Windows Mobile 6.5 Widget anatomy: Performance and Battery Life

The Windows Mobile Team has just posted part 3 of their Windows Mobile 6.5 Widget anatomy article. This one takes a look at how to make them performant without draining too much battery.

This is part three of my Widget Anatomy series which which will explain the ins and outs of the Widget Framework that is shipping as part of Windows Mobile 6.5. In this installment I will discuss how to squeeze the last drop of performance out of the Widget framework to ensure all our Widgets are interactive, alive and fun to use while being good mobile citizens and not draining the user’s battery dry in the process.
So, just because we are among friends here I’ll share a little secret that showcases the biggest challenge to creating responsive Widgets. Here it goes… are you ready?… On Windows Mobile 6.5, JavaScript execution blocks the UI. This means that, whenever there is a script running nothing else can be processed in the widget which includes menu commands and keyboard or touch input processing. Also note that, during script execution the Widget can’t redraw – in other words, any screen updates done during the execution of the script will not be reflected on the screen until after the script finishes its execution

Read the whole thing here

Source: Windows Mobile Team Blog

Windows Mobile 6.5 Widget Anatomy – The Keys for a Great User Experience

The Windows Mobile Team has posted part 2 of their “Widget Anatomy” articles which takes a look at the new Widget Framework shipping in Windows Mobile 6.5 (part 1). The second article deals with the user experience and great integration with the all the different phone configurations in the WinMo ecosystem (screen DPI, SoftKeys etc..).

How to best utilize those SoftKeys
The Widget API gives you full control over the soft key menu bar, but since we want our widgets to behave as native applications do there are a few guidelines we should try follow:

1. The left soft key should always represent the default action and it should be context sensitive to what the user is supposed to do at that particular step in the User Scenario.

2. The right soft key can be either a menu or a button, when there only are two possible actions you should save the user one click and make it a button… that said, if you do this there should be a way for the user to exit the widget somewhere on your UI.

Source: Windows Mobile Team Blog

Samsung Mobile Innovator to allow third party Widget development

Starting today, developers will be able to access a new website dedicated to Samsung’s TouchWiz Widget development for Windows Mobile and feature phones. Similar to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 Widgets development can be done using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. This will make cross platform development painless and fast.

Unlike complex native languages widget development utilises the comparably simple web authoring technologies HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Once developed they can be run on any Samsung device running the TouchWiz UI, and indeed, with some minor adjustments any platform or device featuring a web run-time engine. This could be a mobile device from another manufacturer, a PC or even an appliance such as a Samsung Series-7 television.

The new TouchWiz portal site will feature tools & SDKs, Discussion boards, articles and emulators.

Source: Samsung via Techmeme

What is Windows Mobile 6.5 Widget ?

The Windows Mobile team just posted the first of a blog series describing in detail all major aspects of the widget framework available in Windows Mobile 6.5.

The widget manifest is an XML file that describes the corresponding widget in detail so that Windows Mobile can actually do something with it. This is the first file we look at when the widget is being installed or executed so, even though it is simple, it is extremely important.

Hit the link here to if you are interested in widget development

Samsung Omnia II Widgets video tour

Brandon from Pocketnow has posted another video tour of the Samsung Omnia II this time showing us the majority of the widgets available through the phone’s TouchWiz 2 UI. There are plenty of them, some more useful than others and you can even download new ones via a widget that redirects the user to Samsung’s widget update site through the Opera browser. Personly I find HTC’s new widget based UI (Sense) to be alot more user freindly, no ?

Source: Pocketnow

50 Widgets Pack for Windows Mobile 6.5

The guys over at FuzeMobility just release a pack of 50 simple Windows Mobile 6.5 wigdets. Being that they are widgets an data connection is required for the to work and obviously a WM6.5 ROM.

These are not complex widgets. In fact, they’re among the most simplistic widgets that can be made but they do provide a ‘chromeless’ experience that have the feel of apps (and they install like apps). They do require an internet connection when in use (since they are grabbing data from the web) but I think the end experience is still a good one. If you enter your information it is remembered so on the weather widget, for example, it will remember your location. And more than anything, the goal is to bring widgets to the attention of more developers so more complex widgets can start to be released.


You can grab them here