Almost live from JavaOne: Trends for Mobile Java

I attended three more sessions that I didn’t cover in specific posts today. One of them, by Terence Barr, about rich applications and services for the mobile masses; an advertising session from Blackberry about their developer offer, and of course, the opening keynote from Thomas Kurian (EVP from Oracle, in charge of Java?).

These sessions have been very different, but their combination gives a very strong orientation to the direction where mobile Java is heading:

  • Nice apps for everybody. Java is available on low-end and feature phones, and these phones can enjoy nice applications, like smartphones, thanks to Java. The LightWeight User Interface Toolkit (LWUIT) is the future of Java, a library that can be ported across many devices (I have doubts, but I want to believe; something to check at the Java demos).
  • Tight integration with the Web. Now, when talking about mobile apps, we need to mention HTML5, using Web Services (RESTful services, JSON, and more), and mention “tight integration”. All three speakers mentioned interesting things, in different ways.
  • New APIs to access hardware. This one sounds stranger, since the availability of such APIs already is a good point for Java. However, the sheer number of JSRs is staggering, so modernizing all this makes sense. NFC was mentioned by Kurian, and payment APIs have been announced by both Blackberry (with details) and Oracle (no details).

Finally, a few highlights from the presentations. Terence Barr’s show was nice, although he ran into network problems. He has shown an example called “Meet me for Dinner”, combining locatoin-based stuff, consulting many Web services, and even using a Twitter library for using OAuth. He also promised to publish the full example, so I will wait for that. Well, maybe that in the mean time I will look at the Twitter API ME.

The keynote was the occasion to get a few numbers. The estimates are now 1.1 desktops with Java, 3 billion mobile phones, and 1.4 billion cards every year. Naturally, Thomas Kurian didn’t get the full power of Java Card yet, and simply mentioned a total of 1.4 billion cards (somehow, they all do that). We also learned from Intel that combining hardware and software improvements allowed them to make a 40 times performance increase over 5 years, which beats Moore’s law by a whopping factor 5. I guess that proper optimization can yield results.

On the mobile front, we have been announced a total revamping of the mobile platform in Project Java Mobile.Next, and I guess that we’ll have to wait for that. There are many more projects happening, including Coin, Lambda, and Jigsaw, but these are not really new (just Google the trio to find out).

OK, that wraps the day. More news tomorrow. I will also try to spend a little time looking at demos.

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