Mobile RIAs - getting more exciting thanks to Nokia and Symbian

Mobile RIAs - getting more exciting thanks to Nokia and Symbian

Summary: Big news today for those following mobile RIAs closely. Nokia is buying the remaining 52% of Symbian that it doesn't own and making the mobile platform open source.


Mobile RIAs - getting more exciting thanks to Nokia and SymbianBig news today for those following mobile RIAs closely. Nokia is buying the remaining 52% of Symbian that it doesn't own and making the mobile platform open source. As Steve O'Hear said, the move is "bold to say the least". At a time when everyone is trying to make a play to unify the mobile world around one platform (Android, the iPhone, the Open Screen Project, Windows Mobile), having the platform which already has a lot of reach and momentum become an open source player is a big, big deal.

The list of companies making up the new "Symbian Foundation" is significant. It includes carriers like AT&T and NTT DOCOMO, handset manufacturers like LG Electronics and Motorola, and Samsung, and other parties like Texas Instruments and Vodafone. In general it's a wide array of companies that has broad coverage of the market. And any company can join.

Symbian MarketshareRight now the Symbian operating system has about 60% marketshare, which is a huge number in the fragmented world of mobile devices. For developers, this is very significant. Right now for people creating mobile RIAs it's kind of a toss up as far as which platform to go with. Do you build for the hot new iPhone and stay locked into Apple, do you bank on Adobe getting Flash up to par with the desktop player and getting penetration on a bunch of phones, do you go with the unproven Android platform, or do you go with the open source technology that has 60% of the market. Seems like kind of a no brainer to me, and I think a lot of people building mobile RIAs will agree.

I'm not sure what the development model - especially for user interfaces - looks like on Symbian but I've heard stories that it's not ideal. Currently there are a lot of different implementations of the Symbian platform which is another reason it's been difficult to build for. This will unite those into one platform which will make it more appealing for developers - which is the end goal.

If you're building mobile RIAs then you've got a lot to choose from. On one hand, it may be frustrating, but on the other hand, you've never been a hotter commodity. Everyone wants what you're creating so you can leverage that to get feature requests implemented, get better documentation, better SDKs, or whatever it is you want. Go to town and have fun - you're on the cutting edge.

Topics: Nokia, Mobility, Open Source

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  • Is this Universal Desktop according to Adobe?

    I'm done; I'm handing in my ZDNet readership decoder ring as this dribble is the last straw.

    Flash Lite is an utter joke and if you spent as much time writing it Ryan as you do preaching it, then you'll soon realize that simple fact.

    Right now Adobe's putting a lot of lipstick on the pig with this whole Open Screen hype, and I for one won't buy it but hoped others would (more money in my pocket). That being said to sit here with a straight face and listen to Flash Lite being pitched up against others and to see selective key wording like "locked in Apple" just irritates me and underpins that you've lost perspective on RIA as a whole.

    Flash is locked in, Apple is locked in they are all locked in as that's the nature of the device and no company is ever going to break that model as it?s a highly competitive market to break apart.

    The next president of United States has more chance of changing the paper currency to other than mobile devices having a universal runtime that developers can write freely and without remorse?

    I look at ZDNet for more industry analyst based perspectives and since Ryan has joined Adobe I?ve watched him slowly slide off the slippery slope and begin to seed these posts with Pro-Adobe Propaganda.

    If Microsoft pulled this stunt they crucification levels would be off the charts, and someone in the industry really needs to step forward and start calling Apple, Microsoft and Adobe on their propaganda speeches. As so far it?s a case of beat up Microsoft, praise Apple and Adobe and swear the world will change towards this greater good. Adobe?s evil, Apple?s evil and Microsoft is evil, but that?s the nature of business and I?m ok with this.
    What I want however is an analyst in the room to step forward call the industry as most really see it, less headline grabbing and more analytical reporting on the movements.
    This isn?t about sides Ryan, couldn?t care whom you worked for but you?re not being neutral and you know it.

    ZDNet fire this guy?s ass, sorry Ryan but you need to go off and learn more about what Adobe is doing as so far you've not hit one thing right in the past year other than constant Adobe up selling.