Mozilla introduces WebAPI; open standards for a phone experience

By Kshitij Sobti Published Date
25 - Aug - 2011
| Last Updated
25 - Aug - 2011
Mozilla introduces WebAPI; open standards for a phone experience

Recently Mozilla announced that they were beginning work on their own OS, which could boot on a device and offer the kind of functionality we are used to but using only open standards. This project, Boot to Gecko required that some new standards be drafted, in order to make open standards capable of handling the kind of tasks that are required to be performed on such devices.

Now Mozilla has revealed more about the standard APIs they are working on creating. These APIs aim to provide a standard way to access the functionality offered by devices of today. To cover the basic functionality that most such devices provide, such as a maps application, an address book, a dialer, an SMS application, an image gallery and camera etc. Mozilla will work on the following APIs:

  • Telephony and Messaging API
  • Contacts API
  • Camera API
  • Filesystem API
  • Device Status API
  • Settings API
  • Accelerometer API
  • Mouse Lock API
  • Geolocation API

An SMS application could then be built using the Contacts API and the Telephone and Messaging API, same with a dialer. Since these are intended to be web APIs, this means that any web application, or any HTML5 application could access these functions, making web apps as powerful as native apps on mobile.

Of course the security aspect of allowing web applications access to such important data as the contacts on your phone, your location etc. will be important, and Mozilla will work on that as well. Mozilla intends to submit this to the W3C for standardization so that future generation of mobiles could feature web standard based applications that could provide essential features such as a dialers or address books.