences.Don’t be fooled by outspoken people who slam iOS. It has its quirks just like any other OS, but it works really well in most senses as well. I could list a number of very technical people who code all day; have written technical books (O’ Reilly press, etc.); work on Windows PCs (and Macs); have built huge and successful projects (with good exits); mentoring tech team leader at Fortune 100 company, etc, etc.; each of whom use iPhones.Most of the serious coders I know who use iPhone as their primary mobile device rarely post to blogs, and simply quietly make things or secure things, etc. It’s an unnecessary battle, just like Canon vs Nikon and Windows vs Mac. Use what you like and what works for you, and don’t worry too much about those bashing one or the other. It’s entertaining, but not really meaningful.In my setting we have Macs, PCs, iOS and Android devices. Between iOS and Android, everyone on our projects prefer iOS and constantly curse Android… but then there are things on the Android side that we often say “Ohh, I wish we had that on the iPhone or iPad…” .It’s all good. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Tracey Jackson

        Thank you Dale. I feel better with you and William supporting my iPhone love. I was once at a Female Leadership dinner in Palo Alto. This nice woman was sitting next to me. All evening she was telling me how great the Google Phone was and why I should switch. Showed me all the apps. Her name was Susan. I had no idea who she was.She gave me her email. It was really short attached to gmail. When I got in the car my cousin said to me, “Do you know who that was?”Then it made sense.

        1. Dale Allyn

          Haha, good story.iOS and iPhone are very good tools, which integrate extremely well with one’s desktop and cloud assets (better than other options at this time IMHO). However, if one is an “Apple hater” or prefers to tinker with root access, or simply likes certain features of Android or a certain Android-based phone more than the iOS offering, then they should obviously use and enjoy the Android option.Having said that, don’t ever let someone make you feel “dumbed down” because you want your tools to provide a solution to a problem you define โ€“ not prove to everyone you’re smart enough to root your phone (no offense intended towards those how like the technological playground of rooting).I have a partner who is a fantastic programmer. He’s a Windows guy (but uses iPhone). We were working on a project once and he was working on a solution to a little thing via the command line. I asked him “why not just use the GUI (graphical user interface) option and move on?”. He replied: “Umm, because sometimes programmers are stupid and insist on doing things the hard way”. We both laughed and I said I’ve fixed it (the easy way) and uploaded the change. He’s a great guy and is willing to laugh at himself.We’re fortunate to have great options from which to choose. Android has some growing to do (and is doing that) and iOS needs to provide some fresh updates as well. We’ll see on Sept 10th if iOS 7 is an improvement or just lipstick.(Edit: fixed a few typos)

          1. sigmaalgebra

            My view is that for most work, commandlines are much easier. More explicit.Easy to script. When scripted, get aclean, reusable record of what did.Easier to document than all that clicking.E.g., with system management andadministration of SQL Server, I want touse essentially only scripts of commandlines. E.g., for finding data on mycomputer, I use just some simple commandline tools and my favorite text editor,and I find things easily.E.g., my favorite spell checker, ASpell,is a command line program I run with ascript, and it just uses a Windows consolesession, that is, character mode insteadof graphics mode.A GUI is acceptable for some really simplethings, e.g., a Web site with just reallysimple HTML.MS Word? The GUI is too complicated andobscure. I use TeX and my favorite texteditor (plus about 150 TeX macros, about150 editor macros. about 150 command linescripts) instead. For documentation, I’vegot the text input of Knuth’s book, andthat in my favorite editor together withmy old usage examples works fine.Software development? I want nothing todo with a GUI IDE: So, I use aprogrammable editor and command linescripts. Eventually I found an articlethat explained that my approach is commonfor more experienced programmers.GUIs are fine for some things, for lightwork and for some serious work, but oftencommand lines are superior.

          2. Dale Allyn

            I use the command line (via Terminal.app mostly) everyday. It’s efficient and clean much of the time. But in the case I referenced, we had a tool (w/ GUI) that was preconfigured (scripted) to do what was needed (on our server). Just to put a point on it, most of my projects are web-based (some are database projects though) and I don’t own a WYSIWYG app. such as Dreamweaver, and I don’t often use a GUI IDE. My text editor does format syntax though, as I find that saves me time (spotting typos and such) as I hand code projects.

        2. LE

          “I feel better with you and William supporting my iPhone love.”Hey Tracey hasn’t there been a lot of writing about how women seem to have a problem with thinking they are right in their feelings and needing that type of validation (where, from what I read, men tend not to do that)?Curious what you would have said to the woman if she had told you that the way you write, or the films you make, were not “right”? After all whatever you think of the iphone is based upon what you feel about it based on your personal interaction with it. This is no different than someone telling me that “I should like snow boarding better than skiing”. I like skiing period. So do other people. I’m not interesting in switching to snow boarding because someone else thinks it’s better for me or highlights exactly why they think it’s better.

