Sony Ericsson has released what looks like a great new J2ME platform for its upcoming range of phones. The JP-7 release focusses on providing much greater performance and stability, and is the first to offer a multi-tasking JVM environment for mainstream phones. Coupled with some of the latest JSR additions (including advanced media control for fine-tuned camera management), it looks like the JP-7 phones will finally offer a solid and viable platform for developing mobile apps and taking advantage of the hardware available. The multi-tasking JVM means that J2ME can offer OS-style applications (such as email apps and RSS readers sitting in the background) - something that I hope to take advantage of in upcoming research and commercial social-mobile projects.
From what I've seen, JP-7 looks like it will be a good thing for social mobile apps, providing that enough freedom is given to develop in this exciting area. I've mentioned several times my dislike of network lockdowns (such as Three's preventing access to the Internet), and was recently disheartedened to find that T-Mobile charge Â£7.50 per MB for GPRS data. While this was admittedly on their pre-pay tarrif, the sale agent's insistence that this offered 'great value for money' defies belief.