If you haven't heard of KaiOS before, you probably think Firefox OS is entirely dead. But actually, as a fork of B2G, KaiOS has silently grown to a user base of more than 100 million people on devices from more than 10 manufacturers, making it the third most-popular mobile OS after Android and iOS now.

They just launched proper developer docs, as well as an app store:


Mastodon client for KaiOS, when? All JS/Web clients should work.

JS client devs: Imagine your Mastodon client runs on a Nokia 8110, so you can look as cool as Neo in The Matrix.

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@raucao Their app store is heavily curated. Don't know if this is good or bad, I'm inclined to think it is bad but it is their choice and I like that they exist.

I'm planning to get a device soon and will check out how mastodon performs.

It might need a more lightweight client with a different navigation. Those screens are not touchscreens.

@soapdog Agree about the navigation, but if a client doesn't work at all on KaiOS, it likely means that it also suffers from accessibility issues for normal keyboard users.

The curation may be an issue, of course. I think they're doing that, because for most of their user base are first time smartphone and Internet users (except for maybe some zero-rated FB and messaging on a feature phone before). So they're less able to judge app quality and security.

@raucao I've been meaning to grab a dev device and try to figure out if I can get Pinafore to support KaiOS. It doesn't seem obvious to me that it will work out-of-the-box, because:

1. KaiOS is based on a slightly older version of Firefox; up to now I've just targeted the latest version
2. The screen is really really tiny; up to now I've set the iPhone 4 as my minimum bar for a tiny screen
3. It doesn't have a touchscreen, so keyboard navigation has to be impeccable even on the small screen

@nolan I'm wondering if it makes sense to have some kind of smallest-screen, keyboard-only fork of JS client UIs, while keeping the rest of the code the same. Haven't looked into Pinafore code, but I can imagine most JS apps being too tightly coupled between business logic and UI for this to be a good idea.

@raucao I don't think Pinafore would need to be forked to support KaiOS. I just might have to sniff it and slightly alter the keyboard shortcuts (e.g. up/down/left/right behaves more like tabbing through focusable elements).

@nolan Sorry, I actually meant branch in the same repo, not a separate fork. But yeah, maybe it's enough to change UI and behavior based on UA detection.

@raucao Waiting on a device with a QWERTY keyboard that supports US bands, and I'm going to buy a KaiOS phone ASAP. :)

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