Posted tagged ‘LIMO’

ACCESS Signs Software Development Agreement with NTT DOCOMO

December 3, 2008

Client ACCESS, a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets, has signed an agreement with NTT DOCOMO regarding software development by ACCESS for a FOMA(TM) operator pack. This marks the beginning of the project’s development phase.

This official software development agreement follows the System Engineering Assistance agreement, which was signed on July 16, 2008, involving the production of basic specifications for the operator pack.

The FOMA operator pack, an integrated application package that implements services such as i-mode(TM), supports the specifications of the LiMo Foundation (LiMo). Development of the FOMA operator pack will make it possible for mobile handset manufacturers worldwide to provide immediate support for DOCOMO on their own devices.

ACCESS and DOCOMO play leading roles in LiMo, a dedicated consortium of mobile industry leaders working together to deliver an open and globally consistent handset software platform based on mobile Linux(R). Established as a non-profit organization in 2007, LiMo has grown from six charter members – DOCOMO among them – to more than 50 members as of December 2008, including world-leading operators and handset manufacturers. By promoting a LiMo- compliant solution using ACCESS Linux Platform(TM), the two companies will help mobile handset OEMs and ODMs develop high-performance handsets more efficiently, increase coordination between operators and handset manufacturers and further energize innovation in the mobile phone market.

“The recent trend toward high-performance handsets capable of meeting a variety of customer needs is gaining a great amount of attention in Japan and overseas as mobile phones evolve beyond the level of mere tools to become essential elements of a customized digital lifestyle,” said Toru Arakawa, CEO, president and co-founder of ACCESS. “By combining the operator packs we develop with ACCESS Linux Platform, we will help DOCOMO develop attractive handsets and services.”

DOCOMO’s FOMA service is available only to subscribers in Japan.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the company, ACCESS is a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets. With research and engineering centers throughout the world, ACCESS delivers unique solutions that bring value to its customers and partners and which help make life easier, more productive, and more enjoyable.

As a mobile Internet pioneer, ACCESS has helped to develop and deliver technologies that have brought the Internet to a new generation of mobile devices and consumers. ACCESS technologies were central to the development of the first successful mobile data service in the world and this pioneering success has grown at a phenomenal pace with ACCESS technologies now deployed in millions of devices throughout the world.

Principal ACCESS technologies include the Garnet OS, one of the first and most successful mobile operating systems ever developed, the ACCESS Linux Platform, a software platform that combines the ease-of-use and functionality of Garnet OS with a Linux core, NetFront Mobile Client Suite, a comprehensive client software suite for mobile devices, and NetFront an advanced, full-Internet browser widely recognized as one of the leading browsers in the world.

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Nokia Moves Closer to an Open Source Platform

December 3, 2008

Nokia has taken a critical step toward creating an open-source wireless environment, terming the closing of its deal to Symbian a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation is a cross-industry collaboration that will use Symbian’s open software to rival Google’s Android and the LiMo Foundation’s own Linux operating systems.

From InformationWeek:

At Nokia World on Tuesday, the cell phone manufacturer announced upgrades to its maps and messaging services. Nokia Maps, the company’s mobile mapping and navigation service, has been integrated more with the online Ovi service. It now enables users to preplan trips on a desktop computer and synchronize with their cell phones.

Nokia is adding high-resolution aerial images, 3-D landmarks, and instant access to some traffic information and event guides. Pedestrian navigation also has been improved. The company said the higher map quality is because of its $8.1 billion acquisition of Navteq. “Nokia has clearly increased the usability of Maps, and now with the integration of Ovi services, the functionality of this service can also be seen,” said Michael Halbherr, VP of Nokia’s location-based experiences, in a statement. “Enabling Nokia Maps the ability to synchronize my favorite places between my mobile and PC becomes the main reason for anyone to switch from other personal navigation devices to Nokia Maps.”

With the launch of Nokia Messaging, the company is beefing up the messaging capabilities of its most popular handsets. The service will push e-mail from Web-based providers, like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Windows Live Hotmail, and ISP-based accounts to the majority of Nokia devices. Once the application is installed, the company said, setting up accounts will only require users to enter their e-mail addresses and passwords.

