Matthew is a DZone employee and has posted 155 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Java on the iPhone: Will It Matter?

03.25.2008
| 9306 views |
  • submit to reddit

Over the past few weeks, we've heard a lot about Sun and the fact that they're planning to bring Java to the iPhone.  What does this mean for developers?  Will it matter?

I don't have an iPhone right now, but Rick does, and I'll admit that its a cool device.  Unfortunately, here in the US I feel like the AT&T network is pretty much crap and have been waiting for a 3G version that might give reasonable network speeds.   We recently heard that Apple released their SDK for the iPhone, something that developers have been wanting since the release of the iPhone - with two major things missing right now: Java and Flash support.  I know this is Javalobby, but Adobe has been making some sweet progress with AIR and Flex, and Flash is pretty much ubiquitous on the web.  

Strangely though, in nearly all the news I've read about Adobe and Sun trying to get Flash and Java onto the iPhone, it seems that Apple could care less.  Opening up the iPhone to the millions of Java and Adobe developers would bring the potential for exciting new applications to the platform.  As they move towards a 3G network, integration with from these two vendors that was as tight as the native integration (we know Java can do it), would definitely be a selling point for me. Does Apple not care?  Apple has always had a serious case of not invented here syndrome, and their latest posturing about Java and Flash seems to continue that trend.  

Would Java on the iPhone be a way to seal the deal for those of you without one right now?  Can Sun deliver it in a timely fashion in a version that lets us have access to all the cool functionality that the iPhone allows?  I can't say, but with JavaOne just around the corner, maybe we'll hear more in the next 2 months.  Here's hoping they can get Java SE or JavaFX on there and not just Java ME!

Comments

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Tue, 2008/03/25 - 7:55am

Never mind the iPhone.  How about an iPod Touch that talks wirelessly through your cell phone using bluetooth?  (is that possible?)

But without a good Java runtime I'd have no interest.  I want full Java and not some sort of cramped scaled down JME of sorts.  With hardware becoming more powerful and cheap, we should expect no less than a full JRE I think.

So, with the ability to control which provider I use, and the ability to do wifi, and a full Java version, I'd want it.  Anything less, I'll yawn and move on.

My $400 EeePC gives me pretty good portable Java performance, but it doesn't fit in my pocket...  The only other option I've seen is OpenMoko, but they're taking very long with their consumer version.  What's the most portable device capable of running the full JRE these days?

James Sugrue replied on Tue, 2008/03/25 - 11:06am

If the contract for the iPhone wasn't so expensive in Ireland I'd consider it.
I think the Consumer JRE/Update N (https://jdk6.dev.java.net/6uNea.html) should make it possible to put a full JRE on the iPhone - it's about time we were able to have good quality mobile Java applications.

Of course it'd be really cool if it was possible to put Android on your iPhone.

Jesse Sightler replied on Tue, 2008/03/25 - 8:55pm in response to: Mike P(Okidoky)

[quote=okidoky]

My $400 EeePC gives me pretty good portable Java performance, but it doesn't fit in my pocket...  The only other option I've seen is OpenMoko, but they're taking very long with their consumer version.  What's the most portable device capable of running the full JRE these days?

[/quote]

The Nokia N810 would be a great platform, but as far as I know, it doesn't run AWT/SWING.  It only runs GNU Classpath without the AWT peers, and therefore can only do SWT.

I really wish that it had full Java support, though, and hopefully that will happen if Nokia keeps going with the platform.

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Wed, 2008/03/26 - 11:29am in response to: Jesse Sightler

I think I've read that Nokia signed a deal with Microsoft to go all Silverlight.  This is probably a very bad thing for Java on mobile devices.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.