Nokia and Aptana Team to Boost Mobile Web Development

Web application and cloud tool maker Aptana and Nokia announce at the Nokia Developer Summit new mobile device capabilities and development tools that enable millions of Web developers to develop mobile applications to run on Nokia devices.

MONTE CARLO-At the Nokia Developer Summit here, Web application and cloud tool maker Aptana and Nokia announced on April 28 new mobile device capabilities and development tools that enable millions of Web developers to develop mobile applications to run on Nokia devices.

The tools are aimed at developers with expertise in standard Web technologies. The latest versions of the Nokia WRT (Web Runtime) and Nokia WRT Plug-in for Aptana Studio-which is now at the Beta 2 stage-enable "Web developers [to] easily create, package and deploy a whole new range of mobile applications" aka widgets, which" install at the click of a button, can utilize the device's contact list and calendar data, determine the device's location, find landmarks within an area, send and get SMS [Short Message Service] messages, receive information from a device sensor such as an accelerometer, and more on Nokia S60 5th edition devices including the forthcoming Nokia N97."

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Aptana and Nokia officials said creating applications for mobile devices has traditionally required specialized knowledge and specialized software that was different for each brand of device. However, with Nokia WRT, Web developers can use the JavaScript language, which is already used in billions of Web pages and known by a vast number of developers. Nokia is among the first to support using standard Web technologies for installable mobile applications and to enable Web developers to use the powerful underlying platform capabilities of a mobile device, the company said.

In addition, the latest version of the Nokia WRT enables users to further personalize their devices by adding "mini-apps" to the home screens of their devices, said Rob Taylor, global head of Forum Nokia, the developer outreach arm of Nokia. "For example, a Nokia WRT application tracking stock positions through Bloomberg [or] keeping up-to-date on Facebook chatter among friends or the latest Twitter feeds can display that data in real time on the device home screen," Nokia officials said.

Moreover, "Developers using Aptana Studio and the Nokia WRT Plug-in for it can build, debug, preview, test, package and deploy applications faster through the powerful Eclipse-based Web development tooling and related application cloud hosting services for which Aptana has become known," Nokia said.

"Extending Aptana's suite of Web development tools to meet the needs of developers using Nokia WRT has delivered significant value and ease to the Nokia developer community," Craig Cumberland, who leads the team that was responsible for creating the Nokia WRT Plug-In for Aptana Studio, said in a statement. "Aptana Studio has become very popular in the Web development and Eclipse communities. With a current rate of more than 200,000 downloads a month, Aptana is a driving force in making Web developers worldwide aware of the kinds of mobile applications they can create using Nokia WRT."

"We think Nokia's latest breakthrough in mobile Web applications will be very exciting to web developers around the globe," Paul Colton, CEO of Aptana, said in a statement. "With Nokia's worldwide distribution of millions of devices and the breakthrough ability to create feature-rich Web applications that make the most of the devices upon which they run, we expect to see lots of innovation and applications for nearly everything under the sun coming from Web developers using Nokia WRT."

The companies said, "Developers using Aptana Studio can also provide data services for their mobile Web applications using Aptana Cloud Connect, which provides instant, scalable hosting for Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails and Jaxer applications. Applications deployed via Aptana Cloud Connect can easily serve data to mobile applications and scale up or down as a mobile application's utilization changes. Aptana Cloud is integrated into the workflows of Aptana Studio to facilitate development, testing, deploying, managing and monitoring applications. Aptana Studio supports any combination of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, PHP, Ruby on Rails and Python development. It can run stand-alone or be plugged into Eclipse, the most widely used development tool for Java."

Commenting on the value of using Web technology and tapping into the cloud to build mobile applications, John Faith, vice president and general manager of mobile and wireless technology at MySpace, said, "As mobile developers we're given this unique opportunity to create mashups with all the data available in the cloud."

The latest version of the Nokia WRT Plug-in for Aptana Studio is currently available to Forum Nokia Pro, Launchpad and Champions members, the company said. Aptana Studio and the current version of the Nokia WRT Plug-in for Aptana Studio may be downloaded and used for free at Aptana Cloud Connect pricing starts at about $0.65 cents per day and includes hosting fees for applications. New users can try Aptana Cloud Connect for free.