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1.9 Time for a Facelift
As mobile phones become more powerful, the old LCDUI libraries
included in MIDP seem less than fresh. At the 2008 Java One Conference,
it was clear that a new wave of user interface technologies will quickly
dominate the market. Flash Lite is up to version 3.0 and Sony Ericsson
announced the Capuchin framework, which creates a bridge between
Java ME and Flash Lite. This paves the way for a very different class of
constrained-device software.
An increasing number of Java ME applications use a Scalable Vector
Graphics (SVG) declarative UI to provide an extremely rich user experi-
ence. It even has good performance since, like other graphics libraries,
JSR-226 SVG can also take advantage of graphics hardware present on
the device.
Understanding that an API alone is not sufficient to promote usage of
SVG by application developers, Sun, Nokia and Ikivo started collaborating
on tools for creating SVG content. The demos at Java One convinced us
that iPhone-like interfaces are both possible and practical under Java ME.
So you can expect to see radical changes in mobile software interfaces
over the next few years. (For more information on how to develop an
SVG-based UI, please refer to Chapter 6.)
As we'll see in the next section, there is much more to come. Now that
there's a clearer picture of what developers have been trying to achieve
over the last few years in response to customer demand, Java ME itself is
getting its largest facelift in over five years: MSA 2.0 and MIDP 3.0 are on
their way.
1.10 Back to the Future: MSA 2.0 and MIDP 3.0
Technological advancements never seem to come as fast they could. It's
a bit hard to see at the moment, but some people have compared our
current mobile era to that of the PC and the Internet just before things
started accelerating. Are we accelerating? A few years from now, the
current position of Java ME may be seen as a turning point.
Not everyone has the same experiences, professional or otherwise, and
so what follows is necessarily subjective. Over the last few years while
working with mobile technologies on platforms that include, but are not
exclusively, based on Symbian OS, clients from various industries have
asked for some combination of the same few key features in their custom
mobile software:
a better UI
better integration with the phone
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