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Cell Phones For Easy App Development?

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the complexity-is-much-easier-to-achieve dept.

Cellphones 97

linnrose writes "When I purchased my current cell phone — a ATT/Samsung Sync — my primary reason for selecting it was Samsung told me I could install custom Java applications on it via USB or the microSD card; turns out they lied to me. I would really like to have a phone that is open enough for me to install simple Java (or whatever language; I'm primarily a C# developer) apps without having to download them from a server. And it doesn't have to be cutting-edge/feature-rich; gimme a nice color screen and good call quality. I'm thinking Nokia might have something useful, but I'm not sure. Any suggestions?"

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Become a registered iPhone Developer (0)

rhathar (1247530) | about 6 years ago | (#24783811)

Then you can write your own apps AND have a phone you like

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (2, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#24783989)

I'm pretty sure that the submitter dosen't want to pay the $99/year Apple developer tax, especially just to run "simple Java apps".

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1)

Palshife (60519) | about 6 years ago | (#24785533)

Why would he do that when it's perfectly simple to jailbreak the phone? Then you can run your custom apps for free. It doesn't sound like the submitter is interested in distributing the apps he writes.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1)

linnrose (1352827) | about 6 years ago | (#24797675)

Correct; I'm not looking to distribute what I write. But the iPhone doesn't fit into the long list of phone quirks I have (won't fit in my pocket, can't change the battery, have to get a data plan I don't need, too f!@#ing trendy...). Thanks for the input

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1)

mini me (132455) | about 6 years ago | (#24810379)

  1. How small are your pockets, exactly? I could fit several iPhones in the pockets of any clothes I've ever tried on.
  2. I will grant you this one. However, the phone will be obsolete long before you need a new battery and you can use an external battery in lieu of a spare; no different than carrying another battery, really.
  3. Not true for my cell service provider
  4. That's a pretty silly reason not to buy something

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784003)

and be tied to a company (AT&T) who has actively abused me and my wallet whenever they had even a remote opportunity (despite the fact I changed phone companies x number of times to get away from them... they always bought whoever I switched to...)

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 6 years ago | (#24784065)

If he's looking for something cheaper, I can vouch for RAZRs working with Java apps. There's a simple USB Mini port on the side (cable not included) that can be used to hook it up to a computer and transfer applications.

I have also been told that many Nokia phones allow Java programs to be installed, but I do not know the details of those.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784487)

It actually depends on the type of RAZR you have. I have a RAZR v3m and I can not put Java apps on it. If you have access to a Linux desktop, I would recommend grabbing Moto4Lin. I messed around with this and it allowed me to easily mod the RAZR by giving me access to parts of the RAZR filesystem (I think Motorolla hides parts of the FS).

Anyways, my RAZR can only run BREW apps. To develop BREW apps, one has to pay a licensing fee...

Android cant get here soon enough in my opinion

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1)

Sensible Clod (771142) | about 6 years ago | (#24792915)

This may be related to the reason why Samsung SAID it would work but it didn't: you usually need to buy an unlocked phone to do certain things. My unlocked SLVR works fine, and I've uploaded several Java apps to it.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 years ago | (#24784115)

And you have to buy a Mac to develop them.

iPhone is the LAST phone that I would select for that. And I also suspect that if you succeed in porting Java to the iPhone Apple will blacklist that really soon since it will be in conflict with the developer license.

SonyEricsson, Nokia or any Windows Mobile phone should be fine. Operator branded phones may be lobotomized from the prospect of installing apps on them.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784259)

iPhone is the LAST phone that I would select for that.

Depends if the apps are for yourself or to sell/give to others. iPhone is soon going the only phone that matters if you are developing apps for other people. And I know it sucks, I have one. But given the amount of activity in the App store and on the illegal installers you'd be hard to not recognize that the iPhone is here to stay. I suppose to fully understand you will need to spend some serious time with a jailbroken iPhone running firmware 2.0.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1)

toleraen (831634) | about 6 years ago | (#24784437)

iPhone is soon going the only phone that matters if you are developing apps for other people.

I didn't realize the iPhone was reaching 100% market penetration so quickly. Out of the ~1,150,000,000 phones sold last year, how many of those were iPhones? 3%? That's a lot to make up this year.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24785025)

you need to fine tune your crude statistics, % of market penetration for all phones does not give a good sense of things. Think a bit deeper... take those 1,150,000,000 phones sold, break it down by model ... how many models have people paying for applications? A small percentage I bet. Out of this small percentage... where does the iPhone rank?

If this number is significant then only the iPhone will matter.

Also factor in the following:
- iPhone is just over 1 year old and two model years old
- 3% for one model may be significant, how do the other models rank?
- safe to say this 3% is largely from the consumer side of things, what happens when business side of things picks up?