From Beta News:

In announcing today that it’s closed a deal to buy Symbian Ltd, mobile phone maker Nokia called the completion of the acquisition a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation, a multi-vendor group that will bolster the Symbian OS to take on Android and the LiMo Foundation’s emerging OS as a mobile open source environment.

Beyond Nokia, the foundation has members that include wireless carriers AT&T, Vodafone, and Japanese-based NTT DoCoMo, in addition to phone and chip makers such as Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Texas Instruments.

The group plans to fuse together the three disparate user interface layers of the Symbian OS — UIQ, NTT DoCoMo’s MOAP, and Nokia’s own S60 — into a common framework.

“The platform will offer the means to build a complete mobile device while providing the tools to differentiate devices through tailoring of the user experience, applications and services. This will enable device manufacturers to create unique devices, based on a consistent and common platform, providing fuel and scale for the innovation of others,” according to a Foundation white paper.

The new framework — coupled with the underlying, upgraded Symbian OS — will then be licensed to the open source community under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

Android is Here…What Next?

October 22, 2008

T-Mobile USA has made the formal, nationwide launch of its G1. This is the first phone to run Google’s Android operating system. The G1 smartphone is now available to consumers at retail outlets in cities where T-Mobile’s 3G service is available, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle.

CNET, James Martin

Credit: CNET, James Martin

Google made its first retail sale of the G1 last night in San Francisco. Now that it’s here, the question many will ask is what’s next? Can Android live up to the hype? Will it be an iPhone killer? What should expectations be for this much anticipated device?

From the Associated Press:

Google is jumping into the mobile phone business with its new G1 phone. The G1 is available starting today for $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile.

The new gadget features a touch screen, slide-out keyboard and a trackball.

This alternative to Apple’s iPhone is the first cell phone powered by Google’s Android operating system.

From CNET:

Along with 3G support, the HTC-built G1 features a touch screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. But the big attraction for many will be the open-source Android software, the means by which Google is seeking to up-end the old ways of the telecommunications business.

The Android mobile operating system is closely tied to Google services and, says CNET News’ Stephen Shankland, it gives the Internet titan yet another way to get people to use them. For instance:

Search ads are, of course, Google’s bread and butter. Android’s Web browser can use others’ search engines, but a secondary part of the G1’s home screen features a prominent Google search box. There’s no option to change the search box to use search from Microsoft or Yahoo.

CNET Reviews, meanwhile, offers this bottom line on the G1 as a phone:

While we’re not in love with the design and would have liked some additional features, the real beauty of the T-Mobile G1 is the Google Android platform, as it has the potential to make smartphones more personal and powerful. That said, it’s not quite there yet, so for now, the G1 is best suited for early adopters and gadget hounds, rather than consumers and business users.

For the full review, see: HTC Dream T-Mobile G1. CNET’s Kent German, too, offers his own assessment: On Call: Welcoming the G1.

From ZDNet:

The excitement the mobile industry feels over delivery of Android software is all about a single number.

The number is 21. That’s the percentage by which AT&T’s wireless profits jumped in the last quarter. The most attractive business, postpaid (long-term) contracts, rose 40%.

During the quarter AT&T activated 2.4 million Apple 3G accounts, 40% of them new customers. Those are killer numbers.

The telecom business has suddenly become a struggle for survival. Shares in all the major wireless carriers are down sharply this year, mostly 30-40%, although Sprint shares are down 70%.

Apple is keeping AT&T afloat in these tough times. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile can’t compete. Verizon is trying everything it can think of, buying Alltel for its market share, even considering contract-free plans, but nothing is working.

Worse, all carriers are doing expensive network build-outs, increasing the bandwidth they deliver customers using devices that might compete with the Apple 3G. Trouble is nothing does.

It’s not going to just be about price, as Funambol thinks. Handset makers have to deliver something that will encourage the data network use the iPhone stimulates. Some estimate iPhones take 500 times the bits of other mobile users.

In this, Android is not the only option. Carriers are willing to support Windows Mobile, the Blackberry, LiMo phones, even Symbian.

