By Stephen Schenck | February 14, 2011 7:11 PM
With Nokia going the way of WP7, increased attention is falling on the remaining “alternative” smartphone platforms still being developed. MeeGo may be up in the air for now, but what about the other games in town? The Linux-based LiMo platform continues to develop, with today marking the launch of LiMo version 4.
You can think of LiMo as Android-by-committee. Though both are based upon a Linux core, LiMo avoids having any one company take the reigns of its development, collecting input from a consortium of partner companies. Major smartphone players like Samsung and Vodafone are teamed up with electronics giants including Panasonic and NEC.
LiMo 4 shows progress from what may have seemed more like a high-end feature phone project, to something resembling what we’d find in a proper smartphone. After all, the OS will now support multi-tasking, location-based features, and physical sensors; all add to the sort of platform flexibility we’re used to amongst smartphones. The problem is that LiMo is middleware, leaving it up to phone manufacturers to deal with UI issues, and that’s the part of the software we actually interact with and associate with one OS or another. Without a clearly-identifiable presence on phones, it’s tough to get developers behind it, coding apps, and growing the platform into something iOS or Android-like. Still, the features coming to LiMo 4 seem like a step in the right direction, so we’ll keep an open mind for now.
Look for the first devices running LiMo 4 to come out later this year.