Smart apps for dumb phones - how?

category: offtopic [glöplog]
So it occurred to me that I would like to do apps for "dumb" phones, just for fun and also for money, because there are LOTS of dumb phones here in India, like the el cheapo Samsung I have. Besides the HUGE problem of figuring out what chip it is, how much RAM it has etc. , what OS it has, there is the issue of how to actually upload code to the thing to test.
I'd like to ask demosceners for their favourite "hacker" sites for this kind of thing....? If you have any particular favourites, please post.... :)

So, you're probably looking for Java Platform, Micro Edition
Not sure if there are any other methods.
added on the 2012-11-30 08:18:17 by Tomoya Tomoya
If you're talking about really dumb phones, the only way would be to write new firmware. The easiest way to do that would be to do contract work for the phone manufacturer, and good luck with that.
added on the 2012-11-30 08:19:52 by sol_hsa sol_hsa
what gooby said - be aware, although the platform is ok, you usually don't have much access to actual hardware.
added on the 2012-11-30 09:05:17 by Puryx Puryx
And the actual hardware and the Java VM might behave in myriad ways when handling issues like calls coming in or system interruptions. I used to write J2ME for living and boy are the handsets ever buggy...
added on the 2012-11-30 10:53:57 by Preacher Preacher
bitnaughty: my advice? Just don't. Or, if you choose to ignore my advice: find out what the single most popular device in the target market is and just build for that device alone. If you are aiming to maintain compatibility across an array of J2ME devices, your life will turn to shit. Just ask Puryx, he'll back me up on this. :)

Also, I don't really understand your question -- what info is it that you are missing? If you are looking for core specs, everything is very easy to find, for example on GSMArena

added on the 2012-11-30 11:05:05 by gloom gloom
Can of worms. You open it, you deal with it!
added on the 2012-11-30 11:18:54 by farfar farfar
What Preacher, Gloom and farfar said.
added on the 2012-11-30 12:29:35 by Puryx Puryx
gloom: well, I wanted a site with some Discussion about how to actually CODE for the thing - I have to pick that up, there are no books available Here for that, which is why I turned to demosceners. And of course, as I said, how to actually get the code ONTO the machine to test. I just called this hardware guy I knew from my Spectrum days, and he said something about getting hold of the software that phone repairers have - I think there's some substance in this.

It's bad news that it's Java - I hate OOP and can't get my head around it (though I'm passionately TRYING these days, with JavaScript) - I sort of had dreams about hardcore pedal-to-the-metal Asm coding, like in the days of the Speccy :)

Just by the way, on a related note if anyone is interested, Gasman (matt.west.co.tt) has written something very cool for the "Roket" badge if I remember the name correctly - this is Just the sort of thing I'd love to try to do, if I had some time, and my expertise underwent a 2x boost ;) - everybody check his site out. Bastard gets to ALL my ideas before I do :)
I wanted a site with some Discussion about how to actually CODE for the thing - I have to pick that up, there are no books available Here for that, which is why I turned to demosceners.
You're... you're joking, right?
added on the 2012-11-30 15:14:59 by gloom gloom
AFAIK its easier to make dump apps for smart phones. my 2 cents...
added on the 2012-11-30 15:19:11 by Tigrou Tigrou
Er no gloom, why would I be?
chances are if you are using said ancient phone you don't have interest or cash to spend on fancy apps. but if you are willing to make up for that in volume:

ancient phones with no data plans like SMS. Its the lowest common denominator. Learn a trick or two from google apps via SMS

ancient phones with data plans like WML / WAP. I did an app for Nokias once. http://gelon.net/ had a nice WAP emulator

if I had to do one now, I would just make a html version of the app I was building with mobile style sheet. old phones did not have markup validators so it would probably need to be in perfect mobile xhtml / chtml / hdml or xhtml basic and fit or wrap within 128px wide screen

I have seen popular sites like fandango and foursquare detect the mobile browser and provide a j2me / symbian / native app for the phone i was on. installing j2me apps on some phones is as easy as hosting the jar file on a public site and pointing the phone to it via its web browser.
It's bad news that it's Java - I hate OOP

When wriiting J2ME, the OOP part will just get in the way. Make a few classes with static methods. If you want to do assembly coding on phones, you're out of your mind (and out of luck). Even the phone operating systems are written in higher-level languages.
added on the 2012-11-30 16:46:38 by Preacher Preacher
When life gives you a can of worms, make deep fried snacks.
added on the 2012-11-30 18:28:21 by Photon Photon
mmm... deep-fried Nokia 6630 native heap leak bug and JIT crash issues... *drool*
added on the 2012-11-30 18:59:19 by Preacher Preacher
Actually you can write JVM opcodes directly, that's not very different from assembler ?
Not sure there are good tools for that, however.
ahahaha.. i actually forgot that i made this.
added on the 2012-11-30 21:08:53 by xeron xeron
Also, don't forget that when writing for J2ME, you gotta write either a multi-resolution version (which is hard) or create a version for each phone resolution.
added on the 2012-12-01 02:50:21 by IvanDSM IvanDSM
added on the 2012-12-01 03:52:21 by bdk bdk
This is the funniest bit:
I hate OOP and can't get my head around it (though I'm passionately TRYING these days, with JavaScript)
added on the 2012-12-01 12:54:11 by Gargaj Gargaj
Is it possible to run all those J2ME demos in Android phone? I've heard there exists no emulator or proper one. Still have to bring back my old retro phone for these.
added on the 2012-12-01 13:22:29 by Optimus Optimus
Er no gloom, why would I be?
Because if you're not joking, you're not only displaying a rather unprecedented level of ignorance, but also a complete lack of researching skills.

Documentation on creating J2ME apps both abundant and readily available, and so is specs on the phones you're talking about targeting.
added on the 2012-12-01 23:25:01 by gloom gloom
talk about the rocket-badge hints at monochrome lcd display graphics, so no j2me.
added on the 2012-12-02 18:36:34 by vectory vectory
Great web site. Plenty of helpful info here.
I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
And of course, thank you for your sweat!
added on the 2017-12-02 07:46:37 by huller88 huller88