Microsoft has announced OneApp, a new software application that enables feature phones to access mobile apps like Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, amongst other popular apps and games.
Feature phones are mobile phones that are capable of running some apps but that lack the capabilities of smartphones. Old phones and phones found in emerging markets are deemed "feature phones". According to Microsoft more than half of the people in the world own mobile phones but many struggle to access popular mobile applications.
"Microsoft OneApp will be able to help people do things they could not do before with their feature mobile phone -- anything from paying their bills to helping diagnose their health issues or just staying connected with friends and family," said Amit Mital, corporate VP at Microsoft. Microsoft is partnering with Blue Label Telecoms of South Africa for the new technology. Blue Label Telecom's "mibli" service in South Africa will be the first to offer users access to OneApp. Mibli subscribers in South Africa will be able to use Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Messenger. In addition, developers can also create additional apps.
To keep the phone running quickly and efficiently, OneApp has a small footprint (150KB) and its apps are even smaller (about 30KB). OneApp also includes a cloud service to deliver applications as they are needed. This means users can store and access their apps without needing to store them on the phone.
OneApp runs on most feature phones that support Java. The following phones are currently supported:
- Nokia - 3555, 5320, 6300, 6500, 6600, E50, E51, E63, E65, E66, E71, N70, N72, N73, N78, N80, N81, N82, N85, N95, N96
- Samsung - U900 Soul
- Sony Ericsson - C510, C902, C905, G705,K610i, K800i, K805i, T650i, W200i, W580i, W595, W660i, W980
For more information on OneApp please visit Microsoft's OneApp site.