Java for Mobile Phones: The Next Generation

    Kevin Yank
    Kevin Yank

    The Java Community Process (JCP) has approved initial plans to develop the Mobile Information Device Profile 3.0 (MIDP3), a new version of the standard that regulates Java applications and games on mobile phones.

    Though the standard is still at the very earliest stages of development, the Java Specification Request that has been approved offers a glimpse of the new features that will be coming to the platform:

    • running multiple MIDlets (mobile applications) at once
    • running MIDlets in the background
    • auto-launching MIDlets at device startup
    • multi-screen and large display support
    • more expressive and customizable user interfaces
    • richer and higher performance games

    A public review period of the finished spec is scheduled for January 2006, with the final spec to be approved in May 2006. I’d expect MIDP3 phones to hit the market en masse around Q1 2007.

    In the meantime, MIDP2 is not a bad platform to play with. I’ve been doing some work with it myself in my spare time, porting an open source game written for Nokia S60 v1 handsets (7650/3650) to the MIDP2 standard supported by all major manufacturers.