Q: What's Unify?
A: Unify allows the programming of applications for smartphones, tablets, desktops and other web enabled devices with a single technology stack. The main claim of Unify is to allow solutions thats users can not differentiate from natively programmed applications.
Q: Why Unify?
With Unify you are immediately able to develop application based on a well defined API that is equal across all platforms. Basically it's using standard web technology that is well known to many developers.
Q: What platforms are supported by Unify?
A: For now Unify supports smartphones based on iOS, Android and WebOS. It also supports Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Q: What about smartphones from Nokia, Blackberry, etc.?
A: Our priority is to support platforms with an widely accepted application market. With this aspect in mind the iOS and Android based devices are currently the most interesting platforms. As soon as manufacturers of other platforms achieve a similar popularity, Unify will also strive to support them. Support for BlackBerry OS 6.0, Windows Phone and Nokia's operating systems is planned for 2011.
Q: Is it difficult to develop applications for differenct platforms using the same development technology?
A: Yes and no. First of all, the development and run environment provided by Unify is equal over all platforms. So all platforms can use the same interfaces, business logics and data models. It is very easy to have a well tested base of application code over all platforms. The challenging task is to create the user interfaces. As every platform has is own usage patterns you have to adapt your UI to the common behaviour of the target platform.
Q: Why does Deutsche Telekom develop such a solution?
A: Currently there are no comprehensive and well-established solutions available. The cost of native development for multiple devices are high. Each platform must be individually developed, maintained and improved.
Q: Do external partners contribute to Unify?
A: Unify has just been published as open source. The license allows external partners to use, extend and improve it as well. As open source software allows everybody to have a look at the code. there is a good chance, that the overall quality will be higher than in closed software.
Q: What technologies is Unify based upon?
Q: Are web technologies powerful enough?
A: Web technologies are currently improved at a rapid pace. Browsers such as Firefox from Mozilla or Chrome from Google are improving their performance by about 30% per quarter. Impressive animations, playing audio and video files, accessing databases etc. is pretty easy to implement. Even features like accelerated graphics are on the way to the browser engines. So yes, we think web technologies are really powerful enough.
Q: What distinguishes Unify from other solutions based on web technology?
Q: Is Unify prepared for the future?
A: In contrast to technologies that are based on translation of program code, Unify is future safe. Its foundation is built upon open and widely distributed technology used for years now. Through the improvements in the underlaying software the speed and the possibilities are quite good even on older hardware.
Q: Could web applications integrate themselves to the system?
A: Web applications typically run in a browser, which does not allow any access to the system. That is the so-called sandbox. A typical web application has no way to read emails or files of the user. Technologies like PhoneGap allow to break out of these boundaries. Applications built using these solutions enjoy the same level of access and integration.
Q: Why does Unify chose PhoneGap?
A: PhoneGap is currently the only technology of its kind that makes it possible to publish applications in the Apple AppStore and Android Market. For the moment this is the reason why it is more interesting for application developers than initiatives like BONDI or JIL. PhoneGap is open source. It can be perfectly adapted to the needs of Unify.