There are a lot of news articles currently on Yahoo’s latest release of Blueprint. The latest version allows standalone Java, Windows Mobile and Symbian applications to be built.
Marco Boerries, executive VP of Yahoo Connected Life said…
"Now with one click, you can write once and have mobile services run across a critical mass of devices and operating systems, potentially reaching millions of users,"
While I welcome the ability to easily create applications across multiple platforms, I have to question how useful Blueprint actually is. Prior to this latest version of the tools, Blueprint was used for creating widgets for Yahoo Go. This can be seen in that the available functionality that is little more than a web browser within an application shell. I could be wrong, but apart from location, I can’t see any way to access phone features.
People working on widget and cross platform development tools might like to think about the following features that tend to be inherent in many applications I create for companies…
- Use of the file system
- Http GET and POST
- Use the camera to take photos and video
- Use Bluetooth
- Start at boot
- Answer incoming call
- Set future alerts
- Access the phone contacts and calendar
- Dial a number
- Send an SMS or MMS
- Act on an incoming SMS
- Detect end of outgoing call
- Write graphics primitives to the screen (line, square, circle etc)
- Vibrate the phone
- Send/receive file via bluetooth
- Long running background process/Auto start at boot
- Manipulate video in real-time
- Use/manipulate phone Internet access points
- Access GPS and/or cellid location with signal strength
These features are mainly taken from my ‘Is the Future of Mobile the Web‘ post last November.
Only when browsers, widget and cross platform tools allow access to commonly used phone features will they become useful for the majority rather than minority of applications.