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React.js for KaiOS development

KaiOS is a Linux based operating system for feature phones. The system is a fork of the Firefox OS, a Mozilla venture that has been discontinued. Firefox OS was based on web technologies, a minimal Linux Kernel was used to boot up the Gecko browser engine. KaiOS continues on this path, being a browser native development.

Mozilla developed Firefox from 2013 to 2016. During this time the device did not gain traction on the market, but the system did mature to be a solid base. This is why KaiOS, a relative newcomer to the mobile field can provide a fully featured platform complete with 4G LTE connectivity, GPS positioning and WiFi.

Application development for KaiOS is done using web technologies, just like the original Firefox OS. However over the web technologies have evolved tremendously over in the five years since the first version of Firefox OS shipped. JavaScript performance has increased, and technologies like React.js and other declarative vDOM powered libraries have made UI development in the browser fluent.

This is why developers looking to ship applications to KaiOS won't need to look at web wrappers like Cordova, PhoneGap or React Native. Well designed web applications that conform to Progressive Web Application (PWA) specifications will run smoothly on KaiOS devices just with the browser. Performance needs to be verified on the devices, but by cutting UI candy complex applications are possible with React.js on KaiOS platform.

KaiOS Technologies from San Diego, California KaiOS will be making the operating system widely available over the course of 2018. The mobile web application revolution was long time coming, but now the time is near and developers can use their React.js skills and toolchain to develop for featurephones with a select range of smartphone features. The same exact apps will run on the Android Oreo (Go Edition) devices like the Nokia 1.

KaiOS has been available since 2017 and has sold some 30 Million devices. These are devices from Alcatel and the Jio Jio Phone Reliance from India. At MWC 2018 trade show Nokia announced a successor to their 8110 "Matrix Phone". The device is is not a high end device like the original, but instead focuses on the low end. The Nokia 8110 device, designed and by HMD Global runs the KaiOS operating system

Written by Jorgé on Monday February 26, 2018

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