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The adaptive phone, Firefox OS

A couple of years ago, we wrote about the rise of Adaptive devices and, sort of, the death of walled-in app-stores. Whilst not coming anytime soon, the drive is certainly there.

When Apple created the whole App Store approach in 2008, responsive/adaptive design was just a glimmer in the eye of a handful of CSS developers. In fact, the proprietary approach of apps was the only way to deliver value-added services onto a smart handset.

Since then the world has got muddy. There are now too many walled-garden app environments, Google Play, BlackBerry World, Nokia Store, Samsung Apps, Firefox Marketplace and Windows Phone Store now all sit beside the original Apple App Store.

In a world with a shrinking need for hard-core developers and the rise of fast-deployment frameworks such as WordPress, Python and Ruby in combination with better HTML5 and CSS3 web standards then are we seeing the beginning of the end of App Store domination?

There will alway (probably) be a need to use proprietary apps from some suppliers but so many apps can now be delivered happily over a good old browser. And that’s good for everyone (unless you’re a C# programmer).

Take Firefox OS – it’s been out for almost a year and offer a pure HTML5/CSS environment. Apps built for this phone will work on all most other Smartphones.

Except Apple and Google don’t want this, so are unlikely to build phones for it. So its a good job the Panasonic and LG are jumping on the bandwagon. These are unashamedly aimed at the low end, but higher-end phones are on their way and if you remember how Android made it into this space … cheap phones.

It will be interesting to watch the development and embracing of pure web-phones in the next few years – it will certainly give companies even stronger reasons to implement adaptive frameworks such as WordPress and (hopefully) give digital agencies like Connected and whole raft of new technologies and clients.

By Martin Dower