LG, RIM, Samsung and Sharp to support operator widget spec

The first phones that can run the software widgets will become available during the first quarter of 2010

LG Electronics, Research in Motion, Samsung Electronics and Sharp will all make mobile phones with support for a specification for software widgets set by a group of mobile operators, the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) said on Wednesday.

Phones that run the widgets -- small, web-based applications that give users access to information services including weather, sport scores, traffic information or translations -- will become available during the first quarter of 2010, JIL said. Network operators Vodafone, China Mobile, Softbank and Verizon Wireless are all members of the lab.

It's the first time that major handset manufacturers have committed to global adoption of the JIL widget standard across devices, JIL said. The move could mean a larger number of widgets for consumers to choose between, since platforms tend to get more popular as the number of users increase.

The first JIL-enabled phones in Europe will be Vodafone's 360 H1 and 360 M1, manufactured by Samsung, the British carrier announced in September. The H1 will start shipping in the U.K. on Oct. 30, according to a Vodafone spokesman.

Just like a plethora of mobile phone manufacturers and other network operators, Vodafone has started a contest to lure developers. The winners in eight countries will get €25,000 each (US$37,500).

The SDK (Software Development Kit) is still in beta and can be downloaded by registered users from the JIL developer website.

Developers will be able to distribute their widgets via operators' application stores, according to a statement.

Widgets have become an important part of the mobile Internet experience, according to Jonathan Arber, senior research analyst at IDC. While its good that the operators have seen their potential there is a risk for fragmentation as both operators and mobile phone manufacturers put out their own SDKs, he said.

Instead both camps should push harder for an industrywide standard, which would make like easier for developers, according to Arber. =

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags samsunglgwidgetmobile phonessharpsmartphonesRIM BlackBerry

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?