Puffin OS is based on the Puffin Web Browser, which is in turn based on the concept of “Avatar As A Service”.
Here is a diagram of the old “Client-Server” model. In this model, the client accesses the servers directly.
Here is a diagram of the new “Client-Avatar-Server” model. In this model, the “Avatar-in-the-Cloud” accesses the servers on behalf of the client. Note that the Avatar is the man-in-the-middle so that the client and the servers can talk to the Avatar but not to each other directly.
Here are the advantages of “Avatar-in-the-Cloud” in terms of CPU, Memory, Network, and etc. It looks like a good idea to let Avatar represent the client to talk to the servers in the cloud — just like letting a lawyer represent the client to talk to the judge in the court.
Here is a comparison chart of the “Real Person” vs the “Virtual Avatar” in terms of abstract concepts. Note that the “real person” is sacred but the “virtual avatar” is disposable. It is the foundation of “Puffin Secure Browser”, but it is outside the scope of this article.
Puffin OS is fundamentally different from other operating systems due to the “Avatar-As-A-Service”. Therefore, we sometimes call the Puffin OS as the “Puffin Cloud OS” and the phone powered by the Puffin OS as the “Puffin Avatar Phone”.
“Puffin Avatar Phone” is a minimalist phone for the “Next Billion Users”. KaiOS, positioned as the “smart feature phone”, is the current leader in the “Next Billion Users” market. Puffin OS is a contender, with a superior “Avatar-As-A-Service” technology. Here is a quick summary of KaiOS and Puffin OS.
Here is a technical comparison of KaiOS and Puffin OS. Note that the BOM (Bill-of-Material) cost of KaiOS and Puffin OS is very close. If users choose KaiOS primarily for the extreme low-cost, they should seriously consider Puffin OS.
Puffin OS launched technical preview a few weeks ago based on Nokia 1 and Redmi Go. Here is a comparison chart of Puffin OS devices and KaiOS device (Nokia 8110). It turns out Puffin OS devices can be as inexpensive as the KaiOS devices even with better specs. It is due to the “economy of scale” where commodity parts are priced very aggressively.
Both KaiOS and Puffin OS are helping the “Next Billion Users” to access Internet and offering solutions to close the digital divide. May the best man win. Either way, the beneficiaries are those who are overlooked (too poor to be visible) by the iOS and Android platforms.