Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: ManageEngine IT Matters, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Ed Featherston

Related Topics: Mobile IoT

Mobile IoT: Article

Openwave's V7 Mobile Browser: Enhancing Phone Usability

Openwave's V7 Mobile Browser: Enhancing Phone Usability

With the advent of Phoneware and with V7 in particular, there is now a much richer mobile phone platform to deploy content for. What does this mean for handset manufacturers, carriers, and developers?

When friends and acquaintances ask who I work for, I say Openwave and observe the perplexed look on their faces. I am then quick to mention that our business is all about WAP, MMS, and wireless. If I worked for Nokia, everyone would recognize the company brand right away, even though Openwave software is present on more mobile phones. The difference is that Openwave is behind the scenes, providing the technology that makes mobile data work.

For this reason, I always take a minute to explain that a lot of popular phones run our browser (of course, I am careful not to sound too pedantic). Occasionally, people mention that they recognized the Openwave logo on the display of their mobile phones when they hit the Internet button. When I hear that, I get a little satisfaction.

An Old-Timer
The Openwave browser has been around for quite some time. Its first incarnations date back to 1995, when Openwave (or Unwired Planet, as it was called at the time) released its first HDML browser. The idea was to bring the Internet to mobile phones, while keeping within the limitations of the medium. Since then we have been on an upward trend. Version 4 of the browser (1998) marked the advent of WAP. A couple of years later Version 5 (V5) brought colors and a more interactive experience. The current browser (V6) embraces WAP2 and the transition to XHTML, converging with the broader Web.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at Openwave's next-generation browser, V7, to see what handset manufacturers, carriers, and developers can expect. As you'll see, client software has become much more than the browser.

Capabilities of the V7 Client Software
The V7 Browser is part of Openwave's new line of client software, called Openwave Phone Suite Version 7, a set of integrated mobile applications built to a flexible, modular architecture, including:

  • Openwave V7 Browser: Builds on Openwave's industry-leading WAP 2.0 browser, with support for both XHTML-MP and CSS. At a feature level it offers multimedia support, download, and push services as well as useful applications such as bookmarks and snapshots.
  • Openwave Mobile Messaging Client: A single integrated mobile-messaging client enabling multimedia messaging (MMS), enhanced messaging (EMS), and short messaging (SMS).
  • Openwave Mobile File and Application Manager: A comprehensive file system that allows for local storage and management of content, including Java and multimedia content.
  • V7 Framework: The architecture underpinning Openwave's application suite and powering V7's rich customization capabilities with its advanced graphics engine (see Figure 1). Manufacturers and selected partners building applications to the framework benefit from its rich graphical interfaces and the ability to integrate with other applications. Openwave's preintegration of the Real Networks RealOne Player with V7 is a great example of this, offering handset manufacturers a rapid, low-risk implementation of streaming video for massmarket phones.

     

    All of the V7 applications, including the Browser, are integrated, allowing end users to move seamlessly from one to another. Built to the underlying framework, they share V7's advanced graphics engine that delivers capabilities such as alpha-blending, supporting image transparencies, and giving users the ability to preview pictures without opening them, as well as zooming and cool menus. All of these bring the overall user experience to new heights of quality.

    Overview of the V7 Architecture
    V7 offers manufacturers an integrated mobile-messaging client and browser application, built to an embedded middleware layer, the V7 Framework, which houses core-shared resources such as: Openwave's advanced 2D graphics engine; Java application manager; and services such as the network stack, memory management, and file manager. Additional applications preintegrated with the V7 framework currently include the Aplix JBlend JVM and the RealNetworks RealOne Player.

    Core benefits of the V7 architecture include:

  • Small footprint: V7 applications share resources and code housed in the framework layer, minimizing ROM requirements.
  • Low memory requirements: V7 is designed to enable dynamic memory management and reuse of system resources, thereby minimizing RAM requirements.
  • Simplified integration: With applications built to the framework layer, porting and integration is reduced to a single effort.
  • Extensibility: Application updates are decoupled from platform integration, enabling manufacturers to easily update the software on specific phone models.

