Akira Brings Java Unity to Mobile Devs

Akira Technologies' Publisher 2.0 looks to take a bite out of the complexity of mobile development but cutting hassle of device incompatibility, offering readers that downloads with the content (or app), and crafting a special set of cross-device common Java APIs. IDN takes a look.

Tags: Mobile, Publisher, Akira, Applications, Download, Anticipatory Streaming, Mobile Phones,

Start-up Akira Technologies' Publisher 2.0, the company's first widely-available mobile tool, takes a bite out of the complexity mobile devs face with design, development and deployment of mobile apps and content Akira's Publisher 2.0's approach is to eliminate the hassle of device incompatibility, by adding an abstraction layer and rests a new set of common Java APIs ontop.

Akira Publisher 2.0 looks to solve key bottlenecks and problems associated with wide-scale mobile development projects today, according to said Steve Rempell, Akira's founder and CEO. Among them:

  • Reduces device fragmentation: Akira content can reside on any MIDP2.0 handset and is device and operating system agnostic.
  • Speeds up productivity and time to market Publisher 2.0 has an easy-to-use graphical user interface and does not require sophisticated coding or knowledge of programs or scripts. Users can learn how to author content for mobile phones in minutes, resulting in rapid development and market entry and significant increases in ROI.
  • Eliminates device constraints: Akira-compressed applications take advantage of distributed processing and anticipatory streaming to take the load off wireless devices and mobile phones that have limited processing power, memory, storage, battery life, and display capabilities.
  • Works with bandwidth constraints: Akira technology has been optimized to work with the bandwidth and quality-of-service constraints associated with today's mobile networks.

  • Using an object-oriented model, Publisher 2.0 supports a wide variety of media and data types, including:
  • Text buttons; eCommerce and business forms;
  • JPEG, GIF images with image editing;
  • Vector art creation and gradients;
  • Streaming audio and video;
  • Dynamic data and RSS feeds,
  • Animation and event timelines; and
  • Hyperlinks and page transitions.

    Publisher 2.0 enables rich interactive content, such as audio, video, text, animation, RSS feeds, and blogs to mobile devices. The software runs on standard J2ME MIDP 2.0 handsets from major manufacturers such as LG, Motorola, Nokia, PalmOne, Sanyo, Samsung, and Sony-Ericsson. Content and applications can be viewed in a consistent manner on a variety of platforms, devices, and virtual machines, including J2ME CLDC MIDP 2.0, BREW 2.0 or higher, and .NET.

    On the tools side, Publisher 2.0 brings an easy GUI to mobile dev, which aims to speed deployment and ROI. Publisher 2.0 uses a graphical user interface the company says does not require sophisticated coding or knowledge of programs or scripts. Users can learn to author content for mobile phones in minutes, the company said. It lets devs create applications and content without requiring pre-installed memory-intensive players.

    Another of Akira's innovative approaches is to combine the application and the player into one downloadable software bundle. Including the reader/player with the application speeds up delivery of content and apps, and gives Akira the ability to control how the code in rendered (displayed, played, etc.) on the device - without significantly increasing the time for download. . Publisher 2.0 apps range from about 30 to 90 KB. The Akira player, about 8 KB, is embedded within the content or application itself, so it doesn't have to reside on the handset.

    Handset users simply download Publisher content and applications over-the-air straight to their phones without the need for pre-installed players. The size of the content file, as well as the support code needed to implement it, are greatly reduced through Akira's proprietary compaction and "anticipatory streaming" approach. Anticipatory streaming allows for the intelligent display of usable visual data before all of the data is downloaded. Publisher applications are typically 30 to 90 KB and take advantage of the limited bandwidth of mobile devices, Akira execs said.

    [Publisher 2.0 is Akira's first widely-available mobile toolset, as the company's first version was released as a "test version" only.]