From InternetNews.com:

The arrival Wednesday of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android smartphone, marks the debut of the most open mobile operating system yet.

Android’s creators – the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), Google and T-Mobile – have pledged to fully support third-party application development, promising no one will dictate what users can download to the G1, or what developers can upload to the Android Market storefront.

Such openness is aimed at advancing mobile applications, fostering innovative services and, of course, becoming the ‘game changer’ in a competitive and crowded smartphone market.

Apple’s success with its popular consumer-friendly iPhone, and RIM’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) leading enterprise device, the BlackBerry, are proof that tight development and security controls can prove successful.

In fact, RIM’s co-CEO noted today at the vendor’s first developer conference that BlackBerry is known as “the” secure enterprise device.

Android leaders don’t dispute security is a critical smartphone aspect. Google has put a ‘kill switch’ clause within Android’s Market service agreement that states Google can and will remove applications that have a “malicious intent.”

But the search giant and its Android partners have also made it clear they won’t be policing and patrolling applications as closely as Apple or RIM. At the G1 product launch event last month the companies said they would not prohibit third-party Skype applications that would allow voice communications away from T-Mobile’s network.

Google Android Invasion…

October 21, 2008

T-minus 24 hours until Android arrives. Less than a year after announcing Android, the open-source phone operating system intended to jump-start the mobile Internet, Google began sharing the project’s underlying source code. The Android Open Source Project site includes a project list, a feature description, a guides to the roles people can have in the project and how to contribute, and of course the Android source code itself.

From IDG News Service:

Google planned to announce on Tuesday that the source code for its mobile operating system, Android, is now available for anyone to use free.

The move was expected, although the timing was uncertain.

Developers can find the source code on the Web site for the Android Open Source Project.

“An open-sourced mobile platform, that’s constantly being improved upon by the community and is available for everyone to use, speeds innovation, is an engine of economic opportunity and provides a better mobile experience for users,” said Andy Rubin, senior director of mobile platforms for Google, in a statement.

But Google’s model for Android has some critics. The LiMo Foundation, which publishes specifications for middleware for mobile Linux devices, and of which Google is not a member, says that Google’s model might be too open.

From CNET:

Google has one team of programmers building the software and another professional services group to help support phone makers building Android phones. Now, though, as T-Mobile’s G1 arrives on the market, Google hopes to multiply that by drawing upon the collective energy of outside contributors to the project.

“Our plan is a launching point for a much more vibrant open-source community,” said Rich Miner, vice president of Google’s mobile platforms business. “For the past almost four years, this has been a large effort between Google and our partners. There have been a lot of people working on the code, but that’s going to be multiplied by several orders of magnitude.”

Open-source software can be freely used, modified, and redistributed by anyone, freedoms that make it a daunting competitor to proprietary software companies that charge for the code. Although open-source software rarely has been the sole basis for a thriving company, it can be a powerful tool to aid a broader agenda. Sophisticated technology companies such as IBM, Oracle, and even Apple often subsidize open-source projects for that reason, and Android fits into that category.

The first Google Android phone isn’t yet on the market but the G1 goes on sale in the U.S. from T-Mobile tomorrow. Journalists were first able to publish their reviews of the phone last week.

Here’s the press release from Google:

Google and the Open Handset Alliance Announce Android Open Source Availability

Today, Google and the Open Handset Alliance announced the availability of the Android platform source code to everyone, for free, under the new Android Open Source Project. This represents the first truly open and fully featured mobile platform which will enable people to create a mobile device without restrictions, build applications that run on Android powered devices, and contribute to the core platform.

As an open source project, anyone can contribute to Android and influence its direction. It means that anyone can download, build, and run the code needed to create a complete mobile device. With an open source platform, developers, OEMs, carriers and code contributors are given the opportunity to build faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services.

Android is a complete, end-to-end software platform that can be adapted to work on any number of hardware configurations. Having an open source mobile platform will dramatically reduce the time and resources required to bring mobile devices to market. Handset manufactures can access a complete, full featured mobile stack without any barriers and get a head-start in creating as contemporary a device that they want to build. Developers for the first time can contribute code, with a full set APIs that allows the platform to host applications written by third-party developers and carriers can offer faster, cheaper and more innovative devices and services.

