I was looking at the state of Mobile IM clients out there today, & it’s not that good. None of the official companies such as Yahoo or Google or Microsoft are releasing mobile version of their IM Client based on JAVA which can be used on all phones. Yahoo has released Yahoo Go but it is not JAVA based which restricts it to only a few phones out there. Microsoft has Windows Live Messenger for Windows Mobile 6 but not for any other phone out there such as my K750i. Google isn’t any different, though they at least have a mobile E-Mail client based on JAVA.
The possibility of JAVA for Mobile is endless. It is a lifesaver for restricted OS based phones such as Sony Ericsson or Motorola. These phones don’t support third party native software but have full support for JAVA software.
I mostly use yahoo messenger, so I decided to make a concept UI of Yahoo Messenger for Mobile based on JAVA which I think what it should be like. I call upon any J2ME developer who is interested, I would be glad to help in making the front end UI part if someone can contribute to make the back end software engine. The JAVA API for Yahoo Messenger is already documented at jYMSG Sourceforge webpage & using this API anyone can make a JAVA Mobile based Yahoo Messenger client, I would be glad to provide the UI part if required. More information can be found at the DevX webpage. Here is how the concept UI looks like. This is a very basic text & emoticon only version of Yahoo Messenger which I have tried to make.
When the user starts the application it loads & gives the user the following screen.
The user is asked to enter his Yahoo ID & Password. After that he can select any one of the given options as shown below the login information section. If he selects to save the login automatically his username & password will be saved in the phone as long as the application is not removed. Next time when the user starts the application it will automatically connect to Yahoo Messenger. After entering info he clicks on “Sign In” & messenger connects to yahoo showing a progress bar.
Once the user logs in, he is shown the groups of his Yahoo messenger & the online & offline contacts. By selecting in “Settings” under the “Menu” button, he can select whether to show offline contacts or not.
By default Messenger sorts contacts by their status. He can click on any group name to expand or collapse that group. To start a chat he just needs to click on the name of the friend which will then give the chat Windows. The Contact List window also notifies him of the unread mails in his Yahoo Mailbox at the top menu bar, as shown in the image.
The interface is based on tabs. The current selected tab is shown in black color, the background tabs are shown in white color while any offline or unread Message he receives is shown in another tab which flashes in golden color until the user select to show that tab. The application notifies the user of unread messages in various ways such as flashing the tab, or vibration in the phone or playing a notification sound. All this can be selected in the “Settings”.
Here are how the Menus & Settings look. The menu background is plane white color, & when you mouseover a menu item, its color changes to blue & a hover rectangle is shown on top of it to notify that this item is selected. To open a menu item, either click on it or press the keypad button.
Menu at the first Sign in page, for settings
Connection Settings selected & Settings Page
Settings about how to notify the user. Just to show here I made an image for the checkbox, however in reality it will be replaced by JAVA Checkbox
Font size can be increased or decreased anywhere.
User preference to set the status & whether to show offline contacts in list or not.
Menu for Contact List
Menu while chatting to superman
Emoticons Section. You can either type in the emoticon code, or select from the list
You might say that the interface is very plane & without much images. The reason is that when we make something for JAVA Mobile, developers have limited amount of JAVA Heap size or JAVA RAM to work with. Even in my K750i the JAVA heap size in just 1 MB, due to which small file size of JAR file & low RAM requirement is essential. If I get a willing J2ME developer then we will make the Messenger first as you see here, & after that we will add images as & where required. Since this is a front end, it can also be slapped on the back end of Symbian OS version