          1. Tracey Jackson

            That is a really considerate response. And much appreciated. I don’t actually doubt my feelings. And at this point I don’t want an Android. Unapologetic. I could certainly have both. But I am intrigued by you tech guys and few girls and why you make the choices you do. It’s of the reasons I love hanging out in this room as I learn a lot about a world that is not the one I am an expert in. I am comfortable going hey – I don’t understand explain why you think this way, make these choices. You guys are paving the road to the future. I will never be one of you, but I like to learn at master’s feet. I love the fact I can talk with you all add to the dialogue. I love that at the end of every day I’m learning something I didn’t know that morning by reading and talking with you all.There is truth to what you say about women and feelings. Perhaps more in the world you work in as it’s very male. Though the world I work in is too. Though I am comfortable bossing everyone around. Maybe too much so!

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Tracey, glad you are learning from us nerds. Ofcourse, nerds are usually nearly clueless aboutwomen.Maybe I will write a book, ‘Women 101 for Dummies –Men’, especially aimed early enough to do some good,at teenage boys.An early topic will be on why girls and womengossip, with a more complete explanation in one ofD. Tannen’s books. Connection with mobile? Sure:Apparently one of the most important uses of cellphones was gossip by girls.Another topic will be the expert remark, “Of COURSEwomen are MUCH more emotional than men. That is thecause of all the problems between men and women.”.

          3. Tracey Jackson

            “Apparently one of the most important uses of cell phones was gossip by girls.”Without question, being the mother of two daughters I can attest to this. Not sure they know they are for anything else.Are the problems between men and women because women are MUCH more emotional or that men are not emotional ENOUGH?!

