With the release of the beta version of the Opera Widgets SDK, developers can get started on making widgets for mobile. So far UIQ 3.3 supports widgets, and support on more platforms are on the way. The SDK contains among other things:
- We added 10 more articles and documentation about widgets, especially focusing on mobile and cross device development. See the SDK overview page for more information.
- The new Widget emulator will emulate how your widget will work on different devices. And it's implemented as a widget! You can also use Opera Dragonfly to debug your widget, even when they are running in the emulator.
- You'll find several libraries on the Libraries section on dev.opera.com which helps speed up development. This list will expand as we go forward.
And it's all on the web! Each article and tool is available from Opera's developer website dev.opera.com.
Widget emulator and Dragonfly
The Widget emulator is a tool for seeing how your widgets will look like and behave on different devices. It emulates screen size, media query behavior, the docked widget mode as well as aspects such as network speed and the size of the preference store.
Development for mobile is made quicker and easier by not having to transfer the widget to test on the actual device. Instead, you can just reload your widget in the emulator and test on the phone when you're happy with the resuts.
By using Opera Dragonfly, you can also debug your widgets. They show up as runtimes just like the webpages in your tabs.
Widgets on mobile and cross device development
Opera Mobile 9.5 is on it's way, and with it, developers will be able to make widgets on mobile phones. Mobile widgets offer interesting possibilities for people on the move, as well as challenges when it comes to usability and performance.
For now, we've put up an overview of the characteristics of widgets on mobile phones and some advice for doing cross device development. There's also some advice for a mobile development process. With these, and the emulator, you can get a head start in developing for mobile.
What the future holds
We have more in the works for extending the SDK with more useful tools and documentation. Some examples:
- More libraries
- More libraries are in the works. For example, we have a library for internationalization and localization coming up and there is also a framework for more easily making resizable and flexible widget in the works.
- More functionality in the emulator
- We're working on simpler ways of loading your widget into the emulator, as well as emulating more of the functionality of widgets.
- More widget examples
- We're going to give you a few more widgets to play with, in addition to those you can already find on widgets.opera.com.
- More documentation and articles
- We'll improve on the current documents, as well as adding more articles. Examples include converting widgets from other runtimes to Opera widgets, more guidelines for mobiles, using Dragonfly with widgets and more.
We also want to hear what you have to say, so do visit the Opera Widgets forums and tells us what you need!