“Open source allows everyone and anyone equal access to the ideas and innovation that can make good products great,” said Andy Rubin, senior director of mobile platforms, Google. “An open sourced mobile platform, that’s constantly being improved upon by the community and is available for everyone to use, speeds innovation, is an engine of economic opportunity and provides a better mobile experience for users.

With the availability of Android to the open source community, consumers will start to see more applications like location-based travel tools, games and social networking offerings available to them directly; cheaper and faster phones at lower costs; and a better mobile web experience through 3G networks with richer screens.

The code can be found under the Android Open Source Project, the open source initiative for Android now available at source.android.com.

Motorola Preparing Its Own Google Android Phone

October 20, 2008

Motorola is reportedly making its own version of a phone based on Google’s Android operating system and is expected to release the handset in mid-2009. The device will likely house such features as a touch-screen interface, slide-out keyboard and social-network-related applications. Without detailing its intentions, Motorola stated that it was excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google.

From BusinessWeek:

As the wireless world awaits the Oct. 22 debut of the first phone based on the Google-backed Android software, engineers at Motorola are hard at work on their own Android handset. Motorola’s version will boast an iPhone-like touch screen, a slide-out qwerty keyboard, and a host of social-network-friendly features, BusinessWeek.com has learned.

Motorola has been showing spec sheets and images of the phone to carriers around the world in the past two months and is likely to introduce the handset in the U.S. sometime in the second quarter of 2009, according to people familiar with Motorola’s plans. Building a phone based on the highly anticipated Android operating system is part of Motorola’s effort to revive a loss-making handset division that has forfeited market share amid a drought of bestselling phones. Motorola stock, which on Oct. 17 rose a penny to 5.62, is hovering near a 16-year low.

The phone will appear among a new class of social smartphones designed to make it easy for users to connect quickly and easily to mobile social networks such as Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace. Such phones let users message in-network friends directly from phone contact lists, for example. A Facebook representative declined to comment on the company’s work with Motorola. MySpace.com didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Motorola declined to elaborate on its plans, but said in a statement: “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google” and the community of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance that are working on the Android operating system.

From InformationWeek:

More specs of the Android-based phone from Motorola have hit the Webosphere and the news is looking good. The phone will have a large touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and will undercut the HTC G1 by $30.

We already know that Motorola is working on an Android phone. Recently, we learned that the phone will provide access to social networking services. BusinessWeek has confirmed this, and that the phone will have a touchscreen similar to the iPhone and also a QWERTY keyboard for easier text input. According to the BW report, insiders say the device will bear similar design language as the recently-announced Motorola Krave ZN4.

Word is that the phone will have a higher-end look when compared to the HTC G1, which goes on sale starting this week. While the G1 will sell for about $180 after rebates with new contract, the as-yet unnamed Motorola Android phone will be priced at the $150 level.

What we don’t know is what network technology the Motorola Android phone will use. The HTC G1 uses the GSM system, and is compatible with networks worldwide. Given the large number of European companies invovled in the Open Handset Alliance, it would make sense for Motorola to choose GSM-based networking technologies for its device, as opposed to the CDMA-based technology used by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

The bad news is that the phone won’t be ready until some time in the second quarter of 2009, which could easily put it as much as six months behind the G1’s launch. We don’t know if this is because Motorola started developing later for the Android than HTC did or simply because Motorola is taking its time to make sure things turn out as good as possible.

From GigaOM:

Sanjay Jha, who now heads up Motorola’s handset business (which is likely to be spun out some time soon), was another proponent of Android, back when he was the COO of Qualcomm. (Related: GigaOM Interview with Sanjay Jha.) Here are some notable bits about the upcoming phone:

  • Motorola is showing specs and images to carriers.
  • The phone could be introduced sometime in second quarter of 20098.
  • The phone will have a touchscreen the size of iPhone screen and a slide-out qwerty keyboard.
  • The phone will focus on social networking features.
  • The team spearheading the Android development is the one that came to Motorola via acquisition of Good Technology.

