Closed Poll: Future Fairphone OS Development

Firefox OS is unusable for me. I’d miss the following apps:

  • Appie (the app of one of the largest supermarket chains in the Netherlands)
  • My bank’s app
  • authenticator
  • Dropbox
  • GMail
  • Google Hangouts
  • Google Play Books
  • Humble Bundle app
  • Netflix
  • Video on demand app for the Dutch broadcasting company
  • Spotify
  • WhatsApp
  • Yahoo Mail
  • Various games

And that’s assuming Maps, Office and EMail solutions are of an acceptable quality.

So sure, I’d love to switch to Firefox OS, but right now, that’s just not practical.

It really doesnt matter as long as;

  • the development has to be halted because of drivers to the hardware
  • the code foundation is modern, secure and makes the OS look and behave beautiful
  • the platform has a spiering ecosystem with vendors and developers continously providing it with applications
  • The OS provides the user with cutting edge features

Has anyone used Ubuntu on their phone? It would seem a natural choice given that the Android kernel is Linux based.

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“If you can’t open it, you don’t own it”.

The same goes for the software that can be run on the device. As long as that needs closed drivers released only for a specific OS, we do not own our phones, whether or not we actually want to make use of that.

I know the Fairphone people are already talking to them, but I’ll just say it again: get Mediatek to release the drivers. Get them to release the specifications. Or get another provider for your next phone, and if at all possible, for replacement parts for the current generation.

Whatever comes installed by default is a marketing/marketshare decision; use what most people will want. But the ability to choose is about freedom.


For the following apps you mentioned, there are Firefox Os replacements:

But i see Firefox OS is not for everyone.

Sadly there is a lot more to it then a Linux kernel. But Canonical is working on Ubuntu Touch, an Ubuntu basaed os for smartphones, it is running on nexus phones.
Sailfish and Firefox OS use a Linux Kernel as well by the way.

I second that! But i would ad “usability” to marketing/marketshare.

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Hey all!

Since the Hey let us have Sailfish-Thread was closed, I would like to continue the conversation here, as suggested.

I found this interesting article on PC-World, where they talk about having made Sailfish OS run on existing Android devices. They quote a Sailfish developer: [quote]We are coming to the point when you as consumer can install Sailfish on your device. We are not yet there but we will be soon. If I ask the guys: can you put the OS on this and this it typically takes 24 hours and it works.[/quote]

If it’s that easy, what do you think of “ordering” the Sailfish OS for the (next) Fairphone? (Althought it would be really great to make Sailfish OS run on the existing FP1.)


I am afraid it is never “that” easy ;-). But anyway, interesting read. What do mean by “ordering”? Voting for Fairphone to provide Sailfish for FP2? That is not that easy, given that Jolla provides development kits, but no developers to port Sailfish to other devices. However this might be an interesting crowdfunding idea. Given there seem to be a lot of enthusiasts among the Fairphone Owner, we possibly could financially support developers with Android and Meego/Sailfish experience who create a Sailfish OS version for Android with Bountys (see Bountysource).
Working kernel sources would be a prerequisite but that would allow the small Fairphone development team to concentrate on the Fairphone OS on Android experience. What do you think of such a model?


This is exactly what I was thinking of! I haven’t heard of Bountysource, but it seems a way to make this work. Consider this: Fairphone contacts Jolla/Sailfish-OS-developers/xda-developers (I saw something going on there about porting Sailfish OS) and the developer(s) set a price for the development of a Sailfish OS port. Then Fairphoners can croudfund it.


This is a totally different question and not about the poll. Can you move it elsewhere, please?

Currently, I’m just waiting for FairPhone to support FirefoxOS to buy one.
Google global captive web environnement is not what I call fair.

FirefoxOS is currently shipped in France, since a few weeks (on OpenZTE C), and it’s already a success. It proves that this OS is mature enough by now, and that a lot of people are waiting for such products.

  • FairPhone with Android is not a real alternative to current smartphone market.
  • FirefoxOS on a cheap chinese hardward neither.

But if both projects could make half of the way, it would definitively be a great synergy.


