Mobile Widget roundup

Last week was “LeWeb3” week, with several interesting announces around widgets.

First, Goojet, the last entrant in that space announced his beta at the event.

Orange also showed an iPhone version of there own portal, BubbleTop, and a preview of their mobile client. Nice UI but not yet available….

Also, some first info about the future iPhone Webwag version. Here is a short video (in French):



This version is in beta test, more to come soon!

Androïd and the iPhone?

Would it make sense for Google to provide an Androïd version for the iPhone? Of course, not the complete stack, but just the development framework. Most of the people and especially developers don’t really care about the full stack, but about the interesting part which is of the development framework, as long as it’s well integrated with the rest of the phone.
I am not an Androïd expert, but it seems possible for me to adapt this on the iPhone.

Why:

  • It could be the first Androïd platform
  • It could provide an easy way to develop applications for the iPhone
  • This would solve one of the fragmentation issue

Why not:

  • Because Apple don’t want it?
  • Because Google don’t want it?
  • The google and Apple gadget are not the same. They both choosen different look and feel for the UI (which is understandable). So which one should we choose for an Androïd on IPhone?
  • It might be not possible to reach the same level of integration between the application framework and the core system.

This seems possible to me from the technical point of view. First, google could do it. If it’s not Google, some external developer could do it. Of course, we don’t have detailled spec of Google Dalik VM, but it’s not a big issue: we could use an open source JavaVM, and just run some plain Java Code with the Android Framework? It seems that people already started to work on standard VM  porting, with this VM porting on iPhone. A good first step, but Androïd on an iPhone could be the toy of 2008 for developprs…

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Webwag Mobile V1 announced

Might be already old news for some of you, but I’ve forgot to put it on my blog, so here it is: we have released Webwag V1 version. The official news is here: Webwag mobile V1 release, API is open!

Here is a non exhaustive list of new features you will find in this release . And we are heavily working on other improvment on other part (web and…?), that will be out very soon!

  • End user space
    • Faster: We increased start speed, network accesses, widgets opening by a factor from 5 to 10
    • Automagic widgets arrangement: Now widgets can be automatically arranged while you move them with no need for pixel adjustment (the old free mode remains availab
    • 140 handset models: We’ve grown the handsets compatibility from around 10 to 150 over many new brands. We’ll showcase some of them on this blog in the coming weeks
    • Parlez-vous Français? You’ll be happy to learn that Webwag mobile now detects your language and is available in French. Many other languages will come.
    • Link to original article in Blog posts: You can now view a mobile adapted version of the web site’s article page for any information (RSS) feed.
    • More room for Widgets. The bottom bar has been replaced by two elegant soft keys, giving even more room to widgets.
    • New widgets including eBay, French Traffic conditions (very useful these days), a new discovery from mobile…
    • Many many bug fixes…
  • Developers: A new shiny Javascript API is available at api.webwag.com that makes it easier than ever for any web and mobile developer to create widgets using a standard subset of Javascript, XML and other standard oriented tools.
  • Brands and content owners: Webwag mobile is a very addictive and simple way to create a positive relationship with end users by giving them a useful service linked to a brand or a specific content. You can contact us at partnerships@webwag.com for more information on how to mobilize and monetize your brand and content in the Webwag mobile ecosystem

So let’s talk a little bit about the developer part: yes, now the scripting languge is a subset of JavaScript. So need to learn a new language. So new, you can have an object orientation for the script, this will simplyfy some form, especially for callback, as function can be associated to objects:

var myObj=new Object();
myObj.showMe=function(){
alert("Hello World:");
}

myObj.showMe();
is now a valid code. So check the api.webwag.com for more info (and do not forget to register to have access).

We also added a lot of functionalities for developer, like the ability to create “form” for better input parameter.

We will prepare some tutorial and samples in the coming weeks….

Update: The http://api.webwag.com does not require anymore you to register…

Two extraordinay iPhone apps…

Just played with these two great apps, showing the potential of the iPhone and especially the multitouch screen and the accelerators.
The first one is in fact a multi touch demo, quite simple, from cedsoft: it allows to play with a satellite picture and zoom it, move it and rotate it. You could say that GoogleMap is already doing it on the iPhone, but the rotation add a lot of novelty. It pave the way to more complex application, like photo editing tools, or productivity tools with a different UI.

To install it, use the http://prog.cedsoft.free.fr/ repository

The second one is iPhysics (a port of CrayonPhysics). It’s a very simple idea, but hard to describe. The objective is to push a ball to a certain place, but based on physics interaction. You can not move the ball directly, but you can create object by just drawing them on screen, and then these object interacts with the world. Very addictive and innovative
.

To add it, just add this repository in the installer: http://iphone.r4m0n.net/repos

Some remarks:

  • Hopefully the iPhone has been unlocked, and will be soon officially. Without this, I think that such app would have been really hard to exist
  • Sometime, it’s good to exit from the “Ajax” reign. It would have been if not impossible quite difficult to create these app with a browser only.
  • The development chain for iPhone is -in my view- way too complicated! So I give full respect to these early pionner, but I would like to see an easy way to develop complex app for iPHone. I think that Java would have been the best candidate for this. I am dreaming of an Androïd port for iPhone…

There is a lot of potential for iPhone games, thanks to the combination of nice things:

  • multi touch screen
  • portable device
  • High surface screen
  • Connectivity
  • Sensor
  • Camera

For instance, I am dreaming (or hoping that people will port it) some of this games:

  • Catapult , a game originally created for the Gizmondo, a cool augmented reality game
  • Some nice billard game
  • A marble madness port with acclerometer


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