Sun Microsystems has launched JavaFX mobile today as part of the 1.1 update to the platform also revealing the initial list of handset manufacturers, ISVs and Service Providers who are working on JavaFX mobile devices. Amongst the thirteen launch partners LG Electronics and SonyEricsson have committed to delivering JavaFX Mobile handsets in 2009 with LGE expected to be the first OEM with a JavaFX handset. Carriers Orange and Sprint are also involved and have began their testing. Rikko Sakaguchi, corporate vice president and head of creation and development at Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications stated
“Sony Ericsson expects that JavaFX will have a great impact on the mobile content ecosystem and plan to bring JavaFX to a significant part of our product portfolio."
As with JavaFX desktop JavaFX mobile runs on-top of an existing Java runtime environment – Java ME in this case. Thus whilst a device may have the JavaFX runtime embedded into it this isn’t a necessity; a JavaFX mobile application can run on any mobile device that supports the Java ME Mobile Service Architecture. This allows Sun to position the platform as able to support application development targeted at both Smart phones and higher end feature phones.
For developers JavaFX offers a consistent way of building rich applications across both desktop and mobile devices. Sun has split the associated APIs into three profiles. The common profile is for all the APIs that are available on every device and includes the scene graph API and media components, whilst the desktop profile represents the more familiar Swing components and the mobile profile is specific to mobile devices. Therefore when you write a JavaFX application using just the common profile you are developing applications that will run across both desktop and mobile devices. Writing on his blog Sun Staff Engineer Joshua Marinacci remarked
“It struck me this morning how much of a big deal this is. I don't know anything about Java ME, but I know JavaFX. Even though I'm not a mobile developer I can write mobile apps with JavaFX. I couldn't do that before.”
Sun and its partners will be demonstrating JavaFX on mobile devices at the mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from February 16-19, 2009.