Thursday, January 14, 2010

Web Runtime (WRT) Tools Open Source Release for Symbian Platform

This week, we are making available a preliminary version of the Web Runtime (WRT)  Tools Package under an EPL license.  As mentioned in my earlier posting on Web 2.0 Apps on Symbian, there are several million web application developers.  In fact, according to Gartner, by 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide.

According to Gartner's PC installed base forecast, the total number of PCs in use will reach 1.78 billion units in 2013. By 2013, the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units and will be greater than the installed base for PCs thereafter.

As the proliferation of mobile devices continues to grow at an astounding pace, there is an ever-increasing need for better mobile Web development tools. We are open sourcing the Web Runtime (WRT) Tools to provide an open eco-system to foster greater collaboration within the Symbian Tools  Developers community.

The WRT Tools package  includes a set of Web Runtime Plug-ins based on the Eclipse Plug-in Development Environment (PDE), and enables the development of WRT applications utilizing Web Technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and AJAX.

The WRT plug-in(s) provide features such as enabling the creation, editing, testing and debugging of  basic WRT applications. The WRT applications require the creation, editing and saving of JavaScript, XML and HTML files. The WRT editor plug-ins are based on the Eclipse JavaScript Developer Toolkit (JSDT). JSDT is part of the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) Project.

The WRT Plug-in allows the creation of a Web Runtime (WRT) project that contains a basic widget project (i.e. an empty project with a minimal Info.plist, html, css and JavaScript files). The Info.plist is an XML template with settings of a basic widget already defined. Similarly, an index.html file is defined with an HTML template. It is also possible to import existing WRT project(s) which include a WRT Previewer for previewing a WRT widget in a conventional desktop browser.

Note that this preliminary version of the WRT Tools package uses the WRT Previewer from an Aptana WRT project due to a pending Nokia WRT license issue, but the next release will include a fully integrated WRT Previewer. An application developer can also add additional JavaScript, HTML and XML files as necessary into the existing WRT project.

The WRT Plug-in also includes a WRT Debugger component to enable debugging of  WRT applications.  The WRT Debugger component consists of a general purpose JavaScript Debugger based on the Eclipse Platform framework and the Chrome Developer Tools Project.

It should be noted that this WRT Tools package is an incremental code drop for Eclipse internal tool developers as we are planning a subsequent release in March 2010 to introduce the WRT Tools to Web Runtime (WRT) developers.

The March 2010 release will include support for a variety of WRT project templates (i.e. WRT Twitter Widget, WRTKit project, etc) as well as support for packaging, deployment, a fully integrated WRT Previewer, and more. Furthermore, there is still planning in progress for the future WRT Tools Roadmap, and among the items under discussion is a plan to integrate with other open standards, Symbian Common Web Runtime, and to support UI Designer features.

If you are interested to know more about the WRT Tools package, please see the WRT Tools Wiki Page.  For detailed instructions for installing the WRT Tools Plug-ins, and related packages or for trying out its features, please refer to the WRT Tools Developers Guide.

If you have any questions or if you are interested in engaging or collaborating with us, please feel free to leave me a comment, or contact me at tasneems at  You can also follow me on Twitter for further developments.  There is also a general Tools Developers mailing list for general comments.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ovi Maps Racing Game Lets You Speed Around Your Neighborhood

A sneak preview of the Ovi Maps Racing game (coming soon to the Ovi Store) was unveiled at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by Nokia earlier Thursday.  

In a truly unique experience, you use the GPS in your device to find your location (or use Ovi Maps to choose any location in the world), then customize a track around your neighborhood, and finally fire up those engines! --Nokia Conversations 

As pictures are better than a thousand words, check it out below!   Enjoy!  Retweet, and/or leave me a comment.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Was the Google Nexus One Announcement Really About Another Google Android Phone or iPhone Killer?

Was the biggest Google announcement really about another Google Android phone or the iPhone killer as some have suggested? As expected, Google announced its Google Android Nexus One at a press conference Tuesday morning.

Nexus One is a new Google Android phone that offers software internals designed by Google and the device hardware is manufactured by HTC. According to Google's Mario Queiroz, the Nexus One is a "super phone" where the Web meets the cell phone. "It's an example of what mobile phones can do with Android" says Mario. It is indeed slim, sleek, and light-weight (4.58 oz). It offers a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. The primary interface is a 3.7 inch AMOLED display with five customizable home screens. It runs the Android 2.1 OS and the WVGA display is capable of displaying 3G graphics.

According to Google's Senior Product Manager for the Nexus One, Erick Tseng, the feature set includes everything you'd expect from an Android phone and adds a couple of unique goodies.

The Nexus One may or may not be an iPhone killer, but it doesn't really matter as the biggest Google announcement was not really about another Google Android phone. The real news at the Google event was about its online store at - the news that could shake up the mobile industry as it had happened during the initial iPhone announcement.  The real news was about an online storefront offering that, if successful, could revolutionize the much reviled US carrier model - offering much faster, cheaper and more flexible services for mobile users. So what is really the significance of the Google announcement?

Well, Google confirmed that Nexus One, and all subsequent Google phones sold via the company's online store will be available unlocked for use on every participating carrier. By offering a lineup of phones that is essentially carrier-independent (with the radio compatibility caveat), Google has broken the two previously interlocked parts of the phone/plan-buying—phone selection and carrier selection—and has done so in a way that threatens one of the most important enablers of carrier lock-in.

In short, what Google announced today wasn't just the Nexus One, but the world's first carrier-independent smartphone store; the Google store is now the only smartphone store in the US where, for every phone on offer, you first pick which phone you want, and then you pick a network and a plan on that network. So you can comparison shop among networks based purely on plan price and network quality, because you already have your phone picked out.