Feeds

Carphone Warehouse shoots mobile portal from the hip

Another day, another mobile application store

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Carphone Warehouse is to propagate its own on-device portal, preinstalled on handsets and offering access to content from HipLogic, as well as the inevitable application store.

There's actually not a lot of content from HipLogic or Carphone Warehouse but the application will gather information from the usual social-networking services, news and sport from Sky, for presentation to the user and to keep customers under the Carphone Warehouse brand.

The technology is based on the HipLogic Live client, which is typical of the kind of on-device portal designed to add branding to handsets - providing a pretty interface for rendering AJAX-style content, normally with a few customised APIs for accessing phone functions.

In the middle of the last decade such portals were expected to grow in popularity as they seemed an obvious way for operators to differentiate themselves. Sure enough, dozens of companies sprang up offering everything from news tickers to complete replacement of the phone's GUI.

But that effort was stymied by the many different and incompatible phone platforms, and the difficultly in getting applications pre-installed onto handsets. These days we're down to a handful of companies who'll sell you a white-label application for displaying network-provided content, with links to allow the user to buy ring tones, graphics and (these days) applications.

The UK's first was probably O2, whose 2003 on-device portal was provided by Action Engine and included route planning from the AA. Since then Orange has deployed several services from Surf Kitchen, which continues to survive and also provided T-Mobile USA's web2go service, though all those deployments are limited to particular handsets. Even Carphone Warehouse has experimented with the concept, pre-installing Handango's portal on the pink Blackberry Pearl a couple of years back.

HipLogic is a smart phone offering, running on Android, Windows mobile and Symbian handsets, and is already available to download* - though this deal specifies that the application will be pre-installed on handsets. Manufacturers are happy to pre-install content, creating vendor-specific "variants" if enough handsets are ordered, but that takes time and puts operators into a race against retailers who can get vanilla versions of new handsets onto the shelves before the variants have been programmed.

Carphone Warehouse has traditionally been the company to race against at such times, so it will be interesting to see how quickly it manages to get HipLogic preinstalled onto handsets, and how many users subsequently use it. ®

* HipLogic has been in touch and asked us to point out that the Android version isn't available for download yet, but is coming in the next month or two.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.