TouchWiz wasn't the greatest. TouchWiz 2.0 was a huge leap in the right direction. But there was always going to be something holding back Samsung from taking any steps forward in the mobile marketplace, and it had nothing to do with proprietary software on their phones. They lacked what everyone else and their second-cousin has: a way to get first- and third-party developed applications onto their phones. Well, it looks like that's about to change.
We've mentioned Microsoft's OneApp before, as a cursory statement regarding trademarks, but now Microsoft has gone ahead and announced just exactly what we should expect. And it looks like they're trying to hit a home run. Instead of keeping their road map to their Windows Mobile platform, they're opening their doors (or maybe breaking them down) and offering the OneApp service for featurephones. That's right.
We've never particularly hidden our apathy toward Samsung's TouchWiz UI, nor our feeling that it's not quite as usable in its standard form as rival systems from HTC and others. However all that could change now that Samsung have released the Mobile Widget SDK for TouchWiz, allowing developers to create their own desktop gadgets for not only the Windows Mobile version of the UI but the company's own proprietary OS.
In doing so, in one fell sweep Samsung have enabled application compatibility across their range. That's no small matter, given the number of devices Samsung release - not to mention the countries those handsets are launched in - with TouchWiz giving developers a single platform to code for rather than having to deal with Samsung's various WinMo, S60 and proprietary OSes.
Back when we reviewed the MiFi 2352 in June, one of the aspects of the "intelligent personal hotspot" we were left most excited about was the prospect of an open API and the potential for web-connected applications to run on the 3G/WiFi device's secondary app processor. Now Novatel Wireless have announced the launch of the MiFi developer program, and with it the release of the MiFi Web server Common Gateway Interface (CGI): everything web-savvy developers should need to start coding for the battery-powered router.
Palm have advertised for a "Game Frameworks Engineer", who would be responsible for developing and optimizing frameworks for game developers keen to create titles for webOS and the Palm Pre. According to the listing, Palm are putting together a team dedicated to game development on their new platform.
Palm have announced that their Mojo SDK for the webOS platform is available for general download, opening the floodgates for developers to code for the Palm Pre. The company has confirmed that they will be accepting new applications for the on-device App Market from the fall, when the new submissions process opens.
So it feels like NVIDIA just got done announcing that their PhysX tech was going to be making an appearance on the PlayStation 3, but now there's even more news to report. In fact, the PhysX SDK will actually be available for the Wii as well.
This is interesting, to say the least. Sure, the PS3 is considerably more powerful than the Wii, but Wii developers are crafty folks. Plus, the Wiimote has a lot of functionality built in, which leaves the door open for numerous opportunities when this latest SDK is added to the mix.
In the end we'll just have to see where this goes and what sort of cool effects will come of it. The PhysX SDK includes an API and physics engine which is engineered to provide developers with greater control over interactions with the game environment and makes it possible to create scalable physics as you go. This is a perfect match for the Wii, and while the PS3 packs serious power, nothing comes close to the physics of the Wiimote. This might just take it to the next level.
Mojo allows users to build applications complete with gesture-based navigation, transitions and scrolling as well as use the notification system to alert users without interrupting what they are dong. Users can also leverage local storage capabilities of HTML5 so that data is available even when users are in offline mode. Developers can also use JSON-based messages to tap into a wide range of device services including location, contacts and calendars.
Cowon have released a new version of the SDK for their O2 PMP, allowing developers to create third-party apps for the device without needing to actually have the O2 to hand. The software now includes an emulator, which means new code can be tested more readily rather than needing to transfer it to the PMP itself.
Developers keen on coding for Microsoft's Surface multitouch table will have an opportunity to buy their own version of the machine at the upcoming Professional Developer Conference (PDC). They'll need deep pockets to do so, however; even with a 10-percent discount at the event, the Developer Surface will cost $13,500. For that, you get five SDK licences; Microsoft is expecting demand for the software kit alone to be high, and is capping availability to just 1,200 of the 6,000 developers attending.