Every time we purchase a cell phone, one of the first things we tend to do is find which games and applications were included in the phone. There is a certain level of excitation in discovering these micro applications. But when you're interested in software development, this exclusion level multiplies with the realization that you can also build your own custom applications for these phones.
One of the most popular programming languages for mobile development is Java. Specifically Java Micro Edition. JME for short. Java ME makes developing for small devices into a quick and somewhat simple process. Best of all, almost all the tools required for building these applications are free. Although Java ME can also be used to create applications for set top boxes and a lot of other small devices, this article focuses only on Cell Phone development.
First off, you should know a bit of Java development before even thinking of creating your own Java ME application. Do a search in any search engine and you'll find hundreds of articles on programming with Java. Or just go directly to Sun's Site where you'll find dozens of starter courses.
Now let's assume that you're already a good developer and you just want to start writing your application as soon as possible. The next step requires you to go to Sun's Site Go to the JME section. You'll see a lot of abbreviations thrown around. We focus only on 'CLDC' and 'MIDP'. These codes basically mean that we're focusing on cell phone development as opposed to other mobile devices. Now look for a tool called Wireless Toolkit for CLDC and download it.
This tool is essentially the core of JME development. With this utility you can code, compile and test your application. You can even see your code running on a phone emulator. This emulator displays a cell phone image with your application running on it. Its extremely useful, since you do not need to move your program over to your cell phone every time you wish to see your changes. Very useful when coding for devices with small screens. If you would like to follow a tutorial from the sun site, I suggest you look for a tutorial called Wireless Development Tutorial Part I This small but extremely useful and fun tutorial will get you up and running in no time. It is extremely well written and easy to understand and follow.
One last thing to mention, Java development for Cell phones require a utility called a Java Virtual Machine installed on the phone where you will install your application. In the past, only high end cell phones came with this utility included. Fortunately this is no longer the case and it is now installed on almost all cell phones. Most of the time there will be some type of 'Java compatible' warning on the cell phone box. If your cell phone is Java compatible, all you need to do now is move your newly created Java ME application over to your phone and impress your friends with your master Java application.