If there is a paradise on earth for mobile phone application developers, that place would be in China. With more than 400 million mobile phone users (growing to 600 million by 2009), China is posed to be the world's largest market for mobile applications and services. Chinese mobile phone users are also technically savvy. They are eager to try out cutting-edge devices and services beyond simple voice calls. That provides a fertile ground for new mobile applications. When I visited China, everyone seems to have a fancy mobile handset, and people are using mobile applications (e.g., games, messaging, taking pictures) everywhere -- in the office, in the park, on the bus ... A successful mobile application in China can make a ton of money for its investors and developers.
Nokia has a big presence in China. With more than 30% of the market share, all mass market mobile applications must run well on Nokia devices. The Nokia Series 40 devices, with more than 70 phone models on the market today, are by far the most popular mobile phones for the affluent urban Chinese. The most popular Series 40 phones include the 6265, 6230, and 7210. Tens of millions of those phones are in active use in China. The sheer volume of those devices make them a critical platform for any mobile application developer. Nokia Series40 phones feature crispy color screens, cameras, media players (music, photo, and video). They can connect to the Internet via 2.5G / 3G mobile data networks, including both GSM and CDMA networks. More importantly, all Nokia Series 40 phones have an open programming interface based on Java ME (previously known as J2ME). It allows Java developers to write application that runs directly on the phone and leverages data services on the Internet.
A big advantage Java ME applications have over WAP browser-based applications is the rich user experience. Java ME applications can render fancy UI effects (e.g., animations, transparent widgets, full screen display, audio / video, etc.) and respond to custom keypad shortcuts. The Java ME UI is multi-threaded and hence does not freeze the phone when the application executes a long running task (e.g., to retrieve some data from the Internet). In addition, Java ME applications have access to special phone features such as the camera, the media players, the messaging system, and the Bluetooth radio. A good example of such rich mobile applications is Google Local Mobile -- it allows mobile users to view any street map in the USA; you can zoom in, zoom out and pan the maps via an intuitive UI; you can also search for local businesses and overlay driving directions on the map. While Google Local Mobile is not yet available in China, it represents the type of mobile application that would really shine on mass market mobile phones such as the Nokia Series 40.
This book teaches you how to write production-ready Java ME applications for Nokia devices. While the title of this book is "Developing Scalable Series 40 Applications", it actually covers both the Nokia Series 40 phones and the very popular Nokia Series 60 smartphones, since the Java ME APIs on those two series are similar. In fact, since Java ME is a standard-based technology, much of the information in the book applies to all Java ME developers, and most sample applications in the book runs on non-Nokia handsets just fine. The book is fully reviewed and approved by Nokia. We cover all important Java ME APIs available on Nokia Series 40 and Series 60 devices, including MIDP 2.0, the Wireless Messaging API, the Mobile Media API, the Bluetooth API, and much more. Issues and quirkiness that are specific to Nokia's Java ME implementation are explained and discussed. Some of those issues arise due to vague language in the Java ME specification, and others are simply due to the hardware limitations on various Nokia devices. Besides the standard APIs, this book also covers extension APIs available on Nokia devices. Those "Nokia insider" information makes this book a must-read for any serious Nokia mobile application developer.
Throughout the book, we provide more than 10 sample applications. You can build those applications, run them, and then simply add / change features to make your own applications. Using those sample applications, we discuss real world coding tips, design patterns and best practices for Java ME developers.
Now, it is your turn to come up with the best mobile application ideas. Hopefully, this book will help you bring those ideas to market. Let the smartest mobile application developers rule!