          4. sigmaalgebra

            > “Apparently one of the most important uses of cellphones was gossip by girls.” Without question,being the mother of two daughters I can attest tothis. Not sure they know they are for anythingelse.Uh, what’s the antecedent of “they”, “cell phones”or “girls”!!!!Congratulations on your two daughters. I wanted mywife and I to have kids, but as well known here onAVC she died. I would have preferred sons so that Icould have taught them about machines, electronics,computers, math, physics, engineering, business,and, then, yes, one more, girls!A daughter? I would never have been able to havesaid “No” to her; even at age 4 she would have knownthat; and she would have wrapped me around herlittle finger. Two daughters? I would have beenwrapped around two little fingers, maybe torn intwo!> Are the problems between men and women becausewomen are MUCH more emotional or that men are notemotional ENOUGH?!Now, now, now, Tracey!!!! My statement aboutemotions was just ‘comparative’, women being “more”emotional than men, while your question was’absolute’, men not being emotional “enough”! Foryour “enough” you need more, e.g., an absolutecriterion!Some of how men handle emotions is just ‘trainedin’: E.g., if as a child they get hit in the headwith a baseball, then maybe they don’t get sympathyor empathy or get to feel sorry for themselves thatthey were hit by the ball or for the pain anddefinitely do not get to cry and, instead, just haveto ‘suck it up’ and blame themselves for the error,THEIR error, of failing to catch the ball! He’s outcold on the ground, and the rest of his team justasks, “Did he hold on to the ball?”.A book written for girls might explain to them thata lot of boys conclude that their emotions don’tcount and, in general, emotions don’t count. Aproblem, then, is that such a boy will ignore theemotions of others and, then, get into some problemsin ‘socialization’.Then if one of your daughters sees a boy/man shereally likes, e.g., really nice, swims 400′ yardseach afternoon, just had a big exit for his startup,and wants to turn his heart into melted butter, itmight be enough just to give the guy a littlesympathy, empathy, indication that in general hisemotions do count, and some recognition andunderstanding of his emotions in particular cases– AKA TLC. Since that may be the first time in hislife anything like that happened to him, she mayhave him around her little finger!But she should not ask, “How does that make youfeel?” because he might not know and might regardboth knowing and the question as wrong! Insteadhave her detect his emotions, often should be easyenough for her to do, and indicate that she knowshow it made him feel! So, LE told you some of thesecrets about computers boys/men use to take out afew, fun, easy minutes to fix a computer and to havesome girls/women be really nice, and now I’m tellingyou about one of the Achilles heels of men! Nowonder you come to AVC!One path to the emotions of a man is via parts ofclassical music with no words that can be arguedwith as being not literally ‘true’. So, the musiccan get around the defenses against emotions! Bythe time a poor man figures out that there really isa fairly clear and easily understood ’emotionallanguage’ in that music, it will be too late! E.g.,the ‘1812 Overture’, ‘Finlandia’, and ‘EinHeldenleben’ have a lot of gunfire, but there’s alsoa lot more, and each of those three composers wrotemusic a long way from gunfire! E.g., few men willbe able to resist by the composer of ‘EinHeldenleben”Der Rosenkavalier'”Presentation of the Rose”Anne Sophie von Otter (Octavian) and Barbara Bonney(Sophie)http://www.youtube.com/watc…Musically the best part is the duet near the end!Note: Just why Anne is dressed as a man is a longstory!And, still, another path is through his stomach!So, if she fixes a nice dinner for him (from somechemistry, secret to a good beef pot roast, get athermometer and heat to 165 F and keep it there),and plays some nice music, some parts of Wagner’s’Lohengrin’ should do nicely (one famous partespecially nicely!), then she might have another wayto wind him around her little finger.In ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ Richard Strauss, a 20thcentury composer, was writing in the style ofMozart. Mozart, two pretty women singing? Sure:http://www.youtube.com/watc…More men with their hearts turned to melted butter!Note: The sound quality is poor; sounds like some16 bit clipping (electronic engineering, i.e., a’man’ thing!).Just one pretty woman singing? Coming right up:http://www.youtube.com/watc…Another? Sure:http://www.youtube.com/watc…So, THAT’S why Snowden went to Russia!It appears that Mother Nature has some specialprotective shield around daughters; otherwise fromwhat I saw, e.g., all the gossip, giggling,squealing, making Lex Wexner rich, avoiding the STEMsubjects, needing help getting ketchup bottles openwithout breaking them, never learning that can use alead pencil to make a door lock work smoothly or whyit works, failing to get excited about AVL trees,heap sort, and auto differential center sections, Idon’t know how they could do well. Somehow the morehelpless a girl/woman appears, the better she cando! I hope your daughters come out fine;considering you, I am sure they will.If my startup were already successful and I weresome decades younger …!With’Der Rosenkavalier’we have a severe incongruity! The over the topemotional classical music was nearly all written bymen! And, a first cut explanation for whygirls/women can do so well being or acting helplessis that they so strongly stimulate the emotions ofmen to take care of them (the girls/women).On the other hand we could have an example of howunemotional and cruel men can be! In Fred’s recentthread about unemployment, I posted a statement thatI could not find any indication in Samuelson’sfamous text on economics that he knew anythingsignificant, except for the US Federal Reserve,about the US or any real economy. Later athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wik…I saw> Stanislaw Ulam once challenged Samuelson to nameone theory in all of the social sciences which isboth true and nontrivial.How CRUEL! How could Ulam be SO cruel?!!!! I mean,out of so many, to ask Samuelson to name one, justone!!!I’ve heard of Ulam! In a paper I published inapplied math, I used one of his classic resultsthe French probabilist Le Cam called ‘tightness’.Ulam was a Polish mathematician but is best knownfrom the Teller/Ulam configuration, first UShydrogen bomb.Then I read that later Samuelson responded with anidea from Ricardo that long ago I regarded as 9944/100% nonsense!Poor Samuelson! If all the economists were lain endto end, then it would be because they deserved it!Maybe Samuelson got some sympathy from his wife;he’d get none from me!Is the new theorem powerful? Proof correct? Arethe uses valuable? Corresponding algorithms andcode solid? Will it make money? Such CRUELquestions! SO cruel!!!! Ah, the plight of men! ButBarbara Bonney singing Richard Strauss can get me todo better!But Ms. Bonney has some challenges, too: Sing ontime, in tune, with good musical expression and, onstage, good acting expression, and she does — alongwith looking like a doll!I better get back to writing some code to make somemoney for some women out there who might need to becared for!

      2. LE

        ” It’s an unnecessary battle, just like Canon vs Nikon and Windows vs Mac.”Agree with what you are saying except that the differences between Windows and Mac is not the same as the hairs split in Canon vs. Nikon.

        1. Dale Allyn

          True, but some arguments are just as silly, hairs or otherwise.One should define the required output, and then work backwards to select the best tools.

          1. kidmercury

            there is a socialization factor. my friends who are on gtalk i am closer to. if someone is important to me, i will technologically align myself with them. probably not to the extent that i’d fall off the turnip truck and become an iSlave, but technological compatibility helps greatly with communication. to this extent the decision of others is personally relevant.

          2. Dale Allyn

            Sure, I agree that in this context technological compatibility has a social factor. Otherwise it could be like getting one walkie-talkie as a birthday gift. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    3. Elia Freedman

      There is a very interesting trend happening in the US. The first phone is Android and the second is iOS. I’m a very technical reason who prefers iOS myself. You are not alone in the world.

