Opera Mini Simulator and Opera Dragonfly

Last update : August 30, 2012

Opera Mini 4.2 Simulator

Opera Mini 6.5 Simulator

Opera Software ASA gives developers tools needed to build and test HTML content for different devices on their PC’s.

Opera Mobile Emulator is the desktop version of Opera’s smart phone browser. The Opera Mobile Emulator renders pages as close as you can get to how it would look on a real phone. It can be paired with Opera Dragonfly, a great tool to develop and debug web applications.

The Opera Mini Simulator is the online version of Opera’s Mobile Emulator. It can be accessed from any Java-enabled Web browser, or downloaded and run independently. Two versions were available in the past : Opera Mini 4.2,the world’s most popular mobile Web browser, and Opera Mini 6.5. Today Opera Mini 7, the newest version of this browser, is online. All versions are powered by MicroEmulator, a pure Java implementation of Java 2 Micro Edition in Java 2 Standard Edition licensed under LGPL.

Opera is also available as desktop browser for Windows, Mac and Linux, for tablets and for TV sets.

The Opera TV Emulator gives developers the tools needed to build and test HTML5  content for TVs on their PCs, which will emulate the target device’s environment with no need for physical access to the TV, set-top box or Blu-ray player. The Opera TV Emulator offers a direct, easy way to develop, test and debug and can serve as a reference implementation.

OperaDriver and OperaWatir are toolkits used for automating interactions with web browsers. OperaDriver and OperaWatir allow you to drive the Opera browser and emulate user behavior.

Archos Android Home

ARCHOS 35 Home Connect

ARCHOS continue to push technological boundaries and innovation with two new Android devices designed for the home – The ARCHOS 35 Home Connect, an Android-based web radio and the ARCHOS 35 Smart Home Phone, an Android DECT phone. Both are smart devices and feature all of the Android functionalities.

The ARCHOS 35 Home Connect is the perfect music box and the best portable Android device for streaming radio and music anywhere at home with an amazing sound quality.

The ARCHOS 35 Smart Home Phone will make owning a home phone popular again.

Both cutting-edge ARCHOS Android-based home devices, thanks to the front facing webcams, bring new usages such as video calling, baby monitoring and even room surveillance.

mobileOK Checker

mobileOK

W3C provides a mobileOK checker to perform various tests on a Web Page to determine its level of mobile-friendliness. The tests are defined in the mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0 specification.

The checker is based on the open source mobileOK checker library developed by the Mobile Web Best Practices working group.

The mobileOK checker is part of the MobiWeb2.0 Project and of W3C Quality Assurance Tools.

mobileOK conformance can be claimed using POWDER.

BlackBerry Playbook

BlackBerry Playbook from RIM

Yesterday, RIM announced the launch of the BlackBerry Playbook tablet. The tablet will utilize an OS created by the recently acquired QNX company. The BlackBerry Tablet OS, which will offer full OpenGL and POSIX, support alongside web standards such as HTML5. The PlayBook will handle Flash content via Flash 10.1, as well as Adobe AIR apps. It’s equipped with an 1024 x 600, capacitive multitouch display, a Cortex A9-based, dual-core 1GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a 3 megapixel front-facing camera (for video conferencing) along with a 5 megapixel rear lens. The PlayBook will be capable of 1080p HD video, and comes equipped with an HDMI port as well as a microUSB jack, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1. The Playbook will be available beginning 2011.

Cellspark animator

Cellspark version 2

The CellSpark animation editor creates compact flash-like vector graphics animations for nearly all Java enabled phones.

Developped by Colin Mummery a few years ago, this tool allows to create presentations, screen savers and more for different handsets.

Runnable midlets can be created for Midp 1 and Midp 2 devices. In 2005, during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1st January till 30th June 2005, I used the licensed version of Cellspark to create a multimedia show about the member states of the European Union as a Midlet for the Nokia handset 6680.

Today, a reinstalled Cellspark (a java program) on my new labtop running Vista and Java 6 without any problems. The program is still very useful, userfriendly and fascinating.

BlackBerry .cod and .alx files

Last update : August 1, 2012

jar/jad 2 cod/alx

BlackBerry uses .cod and .alx files to deploy Java applications from the PC desktop (BB Desktop Manager) to a BlackBerry device. These files are generated automatically by the BlackBerry JDE or by the Eclipse BlackBerry plugin.

