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Non-Android Mobile Linux: Jolla, Tizen, WebOS and Firefox OS Gain Momentum

Summary: A quick look at some recent developments involving mobile Linux that's not Android

LINUX and GNU are taking over the mobile world. Not only the Google-run Android (US-centric) is capitalising on GNU (founded in US) and Linux (centered in Portland). This is an international effort to capitalise on Free software, challenging proprietary systems like Blackberry's and Apple's, not only Android, which has been exceptionally surveillance-friendly.



The England-based Canonical (London-based offices) has Ubuntu for mobile devices, the Finland-based Jolla (former Nokia staff) has a promising operating system that's a huge success in Finland and is very liberal even in the hardware sense [1], Korean giant Samsung is working on Tizen with new backers [2,3] (although none has pledged actual devices [4]), so Samsung is not focused just on Android, and LG (the other Korean giant) pushes WebOS [5]. Then there is Geeksphone, which incorporates Firefox OS but only alongside Android [6].

All these efforts ought to remind us that Linux and GNU are international endeavours that increase sharing, choice, diversity, etc. It's not all about Android and there is no "monopoly" here, as some Microsoft- and Apple-friendly 'journalists' have been trying to insinuate recently. There are Android-derived alternatives such as CyanogenMod, and Google is not shunning them [7] unless they cause security risks [8].

Related/contextual items from the news:


  1. Mobile Customization Gets Boost with Jolla's The Other Half
    The dream of customizing mobile devices with 3D printed modules took another step forward this week when Jolla opened sales of its promised "The Other Half" customizable backplates for Jolla smartphones. The Finnish company has even posted an SDK to let developers construct their own 3D printed backplate designs for the phone, which runs the Linux-based Sailfish OS.


  2. ZTE, Sprint, SoftBank join open source Tizen OS development


  3. Tizen adds members, teases UI
    Tizen has always been the presumed heavyweight among the new crop of mobile Linux operating systems, yet it has increasingly seemed more like a wispy shadow. Now, despite growing signs that Samsung’s first Tizen phones may not ship until late 2014, and doubts whether the company will put much effort behind the OS now that it has made peace with Google, the Tizen marketing push has cranked up for the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This week, the Tizen Association industry group that supports the Linux Foundation hosted Tizen project, announced 15 new members for its partner program.


  4. Tizen teasing continues as new members join but none pledge devices


  5. LG pushes WebOS into digital signage
    LG is launching a new line of “all-in-one” digital signage systems that run the Linux-based WebOS, including new HTML middleware for app development.


  6. Geeksphone's dual-boot Android Firefox OS device coming next week
    Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone has revealed more details on its forthcoming dual-boot Android and Firefox OS device.


  7. CyanogenMOD developer demos Android Mirroring to Chromecast
    Well, Google had warned not to use preview SDK to write apps as it was in initial phase. Dutta has an AllCast app which allows one to stream quite a lot of local content to Chromecast. Now since Google has released the SDK and opened Chromecast to 3rd party developers there are immense possibilities – and Dutta is back. He has teased users with an app which can mirror the Android screen on Chromecast cast.


  8. Google to banish mobe-makers using old Androids: report
    Android Police is claiming to have received a copy of a Google memo, stating that Google Mobile Services certification will no longer be available to any device submitted by an operator running anything less than Android 4.2.

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