    4. LE

      “but why do most tech people hate iPhones and prefer the others?”Don’t agree that “most tech people hate iPhones” perhaps vocal tech people.And there is always the fact that the Microsoft like eco system provided a living for so many tech people (they were required to navigate and avoid the blue death screens etc. and get things to work). [1] Google is the same clusterfuck. It’s all DIY (nobody you can talk to to get something to work you need to pay a third party to get things working that knows more than you or spend time doing your own research to find the answer. The manual is missing.).”Seems OS system works really well. At lest for a non techy like me.”It does work well and it is good. And I’ve used everything over the years. And the Apple stores are jammed with many people who enjoy the fact that things just work and are willing to pay for that experience.Guess what? It is a pleasure to use a Mac. And I can do all the other stuff as well. I don’t get any extra pleasure out of having to deal with aggravation and time wasting that comes with other platforms either. It’s much better to have a VCR that is easy to program than being able to laugh at people who can’t program their VCR and think you are superior.As far as “locked vs. unlocked” some people will fight for something just because they feel entitled to have the best of all worlds. They don’t accept that companies have a right to earn money and that not everything driven by profit is bad. Or they have an axe to grind for some other reason (Fred has investment bias).[1] Or I could say animosity is similar to why most creative hollywood types don’t understand what sells vs. what is creatively good that does not sell – the money issue. Or that tech types like the things under the hood (in high school those guys took shop, remember?). Most people just want to get where they are going with the least trouble. They have no issue paying someone else to change the oil in the car.

      1. Tracey Jackson

        Great explanation – thank you!

      2. sigmaalgebra

        There you go, giving away the nerd secrets!It used to be that the girls/women would beg us tofix their computers, but now you are givingeverything away!It was a fair exchange: The girls/women wouldsmile and be nice, sweet, maybe also pretty, and wewould take out a little fun time to do somethingreally simple and elementary that they thought wasreally difficult; they thought that we were sosmart! Now we’re losing one of the few really goodtimes left to enjoy!

    5. ShanaC

      I never took a loving to the OS, had a hard time figuring out how to go back to what I was doing

    6. Andrew Hoydich

      Hate is such a strong word. Is that really the impression you’ve gotten?

      1. Tracey Jackson

        See Fred’s comment above for clarification!!

        1. Andrew Hoydich

          I understand but…Fred’s reasoning for using Android is almost all objective aside for his use of comedy to lighten the mood of his unemotional, kind of cold, rationale.No need to call that “hatred of iPhones” ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Tracey Jackson

            Dislike?

          2. Andrew Hoydich

            …better!I hate making things about emotion…that’s just me – but I’d call it an aversion to comfort, insatiable need to experience the new, and embodiment of the essence of curiosity.I guess you can dislike the iPhone because it isn’t what you want, but a lot of techies who use Android devices respect (or should respect) the iPhone and Apple for where they’ve gotten us so far. They were the driving forces behind a humongous amount of innovation. They are also still fantastic devices that still beat Android devices in plenty of ways.As you might be able to tell I am an Android user.

          3. Dale Allyn

            There’s a scene on The Big Bang Theory (sitcom) in which Sheldon states: “Windows 7 is much more user-friendly than Windows Vista…. I don’t like that.”I think it nicely sums up a lot of what surrounds this topic. I feel that people should use what they like, or what they wish to explore, but looking down their nose at others for doing the same is really quite silly to me.

    7. fredwilson

      iOS is old hat. Android is now too. tech people want to be on the bleeding edge. at least i do. iOS is not bleeding edge. it is establishment. ie, to be avoided at all costs!!!!

      1. kidmercury

        #upvotedhey if we are going to use iOS why dont we go all out fred you should start blogging on parchment with a quill maybe we should talk in old english too

      2. Dale Allyn

        “at least I do.” <= an important part of that comment. ;)Some are pursuing the “bleeding edge” in other areas, like AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics (and many other areas), and just want a mobile device to function as needed. That’s the point of my comment to Tracy. Yes, iOS is “old hat”, as is Android. For my personal use a smart-phone is basically just a Palm Pilot to me โ€“ I just want it to stay out of my way as I access my synchronized data, make calls, search the web, receive email in a timely manner, etc. 99.9% of my real work is done on a desktop system with dual 27″ displays, so a mobile device is a pain in the ass for me. I even hate working on a laptop most of the time (not enough screen real estate). haha.I love seeing the mobile landscape evolve; FF OS, Ubuntu phone (looking forward to trying the Ubuntu phone), but using the tools which work best for someone doesn’t make them “non-tech” or behind. It likely just means they don’t have the same passion for emerging mobile devices and systems as some others do.Mobile is a very big part of the future of the web (and non-web work and life), and your passion for it meshes brilliantly with your work.

    8. kidmercury

      in time you will find the iphone cannot satisfy your needs for the world you live in, in spite of being more expensive. i know it does not seem that way now, and it may seem to be a great productivity aid in fact, but the stage is set for the shift to begin. give it 5 years. those of us mocking the iphone see it as destiny and are preparing accordingly.

      1. Tracey Jackson

        Like a bomb shelter?

        1. kidmercury

          more like getting an internet connection in the 90s because you knew it was the future

          1. Tracey Jackson

            I did that….