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24787517)

How many phones do you know of that can't run J2ME applications, as the submitter asked about?

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 6 years ago | (#24789427)

I get your point, but if you limit it to software purchases then the iPhone's share is a lot higher, and climbing rapidly.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (4, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | about 6 years ago | (#24789703)

Really? Are you sure? The iPhone is the only mobile phone that requires any and all legitimately purchased software installations to go through a single point of origin. There is no comparison to Symbian, RIM, Linux or Palm. Every other mobile OS has the legitimate option to install applications without 'phoning home' to their respective manufacturer.

It simply amazes me that so many people in the slashdot crowd don't see a problem with this.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1)

Wulfstan (180404) | about 6 years ago | (#24791395)

This simply isn't true. BREW, used by Verizon's Get It Now service, Alltel and other CDMA carriers in the USA have a "single point of origin" system in place as well. All applications are centrally submitted and tested via QUALCOMM and these are placed in a centralised application database which carriers can select applications from. This ridiculous claim that Apple is somehow the first to do this or the big nasty one for doing this needs to be put to bed - they have replicated and tweaked a business model for mobile application development which is proven.

He said *REQUIRES* (1)

Nick Ives (317) | about 6 years ago | (#24802171)

I can install 3rd party apps downloaded from anywhere on the net on my N95. To do the same on an iPhone you have to jailbreak it. Jailbreaking may be easy, but why would you want a phone that's defective by design?

Sure, N95 apps have to be signed and it's a pain having to create a developer account with Nokia to self-sign but at least it's free beer.

This is why I'm totally bemused by the iPhone popularity, not necessarily amongst trendy people who don't know any better but also amongst technically aware people. Would you buy a PC that's locked down like that? My N95 is like a tiny computer I take everywhere with me. I haven't been so impressed with a handheld since I got a Palm V back in the day.

Re:Become a registered iPhone Developer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784743)

God I hope not. What a dismal future that would be.

Andrioid (1)

RManning (544016) | about 6 years ago | (#24783839)

I'm a java developer and being able to easily write and deploy my own phone apps is exactly why I'm so excited about Android. It has a full SDK and Google promises that you can install your own software on your own phone!

Go check it out...

Clicky clicky []

Re:Andrioid (2, Informative)

tha_mink (518151) | about 6 years ago | (#24783995)

If you roll in the Java world, then check out the Blackberry. It's really easy to develop for, there's a bunch of tools out there, and installing and removing apps is a breeze through the USB cable. (or a server for that matter)

Re:Andrioid (1)

rufus t firefly (35399) | about 6 years ago | (#24784159)

If you roll in the Java world, then check out the Blackberry. It's really easy to develop for, there's a bunch of tools out there, and installing and removing apps is a breeze through the USB cable. (or a server for that matter)

Has anyone done any development for the Blackberry on Linux? I use Eclipse for most of my development these days, and it looked like the only Blackberry Eclipse plugin/toolkit [] was an unfriendly Windows binary. Anyone have any better experiences with it?

I'm not about to put together another machine or waste money on a Windows license just to develop cell phone software, especially when it seems that there's no specific reason why there isn't a readily available Linux port of their toolkit.

Yeah, I'm just waiting for some person to post a link to one and make this post look stupid.

Re:Andrioid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24785121)

While I don't know about the Eclipse plugin; the only unfriendly Windows binary (rapc.exe) used in developing applications in the BlackBerry SDK invokes the Java Virtual Machine on a JAR with the same name (rapc.jar). You can access all of the compilation capabilities by invoking the JAR itself.

The BlackBerry desktop manager used for loading applications doesn't run in Linux, but if you have an HTTP server, you can download your applications to the device over the air.

Re:Andrioid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24793061)

Not sure why this isn't modded up, but the parent is completely correct. There are lots and lots of tools out there for platform-independent support of the BB platform. There's even some great Ant tasks to make compilation a breeze on any platform if the command line is a little too strange for rapc.jar for you.

Re:Andrioid (1)

linnrose (1352827) | about 6 years ago | (#24797603)

Even though everyone @ the office but me has one, I always forget about Blackberry; thanks for the input

Re:Andrioid (1)

ckaminski (82854) | about 6 years ago | (#24798447)

I'll concur with this. I installed many of my own test midlets via web download. The blackberry (even though I really hated it as a phone platform) is really dead-simple when it comes to running java apps.

Re:Andrioid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24788531)

I've written a little Android code for fun, and it's easy. Google and t-mobile etc. need to prove they can deliver an interesting platform for nerds, but it's coming out so soon, you might as well wait to see if they come through.

