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Smartphone Widgets Coming to Low-Cost Mobile Phones

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Handset software developer, Myriad Group has launched a mobile widgets service that it says is aimed at low cost handsets for developing markets.

Widgets are small applications that display weather reports, horoscopes, sports scores and other information directly on the mobile phone's home screen, without requiring the user to scroll through menus or search for an application. In wealthier markets such as Europe, mobile widgets have already proven popular on expensive feature phones and smart phones, and are being added to an increasing range of mass market phones.

Now mobile phone manufacturers and network operators are eager to extend this success to fast-growing mobile markets like rural India, where the simplicity of mobile widgets is ideal for consumers with little or no Internet experience and access.

Designed especially for ultra-low cost phones, with low processing power and memory, Myriad Dynamic Homescreen is the world's first widget technology able to deliver graphical web-based services on such devices.

"It is clear that ultra-low cost handsets are the key to mobile services growth in emerging markets, but this segment poses significant challenges to handset manufacturers both in terms of cost and functionality," commented Richard Windsor, Global Technology Specialist, Nomura Securities. "The Myriad Dynamic Homescreen addresses both of these issues by providing a way for handset manufacturers to deliver new data services on the most basic mobile platforms." "The home screen is becoming a vital differentiator for low cost phones," added Simon Wilkinson, CEO of Myriad. "The simplicity of zero-click or one-click widgets is an important driver of both adoption and usage, creating real advantage for network operators seeking to drive data services growth."

A key component of Myriad Dynamic Homescreen is that its widgets can be dynamically updated through a range of data connections, including 3G, GPRS, SMS, and USSD - a basic data service that is compatible with all GSM phones. The ability to receive data via USSD and SMS means that entry-level data services can be delivered to users without data contracts or in regions with poor coverage.

Myriad Dynamic Homescreen is AJAX-based and uses technology, standards and developer tools common in the mobile industry. Myriad has already ported its new widget solution across multiple chipset vendors, including 16-bit RTOS and ARM7 100MHz designs. The software has an exceptionally low entry point for system resources, requiring less than 500Kb ROM and 500Kb RAM.

On the web: Myriad Group

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Tags: myriad group  widgets  smartphone  chipset  ussd  display  myriad  feature phones