Sony Ericsson releases cross-platform app tool

WebSDK is a toolkit that allows developers to create software for Sony Ericsson's Android and Symbian-based handsets

Sony Ericsson has released WebSDK, a cross-platform software development kit that lets programmers create applications for the manufacturer's Symbian and Android handsets.

The SDK, which is based on the open-source PhoneGap tool for JavaScript development, was announced on Wednesday at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York. Two phones can be addressed through the SDK — the Symbian-based Satio and the Android-based X10, which is likely to launch in February.

"With the Sony Ericsson WebSDK, our focus is on bringing all the capabilities of web technologies to mobile applications and giving web developers wide access to easy-to-use tools and mobile phone platforms," Sony Ericsson's head of developer and partner engagement, Christopher David, said in a statement.

"We are driving this initiative together with the PhoneGap open-source community and invite developers to join us as we offer advanced mobile devices and a clear monetisation path."

According to Sony Ericsson, the HTML-CSS-JavaScript part of the application can be authored in the developer's tool of choice. WebSDK then provides the developer with the PhoneGap Cross Platform Framework; a PhoneGap simulator for testing the application's interaction with phone features; a tool that packages the application for sale in the Android Marketplace or Sony Ericsson's PlayNow store; and an emulator that comes with Satio and X10 skins.

The SDK allows developers to access phone features including geolocation, accelerometer, camera, contacts data, sound and vibration.