Anyway, here's a reason for hope: Apple is doing so well in the things-locked-down niche .. maybe that rationally pushes Google Android to try to really serve the open-programmable niche. Anyway, we'll see soon.

More details please (2, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | about 6 years ago | (#24783841)

My current phone is a Sony Ericsson W580i. I can just upload those micro Java apps onto my phone via Bluetooth and they work.

Re:More details please (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 6 years ago | (#24784185)

I second that. I love my W580i.

Re:More details please (1)

Simon80 (874052) | about 6 years ago | (#24784519)

Third, having used a z520 for a long time. The only crippled features I can think of are the permanently enabled camera noise, an inability to send applications to other users from the games and applications folders (the copy in the "other" folder that was used to install a given app can be propagated just fine), and the standard SIM lock that any mainstream cell phone has.

Panchira! (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24792321)

The only crippled features I can think of are the permanently enabled camera noise

In some markets where your phone is sold, statutes or regulations require "the permanently enabled camera noise" to counter invasion of privacy.

Re:Panchira! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 6 years ago | (#24796139)

Try shooting at a lower ISO ... the generally accepted advice for reducing camera noise.

Re:More details please (1)

willow (19698) | about 6 years ago | (#24789013)

I'll jump in too for supporting Sony Ericsson phones as a simple phone development platform. They've an active and extensive developer site and it looks pretty easy to get simple apps written and installed.

I did reflash the firmware on my branded w580i back to factory and it's much easier to work with now without all the vendor crap on it.

Android may be the future but until then SE phones will satisfy my urge to tinker with simple phone apps.

Re:More details please (1)

linnrose (1352827) | about 6 years ago | (#24797579)

I fairly anti-Sony at the moment - the rootkit debacle still gets me stirred up, and I've not had much luck w/ their phones. But I appreciate the input

All nokia phones (3, Informative)

Simon (S2) (600188) | about 6 years ago | (#24783893)

At least here in the EU, I don't know it it is the same in the US, but every nokia phone I bought (now I own a 6111) has had the capability of installing j2me apps from the memory card, vie USB or simply by copying them from the PC to the mobile over bluetooth.
If you are a developer and would like to hack your mobile, maybe you could have a look at the Freerunner?

Windows Mobile (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 6 years ago | (#24783903)

Sad to say it, but Windows Mobile phones are probably the most widely available "open for developers" phones out there. WM does have app signing, but every WM phone I've seen allows the user to easily override the signing function. It's basically "This app is unsigned, are you sure you want to run it? Yes/No" - The nice thing is that the phone *remembers* this answer until the app's hash changes.

Most current Linux phones are heavily locked down (such as the Motorola MOTOMAGX based phones).

Android based phones don't exist yet, and some of Google's comments imply that they will be allowing carrier lockdown.

I've heard a lot of Symbian phones are also heavily locked down and won't run apps unless they are signed. It's a moot point if you're in the U.S. because Symbian phones are pretty rare here.

I have an AT&T Tilt (HTC Kaiser aka HTC TyTn II) and I love it.

Re:Windows Mobile (4, Informative)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 6 years ago | (#24784151)

Sad to say it, but Windows Mobile phones are probably the most widely available "open for developers" phones out there

First, why is it sad? Second, I have had extensive experience developing for Windows Mobile (alongside some poor slobs who were saddled with having to develop the same application for Symbian and Java). While I can say that I had a very positive experience, my compatriots were not so lucky. The tools (Embedded Visual Studio) were free. And as a big bonus, I was able to do 90-95% of my development on the desktop the same source could be built and run on a desktop Windows box and then, with a small smattering of #ifdefs, built and deployed onto either a pocket PC style (touchscreen with stylus) or Smartphone style target device. As you can imagine, source-level debugging an application in desktop Visual Studio is orders of magnitude more efficient than fiddling around with simulators or worse, tethered devices running in some sort of half-speed debugger mode under control of a desktop. I also dabbled with BREW (uggh) though not for terribly long. For my money, Windows Mobile is definitely the way to go if you want to develop applications for personal consumption.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

bfizzle (836992) | about 6 years ago | (#24784627)

I figured a Windows Mobile platform would be a first choice as well especially with the op C# experience.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 6 years ago | (#24785681)

I would have thought that too. Based on a workshop that I attended, developing C# apps for Windows Mobile is relatively straightforward. The SDK is free, but you need the professional version of Visual Studio (I haven't tried SharpDevelop yet. The presentations and workshop materials can be found here: []

Re:Windows Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784939)

I'd like a WM phone with real GPS, touch screen, decent camera with geotagging, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 6 years ago | (#24791405)

Decent camera is usually the dealbreaker. Even my K850i (which came out on top of N95 for camera performance in many reviews) is noisy as hell in anything less than bright sunlight, and Windows Mobile handsets so far have not treated the camera as a headline feature. You'll be lucky if you can find anything better than a fixed focus 2MPx with microscopic lens.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 6 years ago | (#24845751)

Sounds like the HTC TyTn II aka AT&T Tilt.

