Feeds

Vodafone and China Mobile team to build mobile Web 2.0

All your widget are belong to us

Best practices for enterprise data

Vodafone and China Mobile are setting up a Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) to establish standards for Web 2.0 widgets in the hope of creating truly cross-platform mobile apps.

Mobile web browsing is something of a dead end. No matter how great your scaling technology, most websites won't work properly on the smallest screen. So operators, manufacturers, and pundits are betting that mobile widgets will be the vehicle that brings the mobile internet to the masses.

The problem is that no one is quite sure what a widget is, or what it should be allowed to do.

The basic technology is ECMAScript, with some XML for layout, which is OK for displaying information periodically updated from websites - such as news headlines or weather updates - but some companies want to see widgets doing a whole lot more.

Yesterday, Nokia launched its latest widget platform for S60, which allows interaction with a host of local resources: "For example, a weather widget can now access the user's current location via the built-in GPS... The flight tracker widget fetches the user's itinerary from the airline's website, saves it to the mobile device's calendar and sets a reminder."

But giving widgets access to all those resources opens up huge security issues, and finding standard ways of addressing those will be a central part of JILs work. This is most likely to involve some sort of application certification, and having missed the boat for signing Java applications, and native ones, the operators will want to make sure they're the ones authenticating widgets.

The two companies won't say how much money they're putting in, only that JIL will come into existence over the summer, be based in Europe, and that they're hoping everyone else in the industry will sign up soon afterwards.

Vodafone has about 200 million subscribers, while China Mobile (of whom Vodafone holds just over three per cent) is knocking 400 million, so it hardly matters if anyone else joins up - JIL will have the muscle to dictate standards to the rest of the industry if it so wishes. ®

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?