Almost a year has passed since we last saw Marvell's Kinoma platform in person, but the time has finally arrived for its release. We got the chance to sit down with Peter Hoddie, VP of the Kinoma Platform, to learn a little bit more about his software and what Kinoma can bring to your smartphone experience. First, a quick refresher. Kinoma Play is technically an app, but in reality it serves as an entirely new UI for your Android device running versions 2.1 and up. The platform currently has 50 of its own apps -- written in Kinoma Play Script, a Javascript language -- that are obtained through the Kinoma store, and these apps can be accessed on their own or through Play's unique dashboard system.

There are currently five dashboards: Play, Search, Places, Music, and Send, with more to come as users ask for them. These dashboards group related apps and allow you to access them simultaneously in a truncated, list form -- for instance, the search dashboard returns results from Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Bing, and any other Kinoma app you choose to add. In addition to those useful dashboards, the software improves the UX by simply speeding things up. It's a lightweight platform with small apps (many are only 100 - 150KB in size) that launch quickly and run smoothly. Still not sold? Head on past the break to see Peter walk us through a little bit of what Kinoma can do, and read on to learn more about the platform.


In our brief time with Kinoma this time around, we were impressed with its speed and smooth operation, particularly because it was running on a Nexus One, which isn't exactly cutting edge hardware. Peter and his team of two dozen developers worked hard to keep Kinoma lightweight and flexible, which is part of the reason that it works through JavaScript. Using JavaScript also makes it much easier and faster for folks to write new Kinoma apps, and combined with its Kinoma Create development environment based on Eclipse IDE, Marvell hopes will make the platform attractive to devs.

DLNA and UPnP support are also baked in -- so Kinoma apps can stream and share media with a bevy of devices -- as is OpenGL hardware accelerated graphics. That hardware acceleration means that Kinoma can scale to just about any screen size, from tablets to TVs, without developers having to rewrite their apps. This framework allows for apps to be written once, and they'll work on any smartphone platform with the Kimona Play app, and yes, that includes iOS. Unfortunately, Kimona isn't coming to Apple folks just yet, but rest assured it's in the works. Marvell isn't stopping with Android and iDevices, either, it has plans to leverage the lightweight platform by putting it on almost any device with a wireless connