If you’re a web developer like myself wanting to jump on the new Windows Mobile 6.5 web applications “widgets” bandwagon, then you can get a quick sneak peek at what to expect with a technical MSDN article titled “Developing Widgets for Windows Mobile 6.5” posted by accident a couple weeks ago and pulled soon after. With a little help from Google, one can now take an early look at how one develops for this platform.
From what the article describes, widgets are packaged into ZIP files with the file extension “.widget” and can be deployed from both the Windows Marketplace for Mobile and a local computer. This package which contains HTML, JS, CSS and image resources will then be installed to the device’s “Program files” directory.
One significant limitation of the widgets platform this article reveals which hasn’t been discussed before is the security model which is highly restrictive. Because the widgets run inside a chromeless Internet Explorer wrapper, it is confined inside the Internet Explorer Sandbox. The widget therefore cannot access contacts, messages, calendars, registry or the file system (besides the files in the widget package). To access other resources, a few protocols (mailto:, sms:, callto: and tele:) can be used to initiate some phone functionality. Network access too is disabled by default and each widget must request access when it is installed.
Can’t wait to see what developers can do with the Windows Mobile 6.5 widgets platform.