App Development on the

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2007-10-22 Print this article Print

Run"> People are living their lives more on the go, and their computing experiences are continuing to shift to their various mobile devices, such as smart phones, according to Symbian CEO Nigel Clifford. So now, those computing experiences—while similar in many ways to desktops—are becoming more personal. "Smart phones are increasingly becoming interpersonal computers with similar specifications to desktop computers but offering a more personal connected experience," Clifford said during a keynote address Oct. 16 at the Symbian Smartphone Show here. "People want more from their favorite device: They want a fully interactive Internet experience, the best graphics possible, seamless access to the quickest and cheapest connection available, and the ability to download, watch, create and upload high-definition video content with high-quality sound." Given that, companies such as Symbian, Nokia and Apple are finding ways to enhance the experience on their devices and to open their technologies to enable developers to more easily build applications for those platforms.
Click here to read more about Nokias S60 platform.
At its event here, Symbian rolled out a host of new and upgraded offerings, some aimed at the user experience and others targeting developers. Also at the show, Nokia, based in Helsinki, Finland, expanded the reach of its mobile development platform with support for both traditional and emerging technologies. Meanwhile, Apple officials announced Oct. 17 that they will provide an SDK (software development kit) for third parties to create applications for the Cupertino, Calif., companys iPhone and iPod Touch. For users, Symbian launched ScreenPlay, a graphics architecture in Symbian OS, an operating system for mobile phones and devices. ScreenPlay will power the richest visual experience available on a mobile phone and give users big-screen effects in their pockets while ensuring long battery life, Symbian officials said. It is designed for mobile devices with user interfaces that integrate high-definition video content, and lifelike games and animations, they said. FreeWay is an IP networking architecture in Symbian OS that provides broadband speeds on pocket devices. For developers, Symbian made a slew of moves to bolster its ecosystem and provide more support for consumers and licensees of its mobile smart-phone technology. The London-based company announced Symbian Signed, a program developed in partnership with its licensees, network operators and developers to promote best practices to test and sign applications for Symbian smart phones. In an interview with eWeek, Jergen Behrens, executive vice president of marketing for Symbian, said the Symbian Signed process is based on developer feedback and has been improved to make signing faster, easier and cheaper for developers, with the goal of driving growth in the number of Symbian applications. Behrens said developers are now more easily able to access device capabilities that were once restricted, enabling further innovation. Nokia officials also said they are looking to make it easier for developers to build applications on top of its S60 platform. With the Nokia Web Run-Time, "millions of Web developers can now go mobile," said Craig Cumberland, director of technology and applications marketing for Nokias Software Platforms group. The Web Run-Time enables developers to create services and content rapidly, makes it easier to get into the mobile space and welcomes "long-tail" developers to the S60, Cumberland said. It enables advertisers and media groups to extend the experience of their brands, he said. A key feature of the Nokia Web Run-Time experience is the Nokia widget, a mini-application or wizard for mobile devices that personalizes the user experience. Cumberland said widgets are "on-device" applications made purely out of HTML, JavaScript, CSS (cascading style sheets) and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). "Anything you can do on a Web page, you can deliver through a widget," Cumberland said. The widget is an indication of how Nokia intends to maintain a dominant position in the market despite the arrival of competing products, such as the rumored Google phone. Page 2: App Development on the Run

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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