Saturday, September 20, 2008

Xperia emulator featured in new Sony Ericsson SDK

Xperia emulator featured in new Sony Ericsson SDK

In what could conceivably become a serious alternative to alternatives swayed by the allure of Apple's iPhone, Sony Ericsson released today its SDK for developers of applications for its Xperia X1, which is still due for availability this month.

Since the Xperia is a Windows Mobile phone, its applications will be programmable using Microsoft Visual Studio. However, the phone's key features are exclusive to the Xperia, including slidable "panels" that represent miniature, running applications. Unlike the iPhone's sliding icons, these can literally be active programs, providing some form of useful information nearly all the time, in spaces just smaller than that of a postage stamp.

For instance, Xperia's main today screen can be arranged by the user to contain both applications she'll use every day, and thumbnails of Web pages. Panels may be programmed using either HTML or the native code of the phone, and the SDK contains templates for producing that code.

Seeing that code run should be an experience in itself, though, as the SDK also contains an Xperia emulator capable of running a full suite of phone apps directly on the PC, through Visual Studio.

Naturally, we at BetaNews wanted to try this out for ourselves. So we were a little astonished to learn that the SDK's templates, project files, and solution files could only be used on Visual Studio 2005 -- Microsoft's previous version, superseded earlier this year. We tried using VS 2008's Project Upgrade Wizard to bring Sony Ericsson's files up to date, to no avail.

At any rate, developers who haven't yet upgraded from VS 2005 to VS 2008 can download, and potentially even use, the new Xperia SDK from the manufacturer's new developers site.

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