  14. William Mougayar

    So this boils down to the quality of the browser first, and secondarily of the mobile web app if there is one for that website. WIth an inferior browser, only optimized websites will give you a good experience, but a top notch mobile browser can compensate for that.If there one thing that BlackBerry still does better than anyone, it is their browser which is the best out there for mobile (there are tests that prove that). I bet that someone at BB 7 years ago thought who needed mobile Apps if we can make a great browser that replicates the web.If I was BB, I would do something with this Firefox OS or the Unbuntu one, and gun for re-emerging with the best mobile experiences that way.

    1. ndesaulniers

      > If there one thing that BlackBerry still does better than anyone, it is their browser which is the best out there for mobile (there are tests that prove that).I’m going to call [citation needed]. All I could find is that they’re more HTML5 standards compliant than other mobile clients. [0] I’m not sure that HTML5 standards compliance is the only thing that makes a browser “the best.” For example, there’s other qualities such as JavaScript engine performance, memory usage, stability, startup time, UI, time to render, CSS3 performance, DOM performance, hardware acceleration performance, security, and privacy.[0] http://html5test.com/result

      1. William Mougayar

        HTML5 compliancy is a big deal in today’s post’s context, no?I think some of the other factors you mentioned are a subset of html5 performance, or related somehow.Also, I have used a playbook last year, and the one thing that stood out was the browser which behaved pretty much like a desktop browser. Didn’t get any of the typical compatibility errors you often encounter on mobile.

  15. jmcaddell

    It will be interesting to see how quickly this ecosystem evolves (phones included). I recall that the first Android phone, the HTC G1, was pretty crappy. But Google and the Android partners made it better fast.There is most definitely a need for a third mobile ecosystem. And freeing developers from having to develop specific apps for the Firefox platform is a pretty interesting advantage.

  16. jason wright

    i often find that my first impressions of something new never hold as i make further use of the something new.new bike – “the steering feels weird, i don’t like it”, but not after a few more rides and a few more miles.the brain gets programmed by external inputs, the neurons and synapses ‘map’ to the outside interface. they take time at adjust to a new interface, but they do adjust.being ‘google mapped’ is a common condition, but there is hope for those with a supple brain and a willingness to change. all hail the uber fox.

  17. Bruce Warila

    Mobile device = phone + camera + music + GPS + computer + network + essential apps + style + etc.. To compete, it’s going to have to be a really good mobile device.To get a toehold in the marketplace, it seems to me that this device needs a killer use case, something that one segment of the world can’t live without, that can’t be quickly copied. (Wait, that’s an oxymoron.)

  18. Barry Nolan

    Your experience mirrors Jeffery’s Van Camps week of living with Chrome OS.”The biggest realization came for me when I turned on my MacBook Air after a week. (I had to because I needed to take a Skype call.) It was so โ€ฆ fast.http://www.digitaltrends.co

  19. markslater

    selfishly speaking this presents a very attractive funnel for those of us in the mobile app business…….Acquiring a user for your app when there is an install required creates a long and deeply stepped funnel.1. Run adwords campaign.2. viewer clicks on ad from mobile3. Ad CTA is “download and use”4. Viewer clicks CTA begins download process5. Viewer goes through activation funnel (registration, verification)6. Active user.with this phone…..1. Run adwords campaign2. viewer clicks on ad from mobile3. Viewer goes through activation funnel. 4. Active user.

    1. William Mougayar

      Yup. It makes you wonder why we went around the bend if we could have had a better mobile browser instead, and a responsive design that adapts to the screen size.I still believe this will be possible. This is Day 1 for these types of smartphones.

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Some while ago I was involved in a hybrid mobile web apps rapid development platform – lots of life in going this route, definitely – especially in higher-end feature-phone context, I wonder…?

        1. William Mougayar

          what goes around, comes around…sometimes.

      2. kidmercury

        can web app ever be as fast as a native app? that is the the big question IMO. i believe the answer is no. but maybe i’m wrong.

        1. markslater

          i believe that the answer is absolutely no. And if you are making API calls like we are, there is an additional latency challenge associated with the web VS the app approach.