.alx is an XML-based BlackBerry application descriptor which can be generated by hand. An example for the Java application FirstApp.cod is shown below :

<loader version="1.0">
    <application id="FirstApp">
        <name >
        </name>
        <description >
        </description>
        <version >
        </version>
        <vendor >
        </vendor>
        <copyright >
            Copyright (c) 2010
        </copyright>
        <fileset Java="1.5">
            <directory >
                MyFolder
            </directory>
            <files >
                FirstApp.cod
            </files>
        </fileset>
    </application>
</loader>

To download a BlackBerry application over the air to a BlackBerry device, a standard .jad file is used to describe the application. The .jad file is selected from the browser to load the .cod file. If the BlackBerry service to download standard MIDlets is enabled,  the Mobile Data Service feature of the BES provides a built-in transcoder that converts .jar files into .cod files.

Brandon Dante Swift developped an offline conversion tool from .jar/.jad files to .cod/.alx files (JAR2ALX). The free version 1.5.1 is available at the website Brandon Swift Creations. The pro version 1.5 is now also available free of charge. Brandon developed another useful tool that makes capturing your Blackberry’s screen to an avi video as easy as a click of a button (PC program BeVi with usb connection). Donations are appreciated for all three programs.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager

Last update :  December 7, 2014

Today I installed the BlackBerry Desktop Manager Version 5.0.1.37 (march 10, 2010).

This dashboard offers the following functions:

BlackBerry Desktop Manager

  • Media Sync (synchronise iTunes or Windows Media Player music with BlackBerry device)
  • Application Loader (add or remove applications, update software)
  • Backup and Restore (backup or restore device data)
  • Device Switch Wizard (transfer data from one device to another : BlackBerry, Palm or Windows mobile)
  • Synchronize (synchronize email and organizer data)
  • IP modem (set up BlackBerry device as a wireless modem for internet access)

The desktop manager works with my three different BlackBerry devices : 7100v, 8100 et 9000. It does not support my new Blackberry Z10.

The firmware and microedition versions are shown below :

7100v

  • BlackBerry 7100v
  • v 4.0.2.35
  • Platform 1.8.0.138
  • CLDC-1.1
  • MIDP-2.0
  • JTW 1.0
  • Media 1.1
  • PIM 1.0
  • 2005

8100

  • BlackBerry 8100
  • v 4.2.1.109
  • Platform 2.3.0.85
  • CLDC-1.1
  • MIDP-2.0
  • JTW 1.0
  • Media 1.1
  • Pim 1.0
  • File 1.0
  • 2007

9000

  • BlackBerry 9000
  • v 4.6.0.216
  • Platform 4.0.0.183
  • Branding 1.0.194.166
  • CLDC-1.1
  • MIDP-2.0
  • JTWI 1.0
  • Media 1.1
  • PIM 1.0
  • File 1.0
  • Bluetooth 1.1
  • Location 1.0.1
  • Security and Trust 1.0
  • WLAN 2.4.0.71
  • 2008

My desktop manager was updated in 2011 to version 6.1.0.35 (Bundle 34), released on June 7, 2011, in 2012 to version 7.0.0.59 (Bundle 60), released on May 17, 2012 and recently to version 7.1.0.41 (Bundle 42), released on March 26, 2013.

Screenshot of the Blackberry update window

Screenshot of the Blackberry update window

With my Blackberry Z10, the Blackberry Desktop Manager was replaced by Blackberry Link, the latest version 1.2.3.56 was released on July 3, 2014.

Thoughts on Flash by Steve Jobs : go to HTML5

Recently, Steve Jobs published his thoughts on Flash on the Apple website.

Steve Jobs explains why Apple does not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

  1. open standards : Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary
  2. full web : most videos are available in a modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads
  3. reliability, security and performance
  4. battery life
  5. touch : Flash was created for PCs and mice, not for mobile devices with touch interface
  6. Apple wants to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to the developers

Steve Jobs recommends to use the open standards HTML5, CSS and JavaScript for mobile devices.

One on the first to follow this idea is the developer of the JW video player, Jeroen Wijering. Even if he thinks that there is still a lot of work to be done before HTML5 reaches the maturity level that Flash has for delivering video content to the users, he released the beta version of the HTML5 JW player two weeks ago.