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BlackBerry Super Apps – MIDP3 Coming?!

February 19, 2010

This is a topic I’m VERY excited about and have mentioned on forums like Esato & HowardForums some months ago. First off I’d like to say I’m no programmer, nor have had any experience coding in any way shape or form (Line 10: Print line 20, Line 20: print your name, Line 30 …. Commodore PET doesn’t count).

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As you all know RIM began the mobile corporate e-mail communication business with devices that ran exclusively on C++ code, then shortly after moving the entire handset code over to Java, or to a modified CLDC2.0 & J2ME.

Earlier this week at the Mobile World Conference 2010, RIM’s Co-CEO & Co-Founder Mike Lazaridis gave his keynote and touched on a few key points.

  1. Mr. Lazaridis echoed Peter Rysavy’s research findings that “Operators are likely to find their available spectrum completely consumed in the next three to five years”, ultimately leading to a wireless broadband crunch.
  2. BlackBerry devices scale better with use of data.
  3. Faster running & more reliable applications.
  4. Better Battery life.
  5. When it comes to Applications, what matters is QUALITY not quantity.
  6. Super Apps for BlackBerry. This comes as a loose & possibly the worse marketing term but I think the point & the power behind it is much more important.
  7. Lastly, Mr. Lazaridis said “For every 1 competing smartphone, Network operators can support 3 BlackBerry Browsing Sessions for every 1 competing smartphone browsing session.  Not 5 like Engadget posted.

Now I wanted to focus for a moment on what Mr. Lazaridis mentioned about Super Apps.

  • Contextual
  • Integrated
  • Just-in-time (using data only as required)

Now when most consumers think of Integrated Applications – the last device on their mind is Apple’s iPhone. They’ll think of Applications that share a common layer to be executed or communicated with the core system and other applications. Think about that for a moment.

Most mobile smartphone operating systems can do this, none do so as efficiently as BlackBerry has … don’t get me started on WM6.1 on Motorola Q9h where you cannot copy & paste from a text file into the Mobile Internet Explorer natively without use of a third party plugin!

There are some KEY fundamental features that MIDP3 brings to the mobile phone or smartphone table.

  1. The ability for Java midlets/rimlets to share data amongst other applications. This allows for 1 run-time or many to have applications that either co-exist (running) or not, yet still share the same data. This is data entered, retrieved, or calculated.
  2. Applications do NOT have to be running in order to retrieve, share, or calculate this data … not in the traditional sense. To clarify, traditional applications run with an “overhead” so that the end user can see them (a GUI is present). MIDP3 allows java applications to run “headless” and still be of use to the end user or other applications. This is something our desktop/laptop/Unix server computers have been doing for years.
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Most of you will think the ability to run applications “headless” is a bad idea … on Personal Computers I’d agree. However, with RIM’s renowned security model from server to device solution this works in your favor, not against you.

Take a look at the second keynote recorded by CrackBerry on youtube. You’ll notice at time stamp 1:20 Mr. Lazaridis highlights creating a Twitter Tweet on the BlackBerry from the messaging application did NOT have to have the Twitter for BlackBerry (in-house) app fully launched. THIS my friends leads me to believe that RIM has been playing with MIDP3 as an implementation. Unfortunately, even in OS 5.0.0.4xx I dont see MIDP3 listed on any device shipped to date.

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Java coders, if I’m wrong please shed some light, and offer some pointers to help me and other readers know more.

I’m VERY excited to see MIDP3 used by both RIM and SonyEricsson’s traditional feature phones. SonyEricsson is especially an important partner for Sun Microsystems and Java just as much as RIM is. SonyEricsson has already used Flash with Java into the core of their feature phone OSE for just over 12mths now with no lag or lack of feaures to the end user, in fact its increased speed and features. This is also what RIM plans to do in the near future.

We’ll see!

LINKS:

Introduction to the enhancements in MIDP 3

Community Development of Java Technology Specifications – Forums

Project: JSR 271

RIM, What is a Super App?

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  1. December 7, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Quite a beautiful website. I recently built mine and i was looking for some ideas and your website gave me some. The website was developed by you?

    Cheers

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    • Donny
      December 8, 2010 at 8:47 AM

      Thank you Gerda. This sites written content is created by me – most screenshots as well – unless I’ve quoted somebody/group. The site layout however is a theme done on the free WordPress.com portal: thus its hosted by WordPress.

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