What's New in MIDP 2.0


MIDP 2.0 delivers an enhanced user interface, multimedia and game functionality, greater connectivity, over-the-air (OTA) provisioning, and end-to-end security to mobile information devices such as mobile phones and entry level PDAs.

Enhanced User Interface

MIDP 2.0 enhances the overall end user experience, improves application portability, and provides greater extensibility.

Many new features make MIDP applications more interactive and easier to use, including several enhancements to Screens and Items. Some notable examples:

  • A new Popup ChoiceGroup shows a current selection in a box with a visual cue. Scroll down and other items "pop up."
  • Items have their own sets of commands that can be invoked, as well as the ability to add new commands. For instance, String Item and ImageItem can be made more interactive by adding an abstract command and set the appearance mode to show as a hyperlink or a button.
  • Alert Screen can now have abstract commands added to it to enable developers to use this screen to ask users questions. Gauges can be added to Alert Screens.

In addition, MIDP 2.0 provides a more flexible layout for greater application portability. Form Screens now provide developers more control of screen layout by the mobile device's MIDP implementation based on the display size and other attributes. Individual Items within Form Screens also now have minimum and recommended size. Each MIDP implementation uses the layout and Screen and Items attributes to optimally lay out the application.

MIDP 2.0 also provides greater extensibility. One notable addition is Custom Items, a new Item developers use to create their own Form Items such as map viewers and other custom UI components.

Media Support

MIDP 2.0 now includes the the Audio Building Block (ABB) that is also part of the Mobile Media API (MMAPI), an optional package for MIDP 2.0. ABB enables developers to add audio such as tones, tone sequences and WAV files to MIDP applications without relying on MMAPI. On devices that also include a MMAPI implementation, developers can add more multimedia content to their MIDP applications such as video streaming.

Game Support

MIDP 2.0 adds a Game API that provides a standard foundation for building games. The MIDP Game API includes game-specific functionality, such as sprites and tiled layers, that take advantage of native device graphics capabilities. This functionality simplifies development and provides greater control over graphics and performance.

Expanded Connectivity

MIDP 2.0 adds support for leading connectivity standards beyond HTTP, such as HTTPS, datagram, sockets, server sockets, and serial port communication. This expanded connectivity provides a simple, standard way to integrate with existing software infrastructure that is familiar to Java developers.

Push Architechture

With Release 2.0, MIDP now includes a server push model whereby MIDlets can be registered to be activated when a device receives information from a server. Application settings, which are a combination of default phone settings and end user settings, determine whether to prompt the user, start the MIDlet without prompting, or not start the MIDlet during the use of another MIDlet. The MIDP push architecture enables developers to leverage the event-driven capabilities of devices and carrier networks, and easily include alerts, messaging and broadcasts using a standard approach in MIDP applications.

Over-the-air (OTA) Provisioning

A major new feature of MIDP is its ability to dynamically deploy and update applications over-the-air (OTA). OTA provisioning, previously supported only as a recommended practice, is now required as part of the MIDP 2.0 specification. The MIDP specification defines how MIDlet suites are discovered, installed, updated and removed on mobile information devices. MIDP also enables a service provider to identify which MIDlet suites will work on a given device, and obtain status reports from the device following installation, updates or removal.

The MIDP OTA provisioning model ensures a single, standard approach to MIDP application deployment that works across the broad range of mobile devices. The MIDP OTA provisioning model has been defined and adopted by leading device manufacturers and service providers to deliver a reliable, secure provisioning solution.

End-to-end Security

MIDP 2.0 adds a robust end-to-end security model, built on open standards, that protects the network, applications and mobile information devices. MIDP 2.0 supports HTTPS and leverages existing standards such as SSL and WTLS to enable the transmission of encrypted data. In MIDP 2.0, security domains protect against unauthorized access of data, applications and other network and device resources by MIDlet suites on the device. By default MIDlet suites are not trusted, and are assigned to untrusted domains that prevent access to any privileged functionality. To gain privileged access, a MIDlet suite must be assigned to specific domains that are defined on the mobile device, and must be properly signed using the X.509 PKI security standard. In order for a signed MIDlet suite to be downloaded, installed and granted associated permissions, it must be successfully authenticated.

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