I tried some Firefox OS apps through Firefox Marketplace on my Fairphone and the performance is not the best advertisment for HTML5-Apps and Firefox OS in general. The apps are buggy and most don’t even work, although they all use open web technologies and should work on any device with a Firefox Browser.

Also I read that Firefox apps don’t have access to Hardware support and hence cannot take advantage of Fairphone’s powerful CPU.

I am quite sceptic about Firefox OS on Fairphone. It is just for less powerful phones with

Not sure that you mean by “no access to hardware support”? Web API are available for most if not all the sensors of the phone, a lot of graphics operations use the GPU, etc.

Do you have anything specific in mind?

I read the following on this website:

I don’t know the technology/software which lies behind HTML5 web apps, so I don’t know if the article is valid.

I’m not quite sure why people have such a problem with Android. What are people afraid of? And why would Firefox OS be any better?

This is a bit offtopic, but i continue anyway. I used a Firefox OS device while waiting for the Faitrphone and i was pleased with the performance. It is not comparable to Firefox Web Apps.
Most apps i just worked as advertised except for the “WhatsApp” stuff. they are all a bit hacky because there is no offical WhatsApp for Firefox OS.
I also like the look and feel of the OS – it is not only for cheap phones.

While Androids Core is Open Source, most apps are not. Services like Google Play and Cloud Messaging (used for push messages, for example for instant messaging, stuff like TextSecure etc) and all Google Apps are completly closed source and controlled by Google alone. Aside from that, most manufactures install additional non-free software as well. Because Android is designed to be “augmented” by Google proprietary services, if you try to keep away from Google it is less useful -a lot less apps etc.

Firefox OS on the other hand is completly open source*. When i used a Firefox OS device, i could download some sourcecode, use some tools (all open source) and four hours laters, i had build and installed Firefox OS myself (completely from source) on my on PC. And i had all services like Mozilla Location and Push Messaging, Firefox Market, etc. - there was no difference in apps etc.

This is why i think for people who care about Open Source, Firefox OS is “better”. The other aspect is that some people are afraid that Google has gained too much “power” over our data and lives.

(* not the drivers sadly)

It seems a bit of a hollow argument so far. You can choose to stick with open source apps on Android as well (granted, it’s not a really good option quality wise) but the thing is, open source doesn’t automatically mean ‘good’, nor does it mean ‘fair’ (whatever that may mean), nor does it mean ‘safe’ (as long as you haven’t completely audited and compiled the code that’s being executed on your device yourself).

There also seems to be a general “Google is bad” vibe with a lot of people. Why is this? Privacy concerns?

Privacy concerns is one, certainly. Tendency to silo is another. Centralized control a third, especially given the country it’s from. But all of those wouldn’t be that much of a problem if you were not locked in, if you had the choice at any time to step away, or to group together and take the software in another direction (or: pay somebody to do that). Having people forced into one specific set of software is not good for the long-term quality of it. The only option left is to get another phone, which would be a shame, since the phone itself is quite nice, and there really is no reason to tightly couple it to one specific OS.

It did not try to argue scientifically, it is more a “gut feeling”. You what people prefer about Firefox OS this is what i tried to answer to. You are right about security, but i did not want to get into that discussion, but on firefox os, i could try to audit the code ;-).

All the best


good idea, I support. To do that, we would have to make the Fairphone guys aware of our desire. Thats why I opened the ‘hey, let us have sailfish’ thread, to ask for supporters. Did not work. But there are at least two.
I wonder if Fairphone has already considered (officially) supporting alternative OSes for the FP. Apparently over 120 people think they should.

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Personally i think, it is extremely vital, that Fairphone an live up to it’s promises and enable multi-os support for the next edition (If possible the current editions as well).
Because only if you are able to decide which os and version you have on your phone, you really have a factor against planned obsolescense. Especially the multi-os compatability was something I always emphasized when I talked about the Fairphone project and what many people I talked with thought to be important as well.

I know It’s not easy, but that’s about the only thing I’m really disappointed with the current model and what definitely has to be resolved in the next one.