Widget week in London summary

Last week was “Mobile Widget week” in London, with what seems to be a nice Mobile Monday about widgets. I was not here, but here is a list of related links to this event:

This one is not directly related to this mobile widget week, but as usual, techtype haves some strong views, which are most of the time very interesting. And I really like the title!

Webwag mobile Beta open: experiment true mobile widgets today!

Want to test the new Webwag mobile extension? Then go to http://beta.webwag.com and use your webwag account (or create one!).

There only are few handsets officially supported (N70, K750, K800, LG Chocolote, Sagem My800x) but should work on more handsets, just try it, and let us know the results.

  1. Register and create your webwag account
  2. Add the widgets you like in your page
  3. Add them into your “mobile screen”. To open your mobile screen, click on the “mobile” icon on the top left, or click on the “mobile” icon on the existing box.
  4. “save and install” will send you an installation SMS that you should receive within minutes with a link to download it on your mobile. On most of the handsets, the link will be selectable within the SMS. On some handsets (like the LG, Motorola) you can use this link from a specific menu from the SMS message.

If you have problems receiving the SMS, let us now

Feedback, issue, just email us at: feedback@webwag.com

Faq:

* Are all widgets available from Web and mobile?

No, only a subset of existing widgets are today available on mobile:

  • RSS
  • Flickr
  • Email
  • Note
  • Weather
  • Clock
  • Background

* Is it the same widget running on web wand mobile?

The widgets use the same data, but are different, because of size issue.

* But why not having just a web browser running these mobile widgets?

Because first, technically very few handset have the capacities to run complex widgets within browser, and also because we think that usage are different from web and mobile.

* Do you plan to support more handsets?

Of course, we are already working on this.

* Waow, sounds so cool, how can I participate and create my own widget?

The SDK is not yet public, but just email us and we will notify you when ready (feedback@webwag.com)

JavaFX : the missed opportunity from Sun

Sun officially launched today “JavaFX” (previously know as F3). It’s a scripting language that could be used to easily create rich content application for Java powered device.
This seems to be the Sun’s answer to Apollo and SilverLight, from Microsoft. Honestly, the answer is a little bit disapointing

  • One more language! The language itself, is nothing really fancy. No major killing feature, not as dynamic as Ruby for instance, and not close enough to other “standards” like Javascript or Java. So why create another language, while there are so many?
  • Integration, deployment: I take a look at the first sample and libraries. The library is something between 1 and 2 meg, on top of a standard JavaVM (JavaSE!). So, it’s huge. That’s one of the big weaknesses of Java today: the runtime is already so big, the installation so long, but worst, the starting time once everything has been installed.
  • Target: mobile. Sun claims that it’s a good candidate for mobile application. Of course, it’s the next battlefield. But honestly, JavaFX is way too big to fit on existing mass market devices or any existing J2me implementation, so it needs to be embedded natively probably. I do not beleive that JavaFX mobile will be a serious candidate in the next 18 months, too early.
  • Why not pushing further SVG? SVG is the current standard in vector graphics (and Flash is the de-facto standard). So why not push more SVG, by creating a better binding with SVG and Java, and/or Javascript?

So I do not believe that JavaFX will be big. It’s another missed opportunity from Sun to reinvent themselves. They had a widely deployed VM, that had the “network is the computer vision”, and now they desperately trying to follow on the RIA…Ajax is an intermediate technology, soit’s a fantastic opportunity to create something really new, Microsoft and Adobe are on the train, and Sun still trying to jump in…

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Orange will also launch his own startpage

Orange is also preparing the launch of his own startpage. Created buy Orange R&D Labs of San Francisco, BubbleTop will be the latest entrant in this market. Highlight are on search and sharing (this sounds familiar to me…).Welcome guys to the sartpage land! BubbleTop is the new name of their previously secret project, “dimsu”. Still not public, so we have to wait a couple of week to have a better view of the features, but it’s a clear sign (if it was needed) of the importance of startpage for information ogranisation.
I am always surprised by the fact the operator does not use the asset that they haves, like address book, to create more applications for the end user. Adress book synchronisation could be a killer feature with a social networking web application. Sim could be used to store some of your web indentity so you can take it with you…..

More one “Le Blog de Bezier” (French)

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Mobile Widgets: soon a reality!

Here are the first screenshots of the first result of the Mobease/Webwag acquisition: Webwag mobile, a full mobile widget engine….Beta just started on a small number of handsets, but more to come.
This engine haves mobile Ajax capacities, scripting, OTA update, and much more…..


I will soon write more about the technical details of the engines, as the API will be totally free and open, so developper can write real mobile and web widgets, that can be accessed from anywhere…