Wireless application developers have been busy recently, designing and launching new applications with advanced features, in part because platform providers have been encouraging it. Sybase, PalmSource and Handango are just a few of the companies that have launched new resources for wireless application developers.
Frost & Sullivan Analyst Brent Iadarola says that the recent developer launches are “marking the evolution of this portion of the industry.” Users are no longer satisfied with simple applications like personal information managers, alerts and the like. Now they want applications that enable them to be as productive on the road as they are in the office.
The Sybase tools, Sybase Unwired Accelerator and Sybase Unwired Orchestrator, are designed to extend applications and data from the back office out to mobile users in the field. Neil McGovern, Sybase director, adds that, “These tools are designed so that non-technical users can use them to build applications to meet their specific needs.”
The Accelerator product enables companies to program Web-enabled enterprise applications and databases for a variety of mobile devices, in connected and occasionally connected environments. The Orchestrator product links mobile users in real time to back-end enterprise applications through automated business processes that are easy for customers to build, according to McGovern.
“About 18 months ago, Sybase also started developing applications that help users at the mobile edge of the enterprise manage the data growth within the IT center,” says Kathleen Schaub, VP of marketing at Sybase.
The latest version of Palm OS, Cobalt 6.1, builds on the Cobalt foundation and provides integrated telephony features, support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and user interface enhancements. Cobalt 6.1 also offers new functionality aimed at Palm OS licensees looking to participate in the growing wireless market.
PalmSource has also recently released a new installation application to help streamline downloading and installing Palm applications. This application is designed to minimize the complexities of downloading software through a one-touch download and install function.
PalmSource also unveiled 20 expanded “expert guides” with opinions on applications tailored to a variety of professional and special interests. The guides help users sort through the more than 23,000 titles available for the Palm OS and identify Palm OS applications they consider best for specific tasks. There are now 55 such guides.
PalmSource has registered over 12,000 new enterprise developers in the last six months, bringing the total number to more than 100,000. The company attributed the surge in enterprise developers to the accelerated adoption of smart mobile devices and users’ demand for applications.
—Phillip J. Britt