        2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          It depends on where you are processing and where your data is coming from (and code is data) and whether you have that code and data on your local machine (cached) or as native aspects of your os (eg a c compiler) and whether you need to request resources over a network.So if you want to just communicate and manipulate stuff already local to you, typically a native app was always better.However people are now realising that aspects of javascript (the subject of enormous optimisation efforts) and which can use local resources (eg graphics card processing) and native libraries (if installed) are absolutely blitz fast.So running the following (Node.js script) on a server is one of the fastest ways of running (and developing) a trivial webserver (who would have thought that the browser engine could be faster than the server?) . And its a web app! the .js in the name tells you this is server side running of javascript (browser) code.var http = require(‘http’);http.createServer(function (req, res) { res.writeHead(200, {‘Content-Type’: ‘text/plain’}); res.end(‘Hello AVC ! n’);}).listen(1337, ‘127.0.0.1’);console.log(‘Greeting Server running at http://127.0.0.1:1337/‘);So now we see people (including us) embedding processing in a virtual machine within a browserEg https://github.com/kripken/… running in a browser inside a webclient (chrome) that does eg “R” (statistics) or latex (pdf) generation on the client side !!! just to save round trips to our server (also lighten server load) and prevent insecure communicationsor requires downloads of big files (and potentially huge libraries) because the needed aspects can be installed completely transparently.So (with respect to @kidmercury:disqus @markslater:disqus ) – The answer is absolutely “sometimes” Yes and sometimes No.

          1. markslater

            thanks for this. on the subject of caching?Also mobile payments heavily favor the browser approach. Tokens (braintree for instance) are all stored in a vault and nothing is local.

        3. William Mougayar

          that’s a good question. That’s where html5 and local javascript comes into play.

        4. Kevin Yien

          Having built a (bad) web app while during my graduate years to help people with diabetes, I am extremely doubtful in this area. Whether building pure HTML5 web apps, or going the (awful) route of PhoneGap, the latency is clear.Nonetheless, this gap in performance will not be a deal breaker (or at least I don’t believe so). I have seen some incredibly creative, and impressive, projects out of other countries that are leveraging old hardware to do phenomenal things.The need for ‘the absolute fastest’ in the Valley is not felt by most people. The simple things, like being able to chat with someone across a country, are not taken for granted. On a tangential note, I think there is a lot to be learned there.

      3. Kevin Yien

        Indeed, there is hope for a more responsive and open future.Given the way the web has transformed globally over the past decade or so, it seems that the same growth for mobile web would be even more interesting.With Firefox re-allocating its resources, and shifting a lot towards their mobile division, I hope they can continue to push what is possible in this realm.Although a minimal signal, they are sponsoring several projects at Berkeley for Firefox OS ‘apps’ that more heavily utilize things like local storage.

    2. ShanaC

      ah, isn’t life better with html

    3. Matt A. Myers

      It’ll get there, one way or another..

  20. Brandon Burns

    “I find the keyboard a bit difficult to use. It is a bit smaller than the android keyboard I use and it is not as responsive as I am used to.”- So it’s like an iPhone keyboard? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. andyidsinga

      slam.

  21. andyidsinga

    if you’re done with the ff phone – I’d like to play with it next :)oh oh – we need an “AVC Gadget Library” ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      i gave it to this kidhttp://justedenw.tumblr.com/

  22. ShanaC

    1) Everyone has problems thinking the font is too small, but I think your age as a boomer is starting to show. And i think the “too small” complaint is only going to get louder.2)If it is cheap enough, smart phones will replace dumb phones for a much larger chunk of the population (wordwide). This sounds like we’re finally hitting “cheap enough”

    1. LE

      Try reading a menu in a restaurant at that age w/o reading glasses if the lighting is low.Usability things like that (another example is printed forms where the length of the input lines you write on aren’t long enough to write in the info that is requested) really bug me. Show a total lack of clue-fulness on the part of the people that are designing the experience.

    2. Carl Rahn Griffith

      1) Cheeky! Lol ;-)2) I suspect there’s a untapped half-way house between feature > smart phones – a pragmatic solution at a great cost is a great opportunity

  23. erlend_sh

    I’m still not interested until the majority of these “apps” have an offline mode, which by the nature of their design seems like a long shot.

  24. Alastair Coote

    Regarding the font size issue- it seems to be an internal issue with Firefox OS scaling to different resolutions. On the ‘Keon’ (the lower res device) and the Firefox OS Simulator, apps look the right size.It turns out this is fixed in the 1.1 release of Firefox OS, but 1.1 is not an automatic upgrade. I have no idea why- you have to patch it using the Android SDK fastboot tool. Very messy.

  25. jlongster

    I haven’t read through all these comments to see if someone has already said this, but the tiny default font size on some of the apps is a bug. It has been fixed in later versions of Firefox OS. The Peak is a larger screen size than most Firefox OS phones, so a lot of the work on making everything adaptive didn’t land until after the first version, which is what the Peak comes installed with.If you are willing to flash your phone (it’s pretty easy), go to http://downloads.geeksphone… and download the “latest v1.1”. You’ll find the experience much better.

    1. fredwilson

      ooooh. thanks so much!

  26. Thomas Stone

    Nice to see Azmat and Citymapper.com featuring in Fred’s e-mail [sorry!]. As someone who lives and works in London I would highly recommend it though unfortunately not on Firefox OS ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    ha….why today on OS dependency?and that is why 7B for nokia is worth … it would hardly take 12-months to make a dummestphone on the earth for MS to make it a smartphone….wait for the cheapest smartphone and watch them scoop away 50B+ for the 7B investment in 5-years … not a bad investment i would say.

