Goin’ Native

By Malcolm Davenport
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Our background is Asterisk, the infinitely variable toolkit for building complex telephony applications. It seems to have been a bit of a hit (understatement) with developers over the past 10+ years. So, when we set out to build our Digium phones, we gave very careful consideration to how developers might want to use our phones.

In doing so, we looked at the market and noticed a disappointing trend among other desktop phones. The application integration for other phones is focused around the delivery of content from an external server to a microbrowser running on the phone. Users load up the microbrowser application, or have a page on their phone idle screen, they use form inputs to submit data back to the server, and the server returns data to the phone. So, a developer’s sandbox is as big as the microbrowser; which is a pretty small sandbox.

To wit, when you pulled out your mobile phone this morning, and you needed to find the nearest coffee shop, what did you do? Did you go to maps.google.com from the mobile browser? Later, when you wanted to Tweet your successful caffeine injection, did you use the mobile browser to go to m.twitter.com? You probably didn’t. Instead, you used a native application, running directly on your device, that was written to take advantage of device-specific integrations.

Applications written to run on Digium’s phones are more than a microbrowser and some XML. They’re full-fledged JavaScript applications, with direct access to phone buttons, the screen, phone state, phone calls and Internet resources. You or someone within your organization’s done web programming using JavaScript, no doubt, as these days, it’s what the web runs on. Why not build your phone applications, just like your web applications? Building XML applications in a microbrowser is complicated, but building native JavaScript applications is freedom. Ever tried to build an XML microbrowser-based application for a family of phones with different screen sizes and struggled with creating different table tags to handle each different phone? Step into the world of dedicated UI widgets with Digium’s phones.

To learn more about the JavaScript API for developing native applications for Digium phones, join Digium’s Sean Pimental and Billy Chia on a special webinar this week and they’ll walk you through the ins and outs of our Phone App Engine API.

Sign up for the new Digium Phone App Engine API Webniar

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About the Author

Malcolm Davenport

Digium lifer, celebrator of 16 Digium birthdays, and Digium employee #4. "I like te-lephony and I cannot lie. You other vendors can't deny; When a call comes in with MOS so you can't hear and some echo in your ear you get angry!" - Sir Mix-a-Malcolm

See All of Malcolm's Articles