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LiMo 4 spec adds support for Linux tablets

Mar 22, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The LiMo Foundation says it has approved four mobile device class specifications for the LiMo 4 mobile Linux stack. Citing first-time tablet support plus three different smartphone specs, the Foundation projects commercial releases within multiple LiMo classes starting in the second half of this year.

As promised in early February when the LiMo Foundation announced the "imminent release" of the fourth-generation LiMo specification for mobile Linux middleware, the spec has since been formally released to members.

Now, the LiMo board has approved four device classes based on the LiMo stack. The board is composed of major mobile carriers around the world, including NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone, both of which have released LiMo phones, including Vodafone's Samsung-built Vodafone 360 H1 (pictured above).

The board has now approved the four classes, which are somewhat equivalent to User Experiences (UXes) in MeeGo. These are said to include flagship smartphones, mid-tier smartphones, entry-level smartphones, and tablets. Previously, the spec has targeted only smartphones.

At least two of these classes will be represented by commercial products later this year, according to Kiyohito Nagata, chairman of the LiMo Foundation.

"The four classes will be very valuable for companies to plan LiMo 4 devices and we anticipate commercial device launches within multiple classes during this year," stated Nagata, who is also senior vice president, managing director, of Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo's Marketing Strategy department, responsible for product business strategy.

LiMo 4 background

Following up on a LiMo 3 version released early last year, LiMo 4 offers complete middleware and base application functionality for Linux phones, as well as a "flexible and powerful user interface," says the foundation. New features appear to primarily address upper-level application and UI layers. LiMo's relative lack of support in these areas has been said to have slowed LiMo's progress, while the more UI-specific Android in particular has surged ahead.

LiMo 4 architecture
(Click to enlarge)

LiMo 4 offers extended widget libraries, 3D window effects, and new multimedia features, as well as social networking and location based service (LBS) frameworks, says the LiMo Foundation. Additional features are said to include sensor frameworks, and support for multitasking and multitouch capabilities.

In addition, the spec adds support for "scalable screen resolution and consistent APIs" for delivering "a consistent user experience across a broad range of device types and form factors." (For more background on the LiMo Foundation, please see our earlier LiMo coverage.)

Stated Morgan Gillis, Executive Director, LiMo Foundation, "We believe these specifications will make it easier for all interested companies to be part of the device creation activity and so boost the attractiveness and time-to-market of LiMo 4 devices."


The first LiMo 4 devices are expected to be brought to market during the second half of 2011 by operators across the globe, following the public release of the LiMo 4 spec, which was previously said to be expected in July. More information on LiMo is available at the LiMo Foundation website.

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