  28. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    btw, don’t complain about font size … these phones are not made for you.P.S. I always wondered why someone is offering 1000 sms for 1$ (in india) …I hardly send about 5-10 sms/month…who needs 10c/sms…i can even call and talk to that guy for a minute instead sending sms….. I CHANGED my mind when i saw ….kids smsing during product review meetings under the table … smsing while walking on the stairs … smsing while chating with their friends.I realized these are markets not aimed at me … the old guy.

  29. Pat Clark

    Twitter. SoundCloud. Foursquare. Tumblr. Yep, all of them have great mobile web versions. I can’t quite place my finger on it, but I think these companies all have something else in common?

    1. fredwilson

      good taste in selecting investors ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Pat Clark

        Ha! That’s it (though I suspect most people wouldn’t put it as humbly).

  30. Aaron Klein

    I’m sure Google will get right on that for you. ;)In all seriousness, great review. I find it amusing you’re more concerned about disclosing your calendar than your email! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. fredwilson

      My inbox is so full of crap that showing it (vs my priority inbox) is effectively showing nothing. I checked carefully before posting that photo. There is not one good email on the first screen of email

      1. Aaron Klein

        Wow, that’s frustrating. I admire you for putting up with that and trying to be authentic and personal in managing your inbox. I’d be having an assistant manage that flow!

        1. fredwilson

          You mean five of themI prefer to admit that I cannot manage my email and treat it like twitter or tumblr than to get on a treadmill like thatEvery reply creates another message back. Doing better with email means making the problem worse

          1. Aaron Klein

            It’s a good approach and it works for you. I’d have a tough time with it. But you’re right…I’ve always felt like email needed a “like” button so people didn’t feel compelled to respond!

  31. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    @fredwilson:disqus +1 diopter on fonts – We need a mobile version of Kawasaki 10 20 30 rule http://blog.guykawasaki.com

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Some Web site design rules:Old principle of design and engineering — KISS orkeep it simple, stupid.Very simple Web pages. The purpose of each pagevery clear. Still, each page with a link Help to apage with a nice explanation with examples, maybescreen shots, etc. Maybe each page with adescriptive title.Only simple ‘controls’ — push buttons, text boxes,check boxes, and radio buttons, and only a few ofcontrols.High contrast colors, remembering that 25% of themale population is partially red-green color blind.Large fonts, say, 25-35 pixels high. And, no morethan 10, better yet, 6-8, characters per inchhorizontally, on any reasonably popular screen.Narrow, page, say, only 800 pixels wide. And, withboth vertical and horizontal scroll bars.Screen never ‘jumps’ — minimal use of JavaScript.Ah, think of all the recent, high end JavaScriptprogrammers who would need to find somethingproductive to do!

