Since the milestone-1 release of MobiOne 1.0 (back in May), a lot has happened in the mobile space. The two most significant events have been a) the introduction by Apple of the new iPhone 3.0 OS and 3GS hardware upgrades and b) the release of the Palm Pre handset.
Apple and Palm have certainly broken new ground recently, and not coincidentally both innovative platforms are powered by WebKit. Palm’s WebOS is perhaps the boldest advancement of the WebKit platform. Its Web programming model makes every Web developer a (potentially) instant Palm Pre application developer.
Apple’s big move (in the 3.0 OS) for mobile web developers is the introduction of the HTML5 geolocation APIs. Now, a mobile Web application running on your iPhone 3.0 OS phone can integrate your real-time location context with Web content. In other words, developers no longer need to resort to the expensive native iPhone programming model that requires a Mac, iPhone SDK, Objective-C and App Store to create and distribute a rich geolocation application for the iPhone. It’s simple, fast, cheap and compelling compared to the native development model.
Like many of you, we are excited about the evolution of the smartphone and mobile Web. To that end, we are currently busy working on the next release of MobiOne, which will be a milestone-2 incremental release. It will include support for a Palm Pre mobile Web personality, iPhone 3.0 geolocation and HTML5 features such as local data storage (SQL) and offline application caching.
Lastly, we have an all-new WebKit implementation named “ChromeKit” that powers MobiOne. ChromeKit merges the best of the Chromium framework (that powers Google’s Chrome) with the full HTML5 features of WebKit that you will find on the iPhone’s Mobile Safari browser and Palm Pre WebOS. ChromeKit is effectively a smartphone browser that runs on your desktop. It will enable us to more rapidly deliver new features as they emerge.
Specifically for developers, we have a ton of advanced features coming soon. I’ll talk about those next week in a follow-up blog.
The MobileOne 1.0 milestone-2 release is planned for mid-July.