    V7 is a great example of software in the emerging category of Phoneware (see sidebar). Nokia's Series 60 for Symbian also fits within this category. However, Openwave's software is distinct in a couple of ways:
    1. It covers a far broader range of phones. Openwave has already announced that V7 will be available for Linux, and is continuing to focus on delivering expanded functionality to phones utilizing existing embedded operating systems, or RTOS.
    2. As it was born and evolved on (and for) small phones, V7 has far greater reach and relevance than competing phoneware solutions, making it the rational and cost-efficient way to deliver rich applications to the mass market of mobile phones.

    What's in It for Developers?
    Having mentioned how V7 benefits handset manufacturers, it is also worth taking a look at what V7 means for developers. The good news is that, with the advent of Phoneware and with V7 in particular, there is now a much richer mobile phone platform to deploy content for (see Figures 2–4).

     

    For example, Openwave's integration of RealOne Player with V7:

  • Integrates high-quality audio/video experience into mass-market handsets, ensuring that the installed base of video-ready phones grows quickly.
  • Brings new revenue-generating services to market quickly and at low risk.
  • Supports a wide range of codecs including RealAudio/RealVideo, 3GPP, MPEG-4, and MP3.
  • Integrates with other Version 7 applications to allow users to move seamlessly between RealOne Player and other phone functions.

    Conclusion
    Just as the desktop browser has evolved into the operating environment for many applications, so the browser in a mobile phone is becoming central to the handset's operation, with everything beyond the basic voice-call functionality moving toward integration with the browser. Version 7 of the Openwave browser provides greater flexibility in the interface, and more opportunities for integrated content and services. As device capabilities increase, Openwave presents another step toward a more compelling model for data services, even if it's one most consumers will never notice is there.

    Embedded middleware is software that glues together everything that a phone needs to do, mediating between phone hardware and a core set of integrated mobile applications to deliver a consistent user experience. It forms a key element of phoneware, providing the utilities, services, and components necessary to deliver messaging, browsing, and download applications across different execution environments.

    Phoneware helps manufacturers address operator service requirements in a compelling and cost-efficient manner. By implementing a core set of integrated, interoperable applications, manufacturers can accelerate development time while also ensuring a consistent and seamless user experience.

    At the same time, embedded middleware allows applications to share resources and code, thereby minimizing footprint requirements. Since applications are written to this embedded layer, multiple applications can now be supported from a single porting and integration effort, promoting greater production efficiency.

    Further, by writing core applications to an embedded middleware layer, manufacturers significantly enhance the flexibility of their phone platform. Application updates are separated from phone-layer integration and manufacturers can leverage a single interface for customization of phone look, feel, and behavior. Moreover, this use of shared resources permits a higher degree of integration between applications, enhancing phone usability.

    THE ROLE OF PHONEWARE
    The requirements placed on mobile phones are increasing substantially as services evolve from voice only, to voice plus wireless Internet, plus Multimedia Messaging (MMS), plus Java downloads. Implementing a wider range of applications on existing phone platforms requires manufacturers to take a long look at how best to manage integration costs while maintaining phone performance. Most of Openwave's manufacturer customers already recognize this challenge and are actively addressing it by building their own embedded middleware, leveraging browser software to manage application requirements through the sharing of common resources.

    This new focus on how to implement an expanding range of capabilities on existing phone systems is resulting in demand for a new class of software that can weave together applications on the phone in a consistent manner for the user while maximizing production efficiencies – phoneware.

    PHONEWARE = INTEGRATED MOBILE APPLICATIONS + EMBEDDED MIDDLEWARE

  • More Stories By Luca Passani

    Luca Passani, a Technical Advisory Board Member of of WBT, is Tools Development Manager for Openwave Systems, where he has led the OUI project. Luca has a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Pisa and several years of experience in Web development in Scandinavia. Over the past few years Luca has been working almonst exclusively with WAP. He is the author of several technical articles about WAP and WAP-related programming techniques and is a coauthor of "Professional WAP" (Wrox Press, 2001).

    Comments (0)

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    @ThingsExpo Stories
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
    DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
    Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
    In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
    Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
    A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
    With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
    Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
    In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
    Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
    With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
    As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.