In the early days of the transformation of mobile industry, it became common to name some devices as smartphones. In the beginning it wasn’t even clear if everybody applied this new smartness to the same attributes – what made a “smartphone” so smart?
Most people would agree that it was the transition to open operating systems. These new operating systems allowed developers – not related to the device manufacturer, to provide the user with a new application for his/her phone and later on the creation of the concept of an application store. This led to the first revolution in mobile industry, with the wide transition to Linux-based platforms and open-source software.
But, the change was not related only to software. Smartphones started using a new kind of platform – application processor engines, which started paving the way to richer user experience.
With the integration of powerful CPU and GPU into a single chipset and the increase of cellular data speeds that came with the deployment of 3G networks worldwide, users were enabled to use powerful mobile web browsers to “break out” of the old “walled garden mobile web” barriers and explore the web with [almost] no limits.
Today, we are witnessing the second revolution in the mobile space – the convergence of one mobile web application development platform that could run all the applications – regardless of what OS and web browser the device is using. This holds of course huge advantages for the developers, who would need to develop their applications only once and not spend their time porting them to all the different popular software platforms we have today in the market. The main beneficiary is the user who will get more and better applications.
But for this to work and bring the best out of the rapidly improving hardware engines driving mobile devices – it is paramount that all industry players join forces to define the right set of APIs that will be able to evolve as quickly as our hardware platforms do and enable all the developers with the latest-and-greatest technology that ST-Ericsson provides, be it on our application processor engines (Nova™), cellular modems (Thor™) or our vast connectivity portfolio.
This is why we, at ST-Ericsson, are excited to join this initiative and participate in the new W3C Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group which has been kicked off by Facebook. The Community Group’s goal is to accelerate the adoption of the Mobile Web as a compelling platform for the development of modern mobile web applications by bringing developers, equipment manufacturers, browser vendors, operators and other relevant members of the industry together to agree on core features developers can depend on, create related conformance test suites and provide to W3C (and non-W3C) groups use cases, scenarios, and other input related to enabling successful mobile web app development.