Or the HTC Touch Pro (not yet released for AT&T but coming in a month or so most likely)

The only thing from your list missing is a decent camera, but that's something you're just plain never going to see in a cell phone. There's just no room for a decent sized sensor to get acceptable noise performance.

Re:Windows Mobile (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | about 6 years ago | (#24787229)

On Symbian you can also self sign.

Windows Mobile dev w/o Windows and VS? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24792273)

Sad to say it, but Windows Mobile phones are probably the most widely available "open for developers" phones out there.

Is there a good way to compile apps for Windows Mobile on Linux? Or on Windows without buying a copy of Visual Studio Standard or higher? (Visual C++ Express lacks the Windows Mobile SDK.) Is CeGCC arm-mingw32ce [] any good?

Depends on your audience (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24783941)

I've done development on Symbian and Blackberry products; advice for these: Run away, terribly fast.

I haven't explored Windows Mobile due to it's serious speed stability issues on the two phones that I've had that run it, but it's likely your only hope for C#.

If you can do C, Objective-C for the iPhone looks quite tasty (I've only browsed the source), and the Android platform is mostly here now, with some very tasty phones coming to major carriers this Christmas.

So my advice would be that you need to decide whether you need to make money from this application, and if so from whom. If your target market is all Microsofties, then get their platform (the T-Mobile Wing among the more tolerable phones), and code for it.

If not MS specific, then the question comes down to money. If your app. is ground breaking and cool, I'd lean toward an iPhone, Objective-C, and the AppStore. If it's just for you or to share with the world (like a cool pocketable Nagios monitoring daemon) and you'd like a large community of users regardless of their funding, Android.

BlackBerry? Older Symbian? Windows Mobile? (1)

emag (4640) | about 6 years ago | (#24784005)

It's my understanding that anyone with a BlackBerry and the Windows desktop software can install Java (J2ME or J2ME+BBapi) apps on their BlackBerries via serial/USB.

I know older Symbian devices could install via memory card as well (I had a Nokia 6600), but I've heard enough scare stories about newer Symbian revs to wonder if that's still the case.

In *theory*, anyone with ActiveSync should be able to sync/install on a Windows Mobile phone. I've never used one myself, and the one person I know with a Windows PDA is having issues even connecting under Linux, but I don't know where the actual problem is there.

Severely locked-down systems (T-Mo Sidekicks, IIRC most Verizon phones, iPhone, etc), you're SOL without either hacking it or becoming a sanctioned "developer"

Windows Mobile? (4, Informative)

Darkstorm (6880) | about 6 years ago | (#24784007)

I have one of the Veriozon windows mobile phones, it has .net compact framework, and even compact sql server.

I got it mainly because I could write my own c# apps for the thing. Visual studio even has a nice emulator built in.

Re:Windows Mobile? (3, Interesting)

rufus t firefly (35399) | about 6 years ago | (#24784255)

I have one of the Veriozon windows mobile phones, it has .net compact framework, and even compact sql server.

I got it mainly because I could write my own c# apps for the thing. Visual studio even has a nice emulator built in.

I can't quite get over Windows Mobile's horrific interface design. I mean, if I wanted a small desktop, I think I could just buy one [] . It's not really designed to be controlled with fingers (opting instead for a stylus), and is a pretty huge pain to use. Not that some of the other entries in the mobile phone OS market aren't horrible ... Nokia managed to get around the finger problem recently with their menu system in Maemo [] , even though that's not really available for phones.

Here's to hoping Android works better in "real life". Running it under Windows Mobile is painful at best.

Re:Windows Mobile? (1)

Darkstorm (6880) | about 6 years ago | (#24784477)

Well, when I needed a new phone, I also needed a new pda (my sony clie is a bit old), so I got both in one. I actually use more of the pda functionality (like the calendar) since I carry the phone most places, while my pda stayed in my bag, or at home.

I like it, and I can write apps for it.

Re:Windows Mobile? (1)

rufus t firefly (35399) | about 6 years ago | (#24784907)

Well, when I needed a new phone, I also needed a new pda (my sony clie is a bit old), so I got both in one. I actually use more of the pda functionality (like the calendar) since I carry the phone most places, while my pda stayed in my bag, or at home.

I like it, and I can write apps for it.

Problem is, you have to buy into the whole thing. You can't develop for Windows Mobile without a Windows desktop and a Windows development environment.

