Android gets access to Java-flavoured apps

Mobile operating system Android got access to a whole new library of pre-written applications this week, as mobile middleware developer Myriad launched a tool which it claims seamlessly converts Java MIDlets into Android applications.

Myriad’s J2Android is able to take the tens of thousands of MIDlet applications already on the market and develop new revenue opportunities for the Android community. Software features include adaptive screen scaling and the ability to apply virtual keypads and softkeys.

“As Android devices appear in greater volumes, the challenge has been how quickly the industry can make apps and content available to cope with user demand. One obvious source is the catalogue of quality titles already available but locked away in Java format,” said Malcolm Dawe, chief product officer of Myriad.

In other Android news, the platform continues to make headway with the operators as UK MVNO Virgin Mobile announces four new devices to be launched over the next few weeks.

Hot on the heels of Virgin’s first Android device, the LG InTouch Max, Virgin Mobile is introducing the Samsung Galaxy Portal, the HTC Desire and Sony Ericsson’s flagship Android handset, the Xperia X10.

LG’s InTouch Max features a touch screen and slide out QWERTY keyboard, and is available free on a £22 per month tariff; the Samsung Galaxy Portal features a 3.2inch screen and a 3.2 megapixel camera and is also available free on a £22 per month tariff. The HTC Desire, based on a Qualcomm 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, with a 3.7inch AMOLED screen, will launch in April, as will the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

UK operator Orange has scored an exclusive on the X10, which is Sony Ericsson’s first Android handset. The UK carrier will also be offering the device in white, rather than the standard black, from early April.

The X10 claims an intelligent face recognition feature that can recognise up to five faces in any picture, automatically connecting them with users social phonebook and all other related communications with that person. The handset also comes with an integrated 8.1 megapixel camera/camcorder, a 4” WVGA touchscreen and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

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