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Making J2ME app delivery easier

 
a sanjuan
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This might be of interest to some here who are testing their apps (and any suggestions/feedback are appreciated):
I wanted to try out the Amazon Epidemic Midlet created by J. Yuan in his blog and ran into the usual nuisance of trying to enter long URLs using the relatively tiny keypad of my Nokia 3650. Thinking that this is one thing that will deter the casual user from experimenting with even free J2ME apps, I remembered we had an app in-house that helped during testing. It sends an sms message to a user's mobile phone, giving the URL of the J2ME app to be installed and tested. All the user needs to do is open the URL in the message and voila!
I modified the app and made it live on the web as J2ME's Jadhelper. You are free to try it out. J2ME authors can use it to generate web links that will send SMS messages with the URLs of their J2ME apps for their users. For example, here's the link generated for the sample Epidemic Midlet
More info on the The Amazon Epidemic Midlet.
Any feedback and suggestions would be welcome (email: kalim1998 (at) yahoo.com)
[ March 23, 2004: Message edited by: a sanjuan ]
 
a sanjuan
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[ March 23, 2004: Message edited by: a sanjuan ]
 
Mark Spritzler
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That sounds cool, just trying to figure out if you are just showing us Michael's' example, or a place where we can have our own page to allow users to download our J2ME applications.
Thanks
Mark
 
Michael Yuan
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This is an excellent idea to get around the carrier! I get to tell people about it! Do you plan to charge for this service in the future? Maybe you add premiere SMS support and share revenue with J2ME authors.
 
Mark Spritzler
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Wait Michael, don't give him any ideas. Lets have him keep that for free.
Mark
 
Greg Schwartz
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Does this page send the sms message as an e-mail using a sendmail() type function? If so, is the body of the message a WAP formatted link, an HTTP link or just the text of the link?
It was my understanding that different phones/carriers interpret this type of message in different ways and not all will provide the user with a clickable link. In these cases, the text appears but the user would still have to manually enter this text into their phone's browser. Because of this, most distributors such as Handango use WAP Push (which is much more complex) to provide a clickable link to a customer's phone.
If this is doing something different to get around that issue, please let me know.
Either way, the site looks great... Thanks for sharing this with us!
 
Greg Schwartz
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That sounds cool, just trying to figure out if you are just showing us Michael's' example, or a place where we can have our own page to allow users to download our J2ME applications.

If you click the "Submit Application" link you can fill out your app's details including the URL to your MIDlet. When you click the Submit button on this page you are given a new URL. This URL is a link to your own JadHelper web site that looks identical to the one for Michael Yuan's Amazon application but it is tailored to your app.
This site is definitely a very neat tool... Any chance of releasing the code that drives it?
Regards,
Greg
 
a sanjuan
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sorry, i thought this post was just an announcement kinda thing...didn't realize people would actually reply ;-)
(1) yes, it's free and will always be.
(2) unfortunately, greg is right in that it might not work with all phones since this is a very simple text messaging on the backend. the thing does NOT use WAP push. i tested it on at least 7 different java phones and all give the option of launching the URL, but for now this should not be used for mission critical apps (as i suggested, it should be for testing or similar uses). but i'll research your suggestion because i believe it has some impact on future projects of the company i work for so it might even merit some actual developer work time (as opposed to hobby time) to get it upgraded (or we'll just buy into something like the NOW gateway and connect that to the system). i'll note any changes down in my blog.
[ March 25, 2004: Message edited by: a sanjuan ]
 
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