Haven't had a Windows machine since 1999, and I'm not about to get one just so I can write apps for a phone. J2ME-based apps provide much greater market penetration, and hopefully if Android is adopted by enough companies, I can avoid the prospect of designing for either the iPhone or any WinCE hardware.

Re:Windows Mobile? (1)

DarthJohn (1160097) | about 6 years ago | (#24789359)

This one [] looks promising. I might give it a try.

If I can get that working with qt [] I'd be pretty happy.

gvim + CeGCC + qt => good enough for tinkering with. (if it works)

Re:Windows Mobile? (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 6 years ago | (#24785879)

Unless it's a PDA form factor device, I don't think the WM phones even have a touch screen interface. They use the little joystick button on the phone. had made it look better at least.

Hurry to Amazon NOW! (maybe) (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 6 years ago | (#24784015)

No idea how useful this is for development, but Amazon is offering an unlocked Samsung I321N phone for $165 until 2pm PDT as a gold box deal. [] It runs Windows Mobile 5.0, and since it's unlocked I would imagine you should be able to load apps onto it with no problems.

Re:Hurry to Amazon NOW! (maybe) (2, Informative)

Hard_Rock_2 (804967) | about 6 years ago | (#24784247)

As a heads up it uses European frequencies, and only has the higher frequency for North America. Its fine for T Mobile which only uses 1900mhz, but if you use it with At&T you'll find it wont work indoors as much as other phones, which have both North American bands.

Anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784053)

Something like ANY phone? It's usually good idea to be carefull with operator provided (branded) phones - they sometimes limit these functions to get more money from you.
However, every phone I (Siemens SX1, Nokia 3230 or 6131) or friends (various Sharps, Siemenses, SEs) have had that supported Java allowed installation using cable or Bluetooth.

IBM J9 + WinMob or PalmOS + SWT (1)

hattig (47930) | about 6 years ago | (#24784101)

With Windows Mobile and PalmOS devices, you can install IBM's J9 JVM (you can buy it for six dolla online) and then code in Java. I think the current version lets you code in Java 5. Couple that with SWT, and you have a nice environment in Java that's pretty frickin' cheap, but not an iPhone.

Failing Java+SWT on J9, I'd program for the iPhone (I'd do that before that, but I have no Intel based Mac :( )

Re:IBM J9 + WinMob or PalmOS + SWT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24785289)

Where can one buy J9 JVM? I believe that is that the client needed run any Java. My Centro lacks Java and Palm has not plans to supply it.



tip (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784117)

ok, a buddy showed this to me a while back. I'm sure y'all will enjoy it as much as i do :)

  1. Get a cantalope/melon. Cut a hole in it, 6-inches deep (more or less :)
  2. microwave for 30 seconds. Stick your finger in the hole to make sure it's not too hot.
  3. Stick your dick in and FUCK IT.

    MY buddy says it feels better than pussy. I wouldn't know (about the pussy part), but it feels SOOOOOO good.The first time, I blew my load in about 20 seconds.

Re:tip (1)

msu320 (1084789) | about 6 years ago | (#24784295)

1. Get a cantaloupe/melon. Cut a hole in it, 6-inches deep (more or less :)

When attempting to cut a hole to match, I wound up splitting the cantaloupe in half. The next few attempts resulted in similar failure. Would a watermelon be a sufficient substitute? please advise on the matter.

Re:tip (1)

JohnnyComeLately (725958) | about 6 years ago | (#24798287)

Two words for ya.... Duct Tape. Wrap the cataloupe 2 times for best effect. If you can't duck it.... nevermind...

Lots of Choices (4, Informative)

Hard_Rock_2 (804967) | about 6 years ago | (#24784191)

To be honest, I'm really suprised your phone doesn't let you just upload J2ME apps and run them, most phones (RAZR, etc) let you do it, some might require you buy a $6 cable, but its nothing serious.

If you want more choices:
1)Symbian based phones. You can run native C++ apps, and J2ME based ones. A popular example would be the N95.
2)Iphone, although you'll need to go through the iTunes store or jailbreak it.
3)Windows mobile phones, not sure which one to reccomend here.
4)OpenMoko, although I hear this phone still needs a while to go before it becomes something someone will want to use as their primary phone
5)Wait for an android based phones.

However before purchasing new phone see if you can get a cable or modify your phone in such a way you can load java apps onto it, because I'm really surprised its that heavily locked down.

Re:Lots of Choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784381)

2)Iphone, although you'll need to go through the iTunes store or jailbreak it.

