Can Open Linux On A Phone Inspire Change?
"Can Open Linux compete on the mobile phone platform? Read on to find out more..."
Published: 15th January 2007 | Source: Open Moko |15/01/07
Source: Open Moko
By now the dust will have begun to settle in San Francisco, especially after the launch of the developer-unfriendly Apple iPhone, but the real game changers were demonstrating their strategy at CES 2007, in Las Vegas. While the hardware may be similar, the strategy is a complete reversal of Apple's closed platform and proprietary hardware. OpenMoko is an open Linux-based mobile application development platform that's designed to help operators and developers build innovative applications on top of a basic phone platform.
That platform is the FIC neo1973 , an attractive curved device with a single large VGA touch screen, and a built in GPS. While it's only GPRS, this is a first cut at delivering open hardware, so we can expect future hardware to support faster data connections.
|Out of the box the FIC mobile phone has very few features. You can make calls, send text messages – and that's pretty much it. The hardware, however, is much more capable. Applications are handled in an open manner, with access to proprietary hardware functions – including location data and connectivity tools. A set of core tools mean all applications can access finger and stylus information, with core libraries that offer UI and PIM access. Other libraries offer GSM and GPS support – so your applications can take advantage of both network and hardware features.|
The philosophy behind OpenMoko is interesting - by providing capable hardware, with a good UI and basic software, the project intends to quickly build a library of available applications. Existing Linux code can be ported to OpenMoko, while an SDK means that existing development tools (and skills) can be used to create new phone-centric applications .
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