Sun paves way for Java enabled mobile apps

Sun Microsystems will use Java for more advanced mobile phone applications through deals with Nokia and Vodafone.

Sun Microsystems will use Java for more advanced mobile phone applications through deals with Nokia and Vodafone.

Nokia's Snap Mobile development platform for multiplayer games will be integrated with the J2ME (Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition) Wireless Toolkit as well as the Java System Content Delivery Server and the Java Enterprise System, the companies announced at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.

The companies intend to pave the way for development and delivery of more mobile multiplayer games, said to Juan Dewar, senior director of product marketing in the consumer and mobile systems group of Sun.

The combination of Nokia's and Sun's technologies will provide a Solaris-based platform for mobile operators to deliver multiplayer games to their customers and create and support communities of game players.

The features from Nokia will be incorporated into the J2ME Wireless Toolkit later this year and operator pilots of Snap Mobile games are expected to begin late in the year.

Also at JavaOne,'s Sega Mobile division has demonstrated two casual, multiplayer Java-based games, Reversi and Blackjack, developed on the Snap Mobile platform.

Sun also is helping European mobile operator Vodafone create a new platform for 3G mobile data services. The platform, called Vodafone VFX, will form the basis of Vodafone Live services on 3G phones.

Vodafone Live services are now offered on GSM/GPRS. Work is already under way between Sun and Vodafone, but no roll-out dates for the technology have been provided.

Vodafone VFX will be based on the JTWI (Java Technology for the Wireless Industry) specification, and Sun will help Vodafone create a platform that includes some Vodafone innovations to support capabilities specific to its user environment, Dewar said.

At a later date, those innovations could be integrated into JTWI, he added.

In addition to jointly developing the platform, the companies will provide a wireless tool-kit to third parties to simplify application development and a Java device test suite for handset suppliers, he said. Giving guidelines to handset makers could help to minimise variations in the user experience between one type of handset and the next.

Stephen Lawson writes for IDG News Service

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