Mozilla thinks mobile Firefox will kill app stores

The big problem facing developers today is that each mobile app store is unique. Apple's App Store requires one SDK, Android, another, and so on and so forth. Why is there no uniform platform to make developer's lives easier? Why can't someone just develop a single application and then allow all mobile devices to use it?

This is precisely the issue Mozilla feels they can address with their upcoming mobile version of Firefox (aka Fennec). According to an article from PC Pro, Fennec, when it's released, will have the fastest javascript engine of any mobile browser available in the smartphone market. This, according to Mozilla, will allow developers to create their applications to work in the browser, as opposed to running it directly from the phone's platform. Jay Sullivan, VP of mobile at Mozilla, says that Fennec will make it so that "anyone who knows javascript and HTML can develop a great app without having to learn a specific mobile platform." He's also realistic, admitting that it will be a while before developers move away from app stores and embrace the web model.

The concept makes sense, and it would surely put developers at ease; but the issue of browser based apps still poses a problem. People don't always have a working Internet connection, or are not always in service. Unless these apps can be run independently of an Internet connection, perhaps using the browser to run an app that's stored on the device's internal memory, developers may never consider working with such a model.

With mobile hardware beginning to reach gigahertz speeds and process 3D graphics with ease, Mozilla's vision doesn't seem so farfetched. After all, web browsers are becoming more and more powerful by the day, and that will only continue, thanks to HTML 5 pushing the web to new heights. Sullivan claims to see the future of mobile apps, and app stores don't seem to be a part of it. He feels that "over time, the web will win." Why? "because it always does."

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