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WidgetPad to Harness HTML 5 for Mobile

A new company launching today aims to help mobile developers create smartphone widgets that bridge the gap between Web and native applications.

Developers can use the WidgetPad platform to create hybrid Web-based mobile applications using standard Web technologies such as HTML 5, CSS3 and JavaScript and distribute them as stand-alone applications to smartphone app stores.

The new platform is offered in a collaborative, open source environment that will allow developers to freely share source code and ideas.

By taking advantage of emerging new standards, such as HTML 5, WidgetPad takes the complexity out of creating native applications and eliminates the need to learn platform-specific APIs.

The company launches WidgetPad for iPhone today under the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, Satoshi Nakajima, president and founder, told InternetNews.com.

"Off-deck apps using HTML 5 is a big trend, like a tidal wave, that's going from WAP to HTML to HTML 5. It's unstoppable. It may take a year or two, but based on my observation, developers need to learn the HTML 5 WebKit now to be ready to take advantage of the future," said Nakajima, who was integral in creating the architecture for Microsoft Windows 95 and in the creation of Internet Explorer.

Nakajima said WidgetPad for iPhone allows developers to create media-rich mobile applications that can leverage all of the iPhone's advanced hardware capabilities, including GPS, accelerometer and a compass. Developers can access WidgetPad.com through standard browsers such as Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Upcoming versions of WidgetPad will enable developers to port their applications to other smartphone devices, including the Palm Pre and assorted Blackberry models.

"With the smartphone market growing so fast and being so competitive, it has become difficult to predict its future. This uncertainty is making it tough for application developers to choose one particular platform to invest their engineering resources in. WidgetPad eliminates this complexity by allowing developers to create hybrid Web applications and distribute them as stand-alone applications across various app stores," Nakajima said.

Furthermore, he said WidgetPad offers an open source, collaborative environment for JavaScript developers to share source code. "Our goal is to make this environment the premier outlet for developers that want to learn how to develop interactive applications using HTML 5," Nakajima said.

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