That's incorrect. If you've got XCode installed with iPhone SDK, you can load your own projects onto your own phone. What you can't do, however, is distribute apps in any format other than the XCode project and have others be able to load them onto their iPhones. In short, to write your own apps and use them yourself, you don't have to care about the iPhone developer program or the iTunes store.

Of course, as you said, all bets are off once you jailbreak it.

Re:Lots of Choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24785359)

if you want to sell your application, say for example to a company that wants real time data from the erp or like salesforce, do you need to get the application approved from apple and update it through itunes?.

Re:Lots of Choices (1)

linnrose (1352827) | about 6 years ago | (#24797727)

Yup; got the cable and it doesn't work. Samsung/ATT have this phone locked down; the only way to get an app on the phone is to download it from the web.

Windows Mobile (1)

rudib (300816) | about 6 years ago | (#24784303)

For C# / .NET code, Windows Mobile is the answer. Developing for it from Visual Studio is really simple, almost like for desktop Windows Forms apps, it supports remote debugging via USB and it has a emulator with many device profiles (different display and keyboard configurations). []

As for WM phones, HTC or Asus (a bit cheaper, I have a P750) make solid ones.

Nokia works well with J2ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784405)

Just put it on a memory card and go - should be no problem and works great for me with the N95 and even with the older S40 ones that I had...

Re:Nokia works well with J2ME (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about 6 years ago | (#24788621)

And if you want to write anything that interacts with the phone beyond pretty graphics you're pretty much stuffed - limited or no access to sms, network, logs and voice.

However Python on the Nokia (S60 FP2+) is a different kettle of fish altogether, it seems to shaping up to what java ME was promised to be.

Nokia+Python (5, Informative)

Masa (74401) | about 6 years ago | (#24784419)

A Nokia S60 phone (I have an E61) + Nokia S60 Python interpreter have been enough for my personal development needs. The nice thing is, I can develop Python applications on the road only using the phone itself.

Information about the interpreter: []

The latest version is available at the Sourceforge: []

OpenMoko (1)

RGRistroph (86936) | about 6 years ago | (#24784421)

You should check out the OpenMoko: []

I don't have one. However, at the linux users group I attend ( [] ), a group of people who got them via one of the group purchase agreements came to last night's meeting. I was pretty impressed.

It does cost $300 or $400 depending on what model you get, and then you have to get one of the cellular services that works on a sim chip thing.

At least one of the guys at the linux meeting was using it as his daily phone. However he also said he was putting up with various quirks and working around them, that "normal people" might not be able to deal with. One person showed me the phone running X with xfce, but the others were using a qt interface that didn't use X, if I understood them correctly.

But, if you are a developer and having problems with the openness of your phones, this is the way to go. Even the hardware and plastic designs are open source.

Re:OpenMoko (2, Informative)

Tony (765) | about 6 years ago | (#24784529)

The "sim chip thing" is GSM, which most places (T-Mobile, AT&T, etc) use.

If you need it for day-to-day use, QTopia is stable and pretty. You can then develop using Qt, which isn't bad, as long as you like C++ (or you can use Python bindings or whatnot).

If you want to explore, install the FSO image, and develop using Vala, which has a C#-like syntax, but compiles using an intermediate C step. It's fast, efficient, and not a bad language, even if it *is* modelled on C#.

It has easy access to accelerometers, GPS, WiFi, and the GSM modem. It's hobbled by slow video access, and the stupid video chipset manufacturer is a little less than helpful on the 3D accelerator specs. But, if all you want is a good hand-held computer that doubles as a phone, it's a damned good choice.

I love my Freerunner. I'm working on it right now.

Re:OpenMoko (2, Interesting)

xhrit (915936) | about 6 years ago | (#24784843)

i'll second that. I love my openmoko.

Re:OpenMoko (1)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | about 6 years ago | (#24798635)

How many hours does a battery life last? I'm really interested in such a hackable device but i've heard it stands only up to 12h in standby...

Remember to check the JSRs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24784423)

I've looked into J2ME app development a bit and depending on what kind of apps you're interested in, you must check what JSRs the phone supports. The phone's specs can mislead you badly - for instance, plenty of bluetooth-equipped phones don't implement JSR-82 so your midlets (J2ME apps) can't access it. Another example is JSR-135 (multimedia, including phone cameras). Those are just the JSRs that I remember but there are plenty of other non-obvious restrictions (accessing the phone book, messages, files, calendar etc.) due to java-capable phones not implementing certain JSRs. Then there are also some Nokia-specific JSRs. So remember to google!

