iPhone Apps = Mobile RIA = Blackberry X with Opera Mini

Yes the iPhone is a cool product that runs OSX over UNIX on a mobile device. My bet is the touch screen will bother more people than it helps, and I’m sure it’ll be a warranty issue as screens get scratched and fail to function. I like my tiny QWERTY that I can feel.

I had a Compaq iPaq back in 2001. It had a touch screen you COULD use with your thumb. It played Audio and Video. It worked on the Cell Network and doubled as my cell phone. It could communicate wirelessly over 802.11a and 802.11b, and even had an external GPS device. Sure it ran Window’s Mobile, not UNIX and OSX. Why didn’t it last in the consumer spectrum? Possibly because there were no mobile services for the device.

So I ask, what is the benefit of running OSX over UNIX when application developers write code for the Safari Browser? With the recent flurry of Mobile RIA’s targeting the iPhone is there really any reason Apple would open the platform and provide a native SDK?

Regardless, I have a Blackberry Pearl. It plays music, video, mobile TV, and runs many popular mobile applications like Opera Mini 4.1. Sure the screen is about a quarter the size of an iPhone, but guess what? It has no problem running iPhone RIA’s!

Try it for yourself:

Navigate to http://www.operamini.com/beta/ (on your device), download and install the new Opera 4 mini beta browser (which as a first includes a little mouse you can control with your trackball!!).

Setup Opera Mini on your device by launching it in the Main Menu (you should see the red O icon).

Navigate to any of the following sites:
  1. Facebook: http://Iphone.facebook.com
  2. NetVibes: http://M.n1.netvibes.com
  3. Meebo: http://www.meebo.com
That adds Social Network, News and IM functionality to your Blackberry device. Everything should run fine. I'm not totally sure if these sites run in Opera 3, regardless, I've installed Opera 4 mini beta.

I think it’s time that the industry in general starts labeling these Mobile RIA’s rather than iPhone applications.

Side Note: I bet there are a lot more Blackberry's out there than iPhones so branding a Blackberry / iPhone site may actually make a lot of sense.

Free Advice to RIM: Drop the Blackberry Browser and replace it with Opera Mini 4 on the base device. If you have features in the Blackberry Browser that are not in Opera Mini than work with Opera to have the features included.

Over and Out

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