[squeak-dev] Wireless/mobile apps was: Fork Proposal: Cuis & Killer Apps.

Ben Coman btc at openInWorld.com
Mon Sep 12 17:42:46 UTC 2011

Dimitry Golubovsky wrote:
> Hi,
> As the "search for a killer app" is going on, what does the Smalltalk
> community think about possible uses of Squeak/Pharo on mobile devices
> - phones and tablets? Now that the Android version of Cog is available
> (though labeled alpha, I  do not expect adding much to the VM core,
> just some facilities to interact with Android via JNI, before it
> becomes beta), are there ideas what existing aplications could be used
> such way? I think a "selling point" here might be that applications
> run uniformly on a PC and on a phone/tablet, may have similar or same
> look&feel in both desktop and mobile environment, etc.?
> I have an application I am working on (which was mainly the reason I
> am working on the Android port), but it has rather narrowly
> specialized use and is written mostly for myself. I'd like to hear any
> ideas of possible mobile uses of Smalltalk.
> Thanks.
> PS Among other things, developer's experience with mobile Smalltalk
> must be good (judging by my own impressions of course): you have a
> convenience to develop/debug your application on a desktop, set window
> size to the target device resolution to emulate smaller screen, then
> transfer the image to a tablet/phone, and having the application
> running 99% same way as on a desktop. And the development environment
> with debugger is still available (unless deliberately stripped off).
I have observed that the real killer applications which wildly exceed 
expectations have to do with human-to-human communications channels.  
SMS is a great example which I've heard was only included as an 
after-thought simply because there were available bytes in the error 
back-channel.  No one expected it to become such a critical success.  
So, considering the general things for which people use their phone:
1. Voice chat
2. Text Chat
3. Photos
4. Games

Some applications for business...
1. Have a central contact list.  When I add a client's mobile number to 
my phone, my boss and colleagues should have access to that immediately. 
2. Taking a photo of someone's business card either does OCR directly on 
the phone, or sends to an internet OCR server, or sends to the office 
clerk to type the information to the central business contact list.
3. While at a client site, taking a photo of some equipment and sending 
to technical support in the office, then simultaneous shared zooming, 
panning and marking of the photos.

Some applications for friends...
1. When going out for the night, the group register phones together.  A 
photo taken on one phone automatically shows up on all others.  Texting 
as a chat-room rather than between individuals.
2. In a busy bar, poll friends for drinks orders.  Display the list for 
wait-staff to read if they can't hear you.  Track who buys what, for 
balancing accounts later.
3. Shared turn by turn games like chess - with integrated chat
4. Different phones listening to the same song at the same time - with 
integrated chat and song queueing

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list