informa
/
Commentary

Nokia Talks Widgets, Navteq, And Mobile 2.0

Earlier this week at Mobile Internet World, I sat down with Craig Cumberland, director, technology and applications marketing for software platforms, at Nokia. We talked about the role of widgets in the mobile Web and other topics, including Google's Android platform. Let's see what Nokia is doing with Mobile 2.0.
Earlier this week at Mobile Internet World, I sat down with Craig Cumberland, director, technology and applications marketing for software platforms, at Nokia. We talked about the role of widgets in the mobile Web and other topics, including Google's Android platform. Let's see what Nokia is doing with Mobile 2.0.Over The Air (OTA): Hello, Craig, welcome to Take 5 on Over The Air. Let's dig in. We heard a lot about widgets at Mobile Internet World this week. What is a widget? What is the unique value of a mobile widget vs. a widget on a desktop?

Craig Cumberland (CC): Widgets allow people to personalize Internet content into lightweight Web standards based technologies that are running on the mobile device.

While widgets have been available on PCs for some time, widgets on mobile devices have particular advantages in that they facilitate internet interaction via mobile devices in a much more focused and manageable way.

When people are on the move, many want instant access to specific information, wherever they are. Widgets on mobile devices allow users to have personalized services and content on their device that is always with them, always connected, and unique to them. Additionally, mobility brings context-aware, location-aware aspects that are unique to mobile devices.

Examples can include local weather information, traffic information before going out on the road, following stock performance, or your internet auctions, etc.

OTA: Why is everyone suddenly talking about widgets? Is this the influence of the iPhone?

CC: Actually, in April this year we announced that S60 will be the first mobile software platform with integrated widget support. We believe that mobility will change the Internet as people are able to access, create and share information specific to place, time and experience. Widgets are an important milestone in this development. This is also likely to direct much of the innovation seen on the Internet today to the mobile space for the benefit of the tens of millions of S60 mobile device users world-wide.

OTA: Will S60 ever work with Google Android?

CC: Nokia remains fully committed to S60 on Symbian OS, the leading open internet innovation platform for mobile devices. S60 on Symbian OS already has a substantial base of users, applications and developers, offering unparalleled business opportunities. In April 2007 we announced that over 100 million S60 devices have been shipped by all S60 licensees (Samsung, Nokia, LG, Lenovo) we have over 3.5 million registered developers through Forum Nokia with over 5,300 different applications available.

OTA: With the Navteq acquisition will Nokia make GPS standard on the S60 platform?

CC: While the Navteq acquisition is yet to be completed, S60 already provides a rich platform for combining location and navigation with an ability to communicate. There are already several S60 devices with a built-in GPS, such as Nokia N95, Nokia N95 8GB, Nokia 6110 Navigator, Nokia E90 Communicator and Samsung SGH-i550.

OTA: How does Nokia find and seed developers for widgets? Do you reach out to existing desktop widget developers or do you reach out to mobile-specific developers?

CC: A short answer to this question is both. S60 will be complemented with Web Run-Time, a Web application development environment, enabling the development of widgets and integrated Web applications for mobile devices with familiar standards-based Web technologies, such as Ajax, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

Web Run-Time offers numerous possibilities for all Web application developers. As the Web Run-Time is built with standards-based Web technologies, developers can create new innovative widgets and also migrate existing widgets from other standards-based platforms to S60 with minimal effort.