ATandT Reaches Out to Developers

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-01-06 Print this article Print

At its AT&T Developer Summit, AT&T announced a slew of initiatives aimed at increasing its penetration in the mobile phone space, including supporting multiple application stores. Meanwhile, AT&T's new partnership with WaveMarket is aimed at helping developers build location-aware applications for all major operating systems.

At its 2010 AT&T Developer Summit, AT&T announced a trial program with WaveMarket to make network location information accessible through Veriplace, WaveMarket's cloud location aggregation platform.

AT&T announced a slew of initiatives aimed at increasing its penetration in the mobile phone space, including supporting multiple application stores. However, the partnership with WaveMarket is to help developers build location-aware applications for all major operating systems. WaveMarket's Veriplace is used by more than 1,000 developers.

Veriplace allows SMS, Web, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) developers to develop location-aware apps and services across device categories and participating carriers. The trial program will launch in the coming weeks, AT&T officials said.

"Veriplace protects end-user privacy while offering application developers a single Web-service API to locate more than 100 million devices across multiple carriers," said Tasso Roumeliotis, CEO of WaveMarket, in a statement. "We're thrilled to be able to offer these innovative location-aware tools to developers working on applications for AT&T customers."

As an example of how the service could work, a customer who signs up for a mobile weather application can give the application permission to send alerts about approaching storms or severe conditions based on the customer's location, even when the customer may not have the app actively running on the handset, according to WaveMarket.

Yet, the Veriplace platform keeps customers in control of their location information, WaveMarket said. A customer's location information is never released to an application without the user's explicit permission, and end users of applications powered by Veriplace can manage privacy and security preferences without having to install special software on their devices, the company said. Customers can revoke permission for an application to locate them at any time.

Moreover, the agreement with AT&T makes Veriplace the only cloud location platform that provides developers with a single API for developing across multiple carriers.

New Android Phones, More Apps

AT&T also announced plans to launch five new Android-powered devices from Dell, HTC and Motorola in the first half of 2010, and the telecommunications giant said it plans to become a key destination for mobile phone users looking for applications.

At the AT&T Developer Summit in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, the company also announced a major initiative to expand the universe of mobile applications beyond smartphones to more mobile phones, and to spur future application development for emerging consumer electronics devices, its U-verse TV platform, and enterprise and small business workplaces.

"Applications help consumers realize the full value and benefits of mobile broadband networks, services and devices," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, in a statement. "Today some AT&T customers can take advantage of more than 100,000 apps-but only if they have the right handset. Our goal is to bring more apps to millions more of our customers who want convenient access to the market's hottest apps. At the same time, in the future, we plan to go well beyond mobile devices to spur apps development."

In addition to ultimately giving more customers more choices of applications, the long-term strategic initiatives announced today will make it easier for developers to cost-effectively create applications and reach broader audiences, and help AT&T drive data revenues, AT&T officials said.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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