Wednesday May 11, 2005

J2ME Development and NetBeans 4.1

About 2 months ago, I wrote an article regarding NetBeans 4.1 and the NetBeans Mobility Pack. Well, it has just been released. Check it out.

Wednesday Apr 06, 2005

Java and Linux Together...In A Mobile Phone

Motorola is releasing the E680i in the Asia Pacific this month. The phone uses the Linux OS and it has J2ME on it. It is "supporting a variety of downloadable Java games" and "supports landscape-mode games with 8-way navigation, gaming "action keys," midi soundtracks, and vibration". I can't wait until these phones are available in the U.S..

Thursday Mar 24, 2005

Tank Wars On Your Mobile Phone

I recently posted a blog about Rock'em Sock'em Robots coming to a mobile phone near you. I recently read an article about Guppy Games coming out with Tank Wars game for J2ME and it reminded me of a game I used to play. How many of you remember Tank for the Atari 2600/5200? While Tank Wars isn't like the old line-based Atari Tank game, it still lets you blow the smithereens out of your friends. This is a single or multi-player game with far better graphics then the Tank game of old. Check it out.

Thursday Mar 17, 2005

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots on J2ME

How many of you remember Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots? Or the commercials for the game..."You knocked my block off!" - referring to to the spring-loaded head of the robot springing up when hit. OK, so I'm dating myself. But this game is a lot of fun. In fact, we have one here at work. You have a boxing ring with a blue and red robot. The robots are controlled by two joystick controls. You move the robots around using the controls (movement is limited) and you "punch" using thumb buttons on top of the controls. If you knock the other robot's block off, you've won!

Now you'll be able to play this game on your mobile phones. Summus and Mattel join forces to deliver this game on top of J2ME for your mobile device in both single and multi-player modes. I'm not sure how this is going to work in multi-player mode over wireless devices as a boxing match requires real-time interaction, but I can't wait to try it out.

Tuesday Mar 08, 2005

J2ME Development and NetBeans 4.1

I recently had a look at the new NetBeans 4.1 Beta along with the NetBeans Mobility Pack 4.1 Beta. Wow! If you want to create J2ME MIDlets then you really need to take a look at this tool. The Mobility Pack adds some great features to the already feature packed NetBeans IDE to make your life easier. Here are some of the features:
  • Graphical Screen Design
  • Graphical Flow Design
  • End-to-end application development
  • Send code to device
  • Project support built on Apache Ant
  • Integration with the J2ME Wireless Toolkit
  • Device configurations for device management
  • Localization
  • Integrated obfuscation
  • Integrated optimization
  • Over-The-Air (OTA) Download testing

Make sure you get the Mobility Pack 4.1 Beta here and not the Mobility Pack 4.0. 4.1 adds more features like graphical screen design and graphics flow layout. You can also create end-to-end application using the tool. A great feature is the ability to create device configurations and custom configurations. This lets you target specific code for specific devices (read specific support for features on a device) and you can write specific code for specific feature sets. Say you want to create code for devices which support MMAPI. You can do this easily with the configuration feature. You can also send your completed application to the device using Bluetooth. All of the other standard IDE features are available in NetBeans, like code completion.

Wednesday Feb 16, 2005

J2ME and 3D, Coming To A Phone Near You

Phillips has integrated Hybrid's 3D Technology to create a J2ME platform which includes 3D graphics. This technology is Hybrid's implementation of JSR 184 Mobile 3D Graphics API for J2ME (commonly called M3G). It won't be too long before you can enjoy some greate Java 3D games on your mobile device.

Monday Feb 14, 2005

Java Get Powered

Are you interested in supporting Java? Do you want to be able to use a Java logo to show your support? Then go to and take the quiz. You can get the new Java Get Powered logo to use on your blog or personal website.

Wednesday Feb 09, 2005

Mobile Java Browser Includes Javascript

Novarra has released a Java web browser which includes Javascript named the nWeb Java browser. The browser supports XHTML 1.0, HTML 4.01, JavaScript 1.5, CSS v2, cHTML (i-mode), legacy WAP 1.x and WML content. This means mobile users can now have a richer experience on their mobile devices. Wouldn't it be cool to have Google's new Google Maps service, which uses Javascript, on you mobile device. You'd never get lost again!

Monday Feb 07, 2005

Build Your J2ME Apps Once For Any J2ME Device

J2ME Polish (pronounced paul-ish, not pole-ish) is a suite of tools designed to let you build your J2ME application once; the tools will take care of targetting specific J2ME devices. This suite is distributed under the GPL.

The website claims that the entire list of J2ME enabled phones is supported. There is a database of over 150 J2ME devices in the device database. Features of the tool include:
  • Device selection - select the devices for which the application should be built.
  • Preprocessing - allows optimization of apps on the target device.
  • Compilation & Preverification - includes optional APIs (e.g. MMAPI).
  • Obfuscation - to shrink and scramble your application code.
  • JAR & JAD creation - for easier packaging.
  • Extensible - you can add your own tools to the mix.
  • GUI - supports MIDP 1.0 and MIDP 2.0, CSS design, and more.
  • Localization Framework - for easily localizing your application.
  • Game Engine - supports using MIDP 2.0 game-API for MIDP 1.0 devices.
  • Logging Framework - System.out.println() messages can be shown on the device.
  • Utilities - extra utilities.

This seems like a pretty comphrehensive list of tools for building your J2ME applications. In a future installment, I'll take a look at J2ME Polish in more detail.

Thursday Feb 03, 2005

Get paid wirelessly using J2ME

USA ePay lets you receive payments wirelessly if you have a J2ME enabled phone using Wireless ePay.

If you need to recieve payment for something (maybe your friend owes you some money for that last bet you made...OK, so you need to be a merchant to accept payments), you can charge a buyer's credit card using your J2ME enabled phone.

This will really be a boon to those who do business outside their place of business, say a mobile salesperson or someone at a flea market.

You can enter a buyer's information by hand, or if you have a card swiper for your phone, swipe the card.

The Wireless ePay page has a neat flash demo to give you an idea of how things work.

Tuesday Feb 01, 2005

Customize your Java Phone

If you haven't looked at recently and you have a Java enabled mobile phone, you might want to visit the website. You can customize your background by sending a text message. You can also download the Ringtone Remixer to create custom mixes of your favorite music. Pretty cool stuff.

Friday Jan 28, 2005

Motorola's Linux Phones

Motorola discussed recently that it remains focused on delivering Linux handsets. They go on to state that "Some applications may be less suitable for Java...". I'm a bit confused here. The article states Motorola has 4 OS's for their phones: Embedix (Linux, from the Embedix acquisition), Monta Vista (what Motorola has settled on for their handsets), Windows Mobile, and Symbian OS. The last sentence in the article states Motorola builds handsets based on both systems (Windows Mobile and Symbian OS) in addition to its Linux activities. Isn't that confusing?

With at least 3 completely different OS's (just from Motorola), how do you, as a developer, choose which OS to write your applications? The answer is write to J2ME. Regardless of which OS's become ubiquitous in the marketplace, writing to J2ME will ensure you don't have to learn how to program to the various OS's and UI toolkits available in today's phones to make your applications widely available. Not to mention the fact that your device is more secure when your applications are written in Java.

Darryl Mocek


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