MeeGo Joins The Tablet Bandwagon

by Gaurav Kheterpal on May 23, 2011

It’s been called the mobile industry’s “unwanted child” and I personally dubbed it as the ““mobile operating system that never was”, but it seems MeeGo will live to see another day. The MeeGo team yesterday announced a new release – version 1.2 which can be used on Intel Atom and ARM-based devices: laptops, smartphones and “tablets”.

As much as I appreciate the open source initiative, I’m wary of MeeGo going the tablet route when it’s yet to be established as a formidable force in the smartphone segment.

Last month, Intel announced its plans to launch a number of Android and MeeGo-based tablets this year. LG plans to demonstrate MeeGo ports on multiple prototypes, including tablets and smartphones, at the MeeGo conference in San Francisco later this week. Can these working prototypes by Intel, LG and other MeeGo partners translate into tablets which can compete with the Apple iPad? I have my doubts. None the less, it’s heartening to see MeeGo isn’t dead, at least for now.

The latest release note mentions MeeGo 1.2 Core OS provides a complete set of enabling technologies for mobile computing. These include the QML application framework and extended Qt mobility APIs, including those for location, system, connectivity, and sensor (including haptic) capabilities aimed at rapid development. The telephony and wireless networking capabilities now provide GSM, GPRS, and HSPA+ support, a SIM application toolkit, more Bluetooth profiles, expanded VPN and wireless authentication, data tethering capabilities and better multimedia support.

The MeeGo tablet user interface will feature a panels-based home screen and grid of application icons for app management. Pre-installed apps include a Web browser, camera, photo viewer, video player, music player, e-mail and personal information management and XMPP for chat. MeeGo 1.2 has evoked mixed reactions from the developer and blogger community. The ZDNet team believes MeeGo is “getting better with every release, and for its target market of mobile devices such as tablets, smart phones and embedded systems, it is looking quite good“. On the other hand, the Geeky Gadgets team reckons “Apart from the new tablet UI there’s nothing exceedingly fancy about it, just some A2DP and HSPA + fixes”.

The MeeGo development team plans to continue its six-month release cycle, with MeeGo 1.3 scheduled for October. MeeGo 1.3 is expected to support NFC and provide a Mac-based SDK for development. China Mobile, Intel, LG, ZTE, Huawei and Panasonic have all committed to launch tablets based on the MeeGo platform, without disclosing a definitive timeline. Can Intel revive MeeGo and claim lost ground to break into the mobile market? Only time will tell.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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