Feeds

Symbian puts another deck chair on the Titanic

iPhone and Android devs beckoned

Website security in corporate America

Symbian has taken a step forward in its strategy of trying to siphon off iPhone and Android developers.

The open-source organization has reached an agreement to integrate Nitobi's PhoneGap for building HTML, CSS and JavaScript applications with its Symbian^3 platform web extensions package for easier deployment on a range of handsets.

The idea is to simplify development of applications not just to different Symbian handsets, but also Apple’s iPhone and difference devices running Android.

PhoneGap works by wrapping web apps inside native code such as Object-C and Cocoa so developers don't necessarily need to learn details of the actual code.

Nitobi's framework allows web developers apps to access on-phone features such as camera, GPS, SQLite database, contacts and orientation.

PhoneGap targets Blackberry, Palm and Nokia’s Ovi in addition to Android and the iPhone. It’s the latter two, though, that have got the Symbian Foundation’s interest.

Foundation executive director Lee Williams told The Reg late last year he hoped to siphon off iPhone developers as the platform begins to lose its charm thanks to its lack of openness, while attacking fellow open-sourcer Android “like a tiger”.

Williams hoped to woo developers based on Symbian’s open kernel - officially open sourced by Nokia in October 2009 – and Symbian’s 50 per cent of the global smartphone market.

In a statement commenting on the PhoneGap news, announced at the O'Reilly Open-Source Convention in Portland, Oregon, Williams said: "Our web tools allow developers on other platforms to quickly build rich internet-based apps for Symbian."

So, clearly, the strategy from 2009 is still in place.

It’s just that things have gotten a little tighter for Symbian. Since last November, Apple’s been holding steady on a quarter of the US smartphone market.

And while Williams was right to predict Android is his next big target, there’s little sign Symbian has done, or can do, anything to drain its growing popularity or even ride its back by having developers build for both.

Google’s OS now runs on 13 per cent of US smart phones – up from 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 - and is challenging Microsoft’s for the number-three spot.

Symbian's ace in the hole of market share is not just slipping away. The pace at which Symbian is losing ground on devices is accelerating according to Gartner figures due at the end of this month.

Also going against Symbian among developers are an unappealing interface and cumbersome tools. These are factors that really make the developers’ job more difficult and come in to play when picking a platform.

All of which means PhoneGap could just be one more well placed deck chair on the Titanic. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.