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        I like the guidelines but do not write off javascript – html5 is very cool for many things – but very limited in others. this is worth a read from CTO Mozillahttps://brendaneich.com/201…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Thanks for the positive view of my Web page designrules. Many Web page designers would scream bloodymurder, out of date, overly simplistic, suitableonly for the world of dial up, etc. Still, I believein what I wrote, and, with high irony, the mobileworld with its small screens may enhance the valueof my ‘rules’.In that case the KISS principle of design andengineering will win again — tough to beat the KISSprinciple for long, at least for what users see.You are way, Way, WAY ahead of me on JavaScript.Microsoft’s ASP.NET writes some for me, but so farI’ve not written a single line of it.I long regarded JavaScript as another toy, i.e.,interpreted, ‘string language’, i.e., a languagemostly just about strings (essentially the only’element’ data type) for both the source code andthe data being manipulated. Or maybe it’s alsoabout a lot of balanced binary tree (AVL, red-black)key-value pairs (essentially the only ‘datastructure’?), there in particular for its symboltable. I just hope that JavaScript code isnaturally ‘sandboxed’ and, thus, can’t causesecurity problems on my computer.But from what you’ve written in this thread aboutJavaScript using the APIs of some special hardware,etc., sure, JavaScript gets to be a bigger subject.I’ve never wanted to be a programmer — I just writesoftware I need to have written for what else I’minterested in, now some business based on someapplied math (the users won’t see the applied math).For my ‘software platform’, I picked Microsoftmostly because it was right in front of me as Igraduated from (mainframes, super-mini computersand) PC/DOS and OS/2 to Windows XP and becauseMicrosoft is serious about server side computing andhas the money and people to get the work done.So, for the software I’m writing, I’m mostly justfollowing what Microsoft offered with IIS, ASP.NET,ADO.NET, Visual Basic .NET, .NET, SQL Server, etc.The ideas? Trivially easy. The documentation? Thespelling is correct; the style is rigid; it’s rarelyactually wrong, but, for anyone reading it for thefirst time, as ‘technical writing’ it’s a time andeffort sink chuckhole in the road often needingreading between the lines and experiments. And itappears that the writers were not comfortable withbig-O notation. But some documentation is worse;and worse still is no documentation.Since this Microsoft software development’framework’ doesn’t much ask that I pay attention toJavaScript, so far I don’t.But recently on Web sites I’ve seen, apparently fromsome programmers with too much expertise inJavaScript and not enough good work to do, a lot ofvery complicated, ‘screen jumping around’,forbiddingly complicated, frustrating, very slow Webpages. Mostly can’t use the mouse scroll wheel toscroll the page because the mouse cursor triggers,apparently via JavaScript, lots of pop-ups,overlays, and whatever the heck else that keeps mefrom just using the page. So, somehow I have to getthe keyboard focus on an appropriate part of the Webpage and use the cursor control keys to scroll thepage. Point: Too much JavaScript. Violation ofthe KISS principle of design and engineering.Begin Rant.Another point; I predicted that, and it stands toget worse. There was a big point about early HTMLand CSS: Could have 100+ million Web sites and 1+billion Internet users, and essentially each usercould use any Web site right away, and this amazing,desirable situation was in strong contrast with,say, Microsoft Word where the GUI is so complicatedand obscure, filled with icons, etc, that it cantake two weeks to get facility the first time andtwo hours for returning after a six month absence,and Word is just one UI — think about the effectson Internet usability with 100+ million UIs uniqueand so complicated. Disaster.Yes, I’ve heard good things about what HTML5 canbecome, and I’m on board with the idea that UIprogramming tools, hopefully HTML5, should be highlystandardized (write once, view anywhere) with thereal ‘content’ on the servers. HTML5, return of the’dumb terminal’ after a lot of steroids.E.g., my fairly recent version of Microsoft’sInternet Explorer just will NOT recognize the Flashplug-in, although I’ve reinstalled several recentversions many times. System management Excedrinheadache 119,848,334.Why? Likely the wildly complicated, maybe totallyundocumented, ‘security’ settings for InternetExplorer.So, right, after I got shot in the gut with somevirus infections without knowing from where or how,and wasted unbelievable time and effort rebuildingall my software installations, more than once(eventually was getting good at it), I ‘locked down’my Windows XP and picked apparently really severesecurity settings, I mostly didn’t understand, forInternet Explorer. Likely some of those settingsblock Flash. Okay. Flash works with Firefox.Apparently Microsoft desperately wanted InternetExplorer to be a unique, proprietary ‘platform’ witha lot of special functionality, e.g., ActiveX, forUI but, at least on the Internet, opened horriblesecurity holes and, basically, blew it. Sounds likethe Ballmer School of Software Design. So be it; Ijust use Firefox and disable nearly all add-ins allthe time.So, keep the Web design tools and techniques dirtsimple, or the Web will bog down in unique,idiosyncratic, undocumented, frustrating, slow,security threat UIs.End Rant.

  32. george

    Sounds like a work in process…BTW, is there any uniquely better web browser experience?

  33. Lachlan Castellano

    With Firefox re-allocating its resources, and shifting a lot towards their mobile division, I hope they can continue to push what is possible in this realm.spybubble funciona

  34. Robert Holtz

    I guess I’m just not clear on why the world needs yet another OS.

  35. Youze Lin

    blue screen.

  36. Julien LaPointe

    Glossy screens = poor design.

  37. Mickel Kel

    Having a peak too, i suggest you zmaps, which uses googlemap, and works fine. I find Nokia HERE a little boring too.I’m not using the gmail every day, but for me, i must admit : the Peak makes its job well, and i’m not a student ! ;)For the font size, you right : Mozilla should increase the defaut size. I’m waiting the version 1.1 OTA which should arrive, but Geeksphone waits the Mozilla “stable” revision, which is not ready yet. According to several articles, this new version should be more interface friendly.For the keyboard, i can’t compare : my fingers are too big for all smartphones !

  38. LE

    See now I thought exactly the opposite, that from the description it’s totally off the dartboard.Besides, this part:So who would this phone work well for right now? I suspect anyone who does a lot of texting but very little email would find this phone a decent option. Web apps that have great mobile web versions (Twitter, SoundCloud, Foursquare, Tumblr, etc) really do great on this phone. So maybe a teenager or student who needs an inexpensive smartphone but doesn’t need a ton of productivity apps could make this work.Teenagers don’t want inexpensive they want what their friends use.

  39. ShanaC

    their friends are using android if they don’t have money, but if this performs better than crappy android at a cheaper price, people will take it up

  40. jason wright

    phones are so in the break/ lose/ steal category that price should be a major consideration. my nokia cost $20. it’s not smart, but my next phone will be, but still cheap, and because cheap is smart.