Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Free Toys, No Warranties (Yet)

Although official release is still some time off, our new J2ME phone client is looking great under preliminary QA. So I'm making it available to anyone who wants to jump in and play now. We focused on a few areas where the initial release had trouble on many handsets, and made the new version tighter, prettier, more usable, and compatible with most MIDP 1.0 / CLDC 1.0 phones. That is, this release is designed (*cough*) to run on practically any Java-enabled handset, including Treos and many Cingular Windows Mobile devices.

As we continue our QA process, we will make refinements as necessary to bring the bits closer to this grand goal. But in the meantime, if you're reading this blog, you may well be the kind of person who is excited to make a change and try something new right away.

The easiest way to get it is to send yourself an SMS with the .jad file URLs:

The only difference between these two is that skip11.jad includes a MIDlet-Data-Size entry, which is necessary to get good behavior from some phones (e.g. Moto RAZR) but breaks other phones (e.g. Audiovox PM8920); skip11nds.jad (nds = "no data size") omits this entry.

The only instruction which is really necessary (cannot be inferred from the UI) is that all syncing with the server is now "on-demand" -- meaning you press the 0 (zero) button on the handset whenever you want to sync. We found that multithreaded net and record store access was creating difficulties on some handsets, especially when cell network coverage was weak or intermittent. So we made this change to make the app clearer and more user friendly, even (especially) when things aren't working perfectly on the cellular side.

Have fun!

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