The new phone based on Android may not be such a bad idea for Motorola, but the company needs to rationalize its vast array of devices that use an equally confusing number of operating systems. In addition to Android, Motorola has two different Linux efforts — its internal version and LiMo-based Linux devices — as well as Motorola’s proprietary operating system, Qualcomm’s Brew and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

From CRN:

While Motorola has declined to specify its plans, it issued a statement saying, “We’re excited about the innovation possibilities on Android and look forward to delivering great products in partnership with Google,” BusinessWeek.com reported, indicating that Motorola has been showing wireless carriers spec sheets and images of the device, which is expected to hit the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2009.

Word of Motorola’s first Android-based device comes just weeks after reports surfaced noting that the Schaumburg, Ill.-based handset maker is trumping up its Android development team by assembling a group of up to 350 Android developers to reinvigorate its struggling mobile device business. The added developers will bulk up Motorola’s Android team from the 50 members it has today.

Motorola’s Android device will pit it head-to-head against other touch-screen titans that have recently stormed the market in attempts to dethrone Apple’s 3G iPhone from its spot at the top. As a sort of prelude, Motorola last week released its first-ever touch-screen phone, the Motorola Krave, which launched Oct. 14 on Verizon Wireless.

From CNET:

Motorola’s Android phone, according to the report, is expected to feature a touch screen similar to Apple’s popular iPhone, as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that allows users to connect to such social-networking sites as MySpace and Facebook. It is unclear how similar it will be to T-Mobile USA’s newly released G1 phone, manufactured by HTC, which also uses Android.

The phone is anticipated to make its U.S. debut in the second quarter of next year, according to sources cited in the BusinessWeek report, which noted that carriers have already seen spec sheets and images of the devices.

Motorola’s Android phone may carry a price of approximately $150 to $180, with a two-year carrier contract, according to the report.

Google Android to Arrive in September?

August 12, 2008

Teresa Von Fuchs at MobileCrunch and Greg Kumparak at TechCrunch are reporting that the first Google Android handset may be available via presale as early as September 17.

From MobileCrunch:

While reports have ranged that the first Android handset will come out anywhere from October to sometime in 2009, the latest rumors have the HTC Dream (codenamed G1) going on presale for existing T-Mobile customers starting September 17th.

The newest leaked features include a 3-megapixel camera, slide-out Qwerty keypad and the handset will come in three colors: black, white and brown.

Matthew Miller at ZDNet is also reporting on this rumor:

I had a chance to spend a little time with an early Android device at Mobile World Congress and the latest news is that HTC is still on track to deliver the first Android device before the end of 2008. According to TmoNews we may even be able to order one as early as 17 September from T-Mobile USA. I am returning my iPhone 3G today and if this rumor is true I think this will be my next mobile purchase.

According to their trusted source the Open Handset Alliance/Google Android phone will be priced at US$399 full price or US$150 for existing T-Mobile customers. Apparently, you may have to be an existing customer to get in on the mid-September pre-sale so my patience with staying with T-Mobile for the last 6 years and waiting for their 3G network may finally pay off. T-Mobile USA has been good at rolling out UMA and some other interesting technologies, but is way behind on 3G and high end smartphones and really needs something like an Android device to bring in subscribers to compete with AT&T and the iPhone or Verizon/Sprint and their high speed EV-DO networks.

Will we finally see Android? Will Google finally deliver on their promise? Will the consumer be left high and dry? Stay tuned!

If you’re looking for some interesting views on Open Source and Mobile Technology, check out Open Source to Go. David “Lefty” Schlesinger, Director of Open Source Technologies for ACCESS Systems America is the author of the blog and shares his views on the increasing use of free and open source software in mobile devices, horror movies, technology, design, Japanese stuff, and whatever else happens to catch his interest. Lefty is chair of the Linux Foundation’s Mobile Working Group, vice-chair of the Linux Phone Standards Forum’s Architectural Working Group and a member of the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board.

ACCESS, a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets, is a client of mine here in the Bay Area and they are a mobile Internet pioneer, having helped to develop and deliver technologies that have brought the Internet to a new generation of mobile devices and consumers. ACCESS is best known for their ACCESS Linux Platform and NetFront Browser.