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Mobile Linux software pioneer goes all out for Android

Jul 30, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Japanese mobile Linux software firm Access announced a major push toward Android, joining the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) and releasing a free “Graffiti” handwriting recognition app for Android, among other developments. Meanwhile, Access' IP Infusion subsidiary has added MPLS-Transport Profile support to its ZebOS Network Platform software, says the company.

Access is the third company, after Mediatek and NXP Software, to join OHA this year. Intended to promote the Google-dominated, open source Android platform, OHA launched with 34 members back in Nov. 2007, and now totals 76 members.

In addition to joining OHA, Access announced that its legacy Graffiti handwriting recognition engine is now available free to Android users in the Android Market.

Based on the Palm OS Graffiti app, Graffiti for Android (pictured) lets users input letters, numbers, and characters by sliding their fingers across a device's touchscreen. Access plans to release a Japanese version of Graffiti for Android later this year.

In June, Access announced an Android version of its NetFront Magazine Viewer, says the company. Access also launched "eMagazine" sales and services on Android Market for Android users in Japan.

In addition, Access is readying a package of Android-ready API development modules that will streamline the development of Android applications for the Japanese market, says the company. Planned as a free option for the Android SDK, the modules are said to comply with standards such as Japan's One-seg terrestrial broadcasting standard for digital TV, as well as Infrared Data Association (IrDA) standards.

Other data entry, character input, and handwriting recognition technologies will also be ported to Android, says Access.

A major player in the early mobile Linux software market, Access has long been a key member of the rival, LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation, and has supplied UI and middleware components to the LiMo Platform. However, LiMo has been struggling to persuade carriers to follow through on their promises to field LiMo phones, and Access' partner Else Mobile recently cancelled its First Else phone. The phone was based on the LiMo-compliant Access Linux Platform UI stack.

Stated Andy Rubin, vice president of mobile platforms for Google, "Access is a pioneer of mobile software in Japan. And Japan is seeing a dramatic rise in Mobile Internet adoption of smartphones. I'm confident Access can help the OHA make Android the best open platform for Japan."

Stated Tomihisa Kamada, president, CEO and co-founder of Access, "We will continue to look for ways to bring our applications and services to the Android platform."

Linux-based networking platform upgrades to MPLS-TP

Access subsidiary IP Infusion announced it is adding MPLS-TP (MPLS-Transport Profile) support to its Linux-based, Next Generation Network (NGN) carrier-grade middleware, the ZebOS Network Platform.

MPLS-TP is a version of the MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) standard that will help pave the way for a transition to next-generation packet-based optical technology, says the company. MPLS-TP is further defined by IP Infusion as "a reliable connection-oriented, packet-switched transport layer technology that is aligned with existing circuit-switched transport networking."

The ZebOS MPLS-TP technology is said to overlay on existing MPLS networks to provide:

  • Standardized control plane functionality
  • Advanced Quality of Service (QoS)
  • End-to-end Operation, Administration and Maintenance (OAM)
  • Reduced network equipment footprint
  • OAM monitors and drives protection switching
  • Support for existing management processes and work procedures

ZebOS is a Layer 2 and Layer 3 carrier-class routing and switching software suite, said to support provider edge, metro access/aggregation, and mobile backhaul equipment, as well as data center switches and enterprise switches and routers.

In March, IP Infusion announced version 7.8 of ZebOS, adding support for Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS), Data Center Bridging, and MPLS resiliency for wireless backhaul and Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) implementations.

Stated Koichi Narasaki, president and CEO, IP Infusion, "By extending our industry-leading ZebOS Network Platform to include MPLS-TP support, we will help OEMs deploy next generation transport products."


Graffiti for Android is available now on Android Market as a free download, says Access. More information may be found here.

IP Infusion did not list an availability date for its MPLS-TP-ready version of ZebOS. More information on ZebOS may be found at this IP Infusion page here.

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