Blackberry / Research in Motion (1)

thebiss (164488) | about 6 years ago | (#24784463)

RIM offers a Blackberry JDE for their phones. It looks slick and well integrated, and comes with an emulator and tons of samples. One caveat - I haven't actually built anything with it yet

Sony Ericsson K800i (3, Informative)

aembleton (324527) | about 6 years ago | (#24784553)

I can load Java ME [] apps onto my Sony Ericsson K800i [] by using either the supplied USB cable, or via Bluetooth. Java ME doesn't provide all of the libraries that come with Java Standard Edition; so be prepared to work around the lack of Lists which is something that I have found frustrating about it.

Re:Sony Ericsson K800i (1)

enough2000 (523518) | about 6 years ago | (#24791819)

Sony Ericsson phones provide the best J2ME support out there and put pretty much everyone else to shame in regards of supported APIs (check, stability and speed. For development you can use NetBeans with the mobility pack, Eclipse with the MTJ (not really ready yet) or any IDE on any OS of your choice with J2ME Polish.

Re:Sony Ericsson K800i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24796075)

I'm anoymous couward

Samsung should be ashamed (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | about 6 years ago | (#24784773)

I have been personally bitten by this Samsung crippling "feature" too. Java apps/games can only be installed via a server/EDGE, not via USB or microSD or via Bluetooth file exchange. Samsung is the only manufacturer that does that, and I have my share of experience with many cellphones.

your phone supports java apps.... (1)

keatonj (940527) | about 6 years ago | (#24784837)

If I'm not mistaken, you can use the samsung pc studio to send java apps to your phone. You may not be able to save them to the memory card, but you should be able to run things without having to download from the internet. You just may have to download "more locally". Your question is not written properly. You state "they lied to me" which in fact they didn't, since your phone is indeed capable of supporting custom java applications, they just may not have been clear on the simplicity of the whole system. But that's hardly the fault of the salesperson. We can't expect them to know every detail about every phone they have ever been told to sell. Ideally ATT would be smart enough to not allow these types of shady dealings under their name...

Linux based Mororola (2, Informative)

alder (31602) | about 6 years ago | (#24784889)

For instance, ROKR Z6 [] . It connects to PC via USB as a memory card (one of the options). JARs copied over to the phone are installed with a single click ;-) Out of the box it has a little over 60M of free space with an option to add (up to) 2G micro-SD card.

Phone is easily reflashable [] including mods [] that add telnet and FTP ;-)

BlackBerry (1)

idiot900 (166952) | about 6 years ago | (#24785345)

I have a BlackBerry and happily code for it in Java. I use a Mac with VMware to run Windows so I can run the SDK's tools.

- The device OS is itself written in Java, so your Java apps are not second class citizens
- API is intelligently designed and easy to work with
- Good API documentation
- Simulator runs the actual OS code
- Apps can be loaded using a USB cable
- Apps can be debugged as they run on the device itself through that USB cable
- SDK downloadable for free in a few clicks
- Lots of people have BlackBerries
- No retarded NDA!

- Device OS is not open
- SDK is Windows-only
- SDK's IDE is garbage (but you can use Eclipse)

Re:BlackBerry (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 6 years ago | (#24787013)

I second this, and I've used everything. If you want to work with Java, this choice is a no-brainer.

Sprint/Nextel or AT&T/T-mobile (3, Informative)

juanfe (466699) | about 6 years ago | (#24785643)

If you're in the US, two general choices:

Sprint will let you load pretty much any Java ME app that does not use protected APIs on your phone. For their CDMA phones, you'll need a special developer unlock to use protected APIs (easy to get). For their Nextel phones, you can sign any apps that use protected APIs using the iDEN SDK they have available. Visit their developer site ( and you'll find links to tools to do Over-the-air (or cable installs in the Nextel case) of Java apps on your phones.

Pretty much any GSM phone with Java ME you can use to download apps over the air. AT&T does not make this difficult, and lets you download applications over the air to any of their Java ME capable phones. If the application uses a protected API, you'll probably have to get it developer enabled as well -- their developer website ( should help you with what you need.

T-Mobile also has wide open phones for Java ME apps, as long as they're not using protected APIs.

For Verizon, you're SOL.

BlackBerry devices are all pretty open and you can install whatever you want on them as long as it's not locked up by your system administrator. The APIs are as rich as they come.

Re:Sprint/Nextel or AT&T/T-mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24787209)

For Verizon, you're SOL.

Not so.

And you don't mention Windows Mobile.

I have a first gen Moto Q with Verizon service. I program for it all the time. I would recommend any Windows Mobile 6.1 phone for the home developer. The fact that the original poster already knows C# is a huge plus on top of that.

Whatever provider you go with, make it Windows Mobile. Beware though, I heard rumors the Windows Mobile 6 build allowed locked features (any WM5 phone was required contractually by Microsoft to be sold completely unlocked including bluetooth stack) - so it's the usual buyer beware and do your homework (as you've already experienced once)

You can of course make full feature unlocking including app development part of your condition of purchase. Get it in writing from the manager of the local store, that you can return with no penalty if it doesn't support it...

