Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Victoria Livschitz

Related Topics: AJAX & REA

AJAX & REA: 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)

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.


@CloudExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
Some developers believe that monitoring is a function of the operations team. Some operations teams firmly believe that monitoring the systems they maintain is sufficient to run the business successfully. Most of them are wrong. The complexity of today's applications have gone far and beyond the capabilities of "traditional" system-level monitoring tools and approaches and requires much broader knowledge of business and applications as a whole. The goal of DevOps is to connect all aspects of app...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...