Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Darren Anstee, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: IoT User Interface

IoT User Interface: Article

RIAs on Cell Phones and Small Devices: Flash Lite, Silverlight, Android, JavaFX, QT

Adobe Flash and Flash Lite; Microsoft Silverlight; Apple iPhone; Google Android; Sun JavaFX Mobile; Trolltech QT

Guy Aharonovsky's Blog

It is said that by 2013, 31 percent of all mobile phones will be smart phones, and by then, a smart phone might be almost like a full blown PC. Meanwhile it seems like everyone is trying to push their feet into the blooming mobile phone market. We’ve seen a lot of ups and downs in this area, lots of promises that haven’t been fulfilled. In fact only since the arrival of the iPhone has surfing the web become reasonable on a mobile phone.

I refer to RIA, not just as rich applications that runs inside the mobile Internet browser, but, also as reach applications that are easier and consistent to develop, that runs across platforms and more important across devices. This has been the main hurdle, beside the low performance issues, to develop for mobile phone and devices. The resources needed to port a mobile application to run on multiple devices is enormous. There got to be a better way to develop applications and games for the mobile phones, something as approachable as web development. I’ve heard lately that the "Developer is King" these days it’s more like the Web Developer is king.

I will summarize in this text the current leading technologies in the area:

Adobe Flash and Flash Lite

Flash Lite is the first RIA technology to run on mobile phones (since 2003), since then it has shipped pre-installed on more then 500 million devices. It is safe to say that, Flash runs on mobile phones, but, it is always a subset and always with some limitations. The best thing about Flash Lite and Flash in general is that it’s easy to develop highly interactive applications, and the promise of - develop once deploy everywhere, is currently the closest to reality with it.

The Flash Lite player isn’t exactly the same as the full Flash player we use inside our desktop’s browser. The current version of the full Flash Player is v9, Flash Lite is similar in capabilities to older versions. The Flash Player is backward compatible.

Flash Lite 1.1 - Similar to Flash 4 - Simple games, screen-savers and animations.

Flash Lite 2.1 - Similar to Flash 7 - Small games and applications, much more advanced Object Oriented programming.

Flash Lite 3 - Similar to Flash 8 - Richer games, Youtube, live video and audio e.g., justin.tv, pandora.

Take a look at Flash Lite 3 in action

Pocket PC and Windows Mobile were supported by Flash and Flash Lite for a long time already. It’s been used also to enrich WM applications UI. Flash can be integrated inside a .NET Compact Framework 2.0 application to rapidly create rich UI. Microsoft recently announced they’ll support Flash Lite 3 on Windows Mobile

Flash can be found, to some extent, on other type of devices, e.g., the cool Chumby runs Flash Lite 3, sony PSP runs Flash 7.

There are already some mobile devices that run the full version of Flash 9, e.g., Nokia N810

List of mobile phones that are pre-installed with Flash-Lite 1 - 3


Microsoft Silverlight

Microsoft has finally realized that a development platform isn’t necessary an OS, it saw how Flash is becoming just that, and want to join (take over) the party with its Silvelight. SL is a rich environment targeted to work inside the browser and across desktop platforms as well as on mobile phones and devices.

The first SilverLight release 1.0, was mainly intended for PR. It lacks any impressive capabilities beside good support for video. With the upcoming SilverLight 2.0, which is currently released as beta 1, we’ll have the chance to really estimate it’s powers and if it can compete with Flash. SL 2.0 looks very powerful, as it supports a respectable subset of the CLR (Dot.Net runtime), rich UI framework and all kind of other goodies.

As for Silverlight on the mobile, there was a great buzz recently when Nokia announced it’s going to support SilverLIght on it’s S60 and some S40 mobile phones. it is not clear yet what will be the limitation of the runtime on these devices only that it’ll "initially" support only SL 1.0, which means logic written in JavaScript and no CLR.

Windows Mobile will support Silverlight 1.0 as well from the middle of 2008.

Silverlight looks very promising, but it’s still a premature technology, especially for mobile devices. I wouldn’t fire my Visual Studio to develop a mobile SilverLight app, just yet.

Visitmix.com has some cool videos of mobile SilverLight


Apple iPhone:

Although the iPhone isn’t exactly an ubiquitous platform and holds only 0.14 percent of the mobile phone share. It is still the most buzzfull mobile device ever. Creating your software to run on the iPhone and leveraging it’s dreamy features like the Multi-Touch and the accelerometer can lead to tons of PR and even some paying users.

The iPhone has redefined the way we interact with a mobile phone and lifted it to a all new level. Apple recently released the iPhone SDK but still keep it very restrictive. Hopefully Apple won’t repeat her history of dismissing 3rd parties, an act that we all know hurt her greatly in the past.

I’m a little tired of the iPhone and Flash affair already, this is the story in short: To the amazement of many, the iPhone was released without any kind of Flash support. The two most common assumptions were that Flash is too slow for the iPhone or that Apple is pissed over Adobe for some obscured reason. Lately Steve Jobs bashed on the Flash Player performance on the iPhone, Adobe replied and there were others. After the release of the iPhone SDK, Adobe’s CEO announced they will develop a Flash Player version for the iPhone. Hours later, Adobe clarified that it won’t be that easy to develop a decent version of the Flash player, only with the iPhone SDK and without Apple co-op. Now it seems that we won’t get Flash on the iPhone after all, at least until the next buzz alert.

It was a similar scenario for Sun’s Java, first they said they’re going to put Java on the iPhone only to realize later it’s not feasible under current restrictions. Don’t wait for SilverLIght to appear on the iPhone anytime soon, either.

Apple probably wants to push her own iPhone RIA platform, and insist to remain a sealed garden with a lot of restrictions to third party applications developed by their new SDK.


Google Android

Google has realized the need for a standardization on the mobile jungle, and came out with it’s Android, a platform designed to give the power to the developer.

Here is a good explanation of the Android platform and what it can do for you.

Demonstration of Android power.

Currently there’s not many Android smart-phones, but, with the dedication of google we’ll surly see some more soon.


Sun JavaFX Mobile

Sun, the inventor of Java and "Develop once deploy Everywhere" concept, don’t want to lose its mobile presence with j2ME and is porting Java’s richer sister, JavaFX, to the mobile phone as well.

JavaFX Mobile

 

Trolltech QT

Trolltech the creator of QT - Cross Platform rich development platform, has been recently bought by Nokia and can be seriously considered as a player in the RIA mobile world.

Conclusion
For now, we can still use excuses like incompatibility and lake of an appropriate platform to continue and create dull mobile application but it’s going to change very soon.

More Stories By Guy Aharonovsky

Guy Aharonovsky is of the lead developers at JAHJAH, the VoIP player that offers web-activated telephony.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
?????…… 07/27/08 09:26:26 PM EDT

Trackback Added: RIAs on Cell Phones and Small Devices: Flash Lite, Silverlight, Android, JavaFX, QT; RIAs on Cell Phones and Small Devices: Flash Lite, Silverlight, Android, JavaFX, QT
— It is said that by 2013, 31 percent of all mobile phones will be smart phones, and by then, a smart phone might be almost like a full blown PC. Meanwhile it seems like everyone is trying to push their feet into the blooming mobile phone market. We've

@ThingsExpo Stories
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...