How do you do that? Easy... "Is this phone completely unlocked?" (yes) "That means I can load my own programs onto it, right?" (yes) "Ok great, I'll just need that in writing from your manager and I'm ready to buy."

Their answer at this point in time should tell you whether t

Re:Sprint/Nextel or AT&T/T-mobile (1)

juanfe (466699) | about 6 years ago | (#24797429)

You're right, I didn't mention WinMobile. I have a blindspot to WinMobile -- I guess I've been in Java ME-land too long.

Generally speaking, I have seen either lot of crapware on WinMobile or good apps that are much more expensive than their Java ME counterparts (3X-5X). Basically, even though Microsoft is probably the best company out there in supporting developers, they haven't managed to create a hugeexcited developer ecosystem for the WinMobile platform for some reason. I think it's because of what you mention (too many different versions of the platform each of which changed the security model).

Most developers I've encountered who really understand mobile end up not liking WinMobile as a platform at the end -- it sounds like a great idea and the tools are slick, but the good tools cost $$$, the OS can be unstable and the devices are often more expensive, and Microsoft ends up mucking up the model a year later.
They end up putting up with Java ME (because even though the tools are more limited and pain-in-the-ass to work with, the platform is ubiquitous and readily available on inexpensive devices and the tools are free) or switch to BREW (because even though it costs money to join, there's almost guaranteed revenue coming from the people who are stuck with BREW-only devices).

Nokia Rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24785709)

Nokia is the way to go! They have now placed Symbian into the public domain and there is more software for Symbian than any other Cell OS that I know of.

The Java support is awesome too!

Not related to Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24786399)

Samsung phones should install and run J2ME apps.

Sounds like you need to do some more troubleshooting, or thinking maybe. What is the problem? "They lied" and "download from a server" is not very descriptive at all.

Write a J2ME app, put it on your micro SD card, and install it on the phone. Or transfer it over gprs/3G, bluetooth, IR, etc. If you are having problems, search on google, ask on a forum, call support, etc.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24786589)

Samsung told me I could install custom Java applications on it via USB or the microSD card; turns out they lied to me.

So, you returned the phone, got your money back, and had your lawyer file a lawsuit against Samsung for misrepresentation? Right? Right?

Sony Ericsson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24789689)

All Sony Ericssons I've seen (even really old ones) can easily get java apps. Unless you get a antique model, it'll support bluetooth transfer. Those older can transfer through infrared or gprs.

iPhone (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 6 years ago | (#24790741)

Yeah, someone had to mention the obvious. But the iPhone is really great to develop for. Once you've learnt Objective-C, the whole dev environment is very good, and I've heard that from quite a few people, many professional software developers among them.

C# (1)

forgoil (104808) | about 6 years ago | (#24791075)

Sounds like a Windows Mobile device with .NET would be a choice then. Haven't ever tried them out myself (I'm very sick of mobile devices so I don't check them out really) and I have heard some bad and some good about WM, but it should be a good fit if you want the MS development suite and languages.

Re:C# (1)

juanfe (466699) | about 6 years ago | (#24797327)

Most of the folks I know who've gotten WinMobile devices for the purpose of getting apps on them seem to be happy (with the exception of WinMobile SmartPhone (not Pocket PC Phone edition) users, who tend to be unhappy because the platform allows the carrier to lock it down) -- at least happy in that they can get applications they download of the interwebs on their phone.

My experience is also that there are a huge number of fairly crappy/duplicative applications written for WinMobile, and that the good applications are somewhat expensive (but they are indeed good). There isn't a huge groundswell of open source WinMobile applications out there.

Basically -- if you're a developer, and you can pay for the .NET development tools or are comfortable working with the free C-based SDKs, then you'll probably like WinMobile. If you are simply looking to load casual apps on the device, this may or may not be the best choice depending on what apps you're talking about.

Google Android (1)

militiaMan (672558) | about 6 years ago | (#24791549)

Google Android and GPX2 Almost all of the rest are locked in with the networks unless you get special permission as a developer or get the phone unlocked. Although, even then you would have to go through the same idiots to get your app out.

My opinion (1)

evariste.galois (1205072) | about 6 years ago | (#24792821)

Windows, Windows,Windows. If you are fed up with these try Windows

blackberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24864715)

get a blackberry and download the new plug in for Visual Studio. you can use C# and ASP.NET to develop your apps and it will work just fine. or, if your a good C# developer, Java really isnt much different. take the time to learn it, and you can add Java to your resume.

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