Puffin OS: smartphone operating system that only works on the cloud

CloudMosa has used cloud computing to develop a new smartphone operating system. The company claims that Puffin OS will outperform Android on weak hardware.


The majority of smart phones in the market today are aimed at highly configurable and multi-feature products. However, many large technology companies are still holding on many projects that focus on those who have never bought or owned any smart devices.

In 2010, Nokia announced the Next Billion campaign - deploying smartphones for 1 billion users who have never used smartphones. In fact, Google's business model is more consistent with this goal than Nokia, and of course this is not an easy task.

In 2014, Google launched Android One operating system for low-end smartphones, focusing on a secure platform, containing no junk apps and only integrating basic Google programs like Maps or YouTube. Initially the operating system was only for cheap smartphones, but was later integrated into some high-end products from Motorola and LG.

Two years ago, Google again launched Android Go operating system specifically for devices with weak hardware. This platform comes with lighter-capacity app versions to optimize devices like YouTube Go, Google Maps Go and Gmail Go.

Finally, in order to solve the phone segment that is lower than the system requirements of Android Go, Google has invested in KaiOS - the smart feature phone platform inherited from the Symbian phones of the 2000s. Google does not control this operating system, but is the default provider for search, map and virtual assistant services.


Currently, Microsoft and many other companies have switched to streaming games with extremely high resolution in a delay of a few milliseconds. Many people question why phones need a lot of software on the device, not a virtual operating system on the cloud. CloudMosa's Puffin OS has been developed based on this idea.

Puffin OS is a smartphone operating system aimed at devices with retail prices of under 100 USD, based on cloud computing to achieve high speed and many fancy tricks. For example, users could play Flash games but do not need to install Flash on their phones.

CloudMosa developed Puffin OS as a platform connecting the gap between KaiOS and Android One / Go. This operating system provides some better benefits on low-end phones, such as enhanced security and faster application installation (because there is no need to download and install). CloudMosa is planning to start a new ecosystem based on web standards, considering mobile websites as applications.

The company claims Puffin OS will run well when accessing popular 2.5G connections in developing economies. However, phones running this operating system only have basic functions and when they are offline, all applications will not work. In contrast, Google has worked well so many popular applications like Maps and YouTube can still run even without the Internet.

On the other hand, CloudMosa must charge to maintain the server's operation. The company is providing 1 year of free service to Kickstarter supporters. But in the long run this factor will hinder the development of Puffin OS when it needs to expand its market.

In the first phase of the journey towards a billion users, CloudMosa's Kickstarter campaign offers a reference phone using Puffin OS and attracts 472 supporters with about $ 40,000. The company is planning to develop a solution to install Puffin OS on existing Android devices.

By: Jimmy Saunders

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