Monday, June 23, 2003

One of the new technologies starting to reach critical mass is Java-enabled cell phones. The phones run applications written in the Java programming language.

A cell phone contains a computer, and this computer can run applications just like a desktop computer can. The computer in a phone is smaller and slower than a desktop machine, and the screen is smaller too, but there are still lots of applications that a phone can run. It is sort of like going back in time -- the CPU and screen in a cell phone are roughly equivalent to the CPU and screen of the original IBM PC or Mac in the 1984 timeframe.


The original IBM PC and today's cell phones are about equal in CPU power.
This Nokia has a color LCD with 176 x 208 Pixels

Many of the new cell phones you get today come with Java built in. If you have a Java-enabled phone, you can download Java applications to your phone and run them on your phone's computer. Right now, a lot of these applications are games, but there are also "real" applications starting to appear. You can get a sampling of some of the possibilities on this page.

This page explains how it works.

If you'd like to learn how to create Java applications for cell phones, here are some resources:

As the CPUs in phones get more powerful and the screens get larger, it will be possible to do more and more with Java-enabled phones.

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