x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Updates steal the show

Mobile phone applications were the hot topic at this year's Mobile World Congress that started on Monday.

BARCELONA // Mobile phone applications were the hot topic at this year's Mobile World Congress that started on Monday. Everyone from handset companies to software developers to telecommunications-equipment makers were putting their own spin on the mobile application market. On Monday, the GSM Association, a telecoms industry body, announced the creation of the embedded mobile initiative, a scheme intended to allow developers to create one application that would work on several different handset operating systems without the need to write a new code for each device.

More than 20 telecoms operators, serving at least three billion mobile phone users, have signed on to the scheme. The alliance said it wanted "to unite members' developer communities and create a single, harmonised point of entry to make it easy for developers to join". Mike Lazaridis, the co-chief executive of Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, demonstrated the company's new "Super Apps" offerings in a keynote address. The service incorporates RIM's native BlackBerry applications such as the calendar and inbox with new ones that operate within those services.

The buzz around mobile phone applications increases only with the inclusion of Apple, the industry's most influential participant. Apple, which typically does not participate in industry trade shows, was absent from the congress grounds and the lack of any direct involvement seems to be working. @Email:dgeorgecosh@thenational.ae