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Sony Ericsson brings Flash, Java together for phones

Developers would be able to create applications using pieces of both technologies with new technology developed by Sony-Ericsson.

Sony Ericsson wants mobile software developers to have the best of both worlds.

Next week at JavaOne, the company plans to demonstrate its Project Capuchin, which will allow software developers to create applications for mobile phones that can use pieces of both Java ME and Adobe Systems' Flash Lite to create their applications. The company plans to release a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) and a software development kit in the second half of this year to bring the two different mobile development styles together.

For example, Java developers could decide to use the richer user interface technology found in Flash Lite, said Ulf Wretling, general manager, head of developer program and communications for Sony Ericsson. Or maybe a developer wants to use Java's three-dimensional graphics for a mobile game but would prefer to use Flash Lite for menus, he said.

The problem with this kind of project is that while it creates a "bridge" between the two technologies, as Wretling put it, it also pulls developers away from the current road map for both Java and Flash Lite. The difference here is that developers will still be able to create regular Java or Flash applications using this set of APIs, just mixing and matching technology from the other camp as needed.

This technology will be used on the mass-market mobile phone, not the smartphone category with more sophisticated operating systems. Sony Ericsson phones will arrive in the second half of the year with this technology, but the company plans to release the software development kit before the phones arrive.