Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/28/symbian_phone_content_tech_flies/

Symbian phone content tech flies via Magpie spin-off

Is it a browser, a UI, content management?

By John Lettice

Posted in Mobile, 28th February 2003 00:10 GMT

Symbian's Magpie content delivery technology, which has been lurking in the wings for some considerable time, looks in severe danger of going live soon, via Magpie Mobile Technologies (MMT). Magpie is pitched by Symbian as part content embedding, part delivery system, its overall objective being to deliver small amounts of relevant information directly into a phone's UI via the relevant applications on the phone.

Considering the irrelevant tat and spam service providers currently seem to mistake for relevant content, this is something of a challenge; Symbian has our prayers in its quest for relevance. MMT itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Symbian specialist EMCC Software, although it says it was formed "in partnership" with Symbian to "bring this exciting technology to market in a focused way.2 So we probably have a buddies thing here, which is nice.

The company says it's partnering with "key players in the industry," but only identifies EMCC (which you would kind of expect), Symbian (ditto) and Opera as being among those. Symbian did however demo Magpie on a Sony-Ericsson P800 (yes, it has been that long) at CeBIT last year, while Opera announced support for it shortly afterwards.

By happy coincidence Opera's mobile phone browser is now shipping for the P800, but the Magpie concept as interpreted by Opera implies more of a 'disappearing browser' approach, using the browser as a component within other applications. So we think maybe it has particular relevance to key-based, as opposed to stylus, phones. And it's kind of about flexible UIs too, which is nicely coincidental with Symbian changing its mind again about UIs.

You can get a Symbian take on Magpie here, while Magpie offers a couple of PDFs (on a mobile phone? Come on, people...) and as yet not a lot else, here. ®