Great writeup!
Will Hilton

> what if FF (the browser) supported Android’s “home screen” API so when you hit the Home button, it was possible to select Firefox as your launcher?

B2GDroid ( was an Android homescreen which tried to provide the same user experience as Firefox OS, but on top of Android.

Unfortunately creating the kind of experience we wanted to create is more than just replacing the homescreen on Android, it requires deep changes to the window manager and the way web links are handled. Android simply doesn’t provide the APIs to make this possible.

Whenever you try to build an experience on top of an existing platform like iOS or Android you are limited by the APIs which they provide and the policies they enforce, you’re playing in the sandbox they choose to provide you with. Creating our own OS gave us the flexibility we needed to really experiment.

One possibility I’m exploring for my spare time project, Webian, is to implement the front end as an Android app which is then run as the *only* app on top of Android Things. But so far I’m not sure Google have released enough of the source code to make this possible.

Like what you read? Give Ben Francis a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.