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Linux phone maker updates tools

May 6, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Motorola will preview native Linux and Webkit widget development tools for mobile phones this quarter, it said. Additionally, at JavaOne this week, the handset vendor launched updated Java ME (Micro Edition) tools, and announced a beta release of Symbian UIQ development tools.

(Click for larger view of the Moto Z6w)

Motorola's mobile phone development tools revolve around an Eclipse-based IDE (integrated development environment). Currently available as MotoDev Studio 1.3 for Java ME, the tools will ship in the future with Eclipse-based plugins supporting Webkit and Linux development. Motorola originally expected to ship Webkit tools last fall, and Linux tools this January, it said when it announced its MotoMAGX stack and tools roadmap last August.

Subsequently, Motorola took a detour toward Symbian. It purchased UIQ, a Symbian-based smartphone stack, and shipped Z8 and Z10 phone models based on UIQ. A beta release of MotoDEV Studio for UIQ, expected later this quarter, will support C/C++ development for both models, Motorola said.

Also this quarter, Motorola has promised “technology preview” releases of:

  • MotoDEV Studio for Linux — To support n ative C/C++ application development on future versions of Motorola's MotoMAGX Linux stack
  • MotoDEV Studio for WebUI — Aimed at letting developers use web languages like JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and AJAX to build “context-aware WebUI applications that can access local device services”

WebUI architecture

Meanwhile, carriers and third-party application developers interested in porting apps to Motorola phones can use Java ME. The 1.3 release of MotoDEV Studio for Java ME adds support for the upcoming, Linux-based Moto Z6w slider handset (pictured at top). Expected to ship later this quarter, the Z6w adds WiFi to the existing MotoRokr Z6 (MotoRizr Z6 in Asia).

Version 1.3 of MotoDEV Studio for Java also adds support for the Z8/Z10 UIQ Java environment, and hence for the JSR248 service architecture subset. Additionally, the tools fold in DSDP (device software development project) software from the Eclipse Foundation, Motorola said.

In a January interview, when asked about Motorola's dependence on Trolltech for development tools in the face of Trolltech's impending acquisition of Nokia, Christy Wyatt, Motorola's VP of software platforms and ecosystems, said, “MotoDev Studio is in no way, shape, or form built around Qt tools. We did actually buy out a part of our license earlier. And our WebUI framework, that's a Motorola implementation. We've had it working for a long time.”

Separately, Trolltech has also been working to integrate Webkit with Qt, a project it completed with the release earlier today of Qt 4.4.

Stated Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, “Both Motorola and the Eclipse Foundation believe that open platforms provide the best possible working environment for developers, and complete toolsets such as those in MOTODEV Studio ease the mobile application development process.”


The 1.3 release of MotoDEV Studio for Java ME is now available for download. More information on the MotoDEV tools may be found here. Motorola is demonstrating MotoDEV at JavaOne 2008 through Thursday, May 8. At 5:30 p.m. that day, Christy Wyatt will speak in Halls B&C about the future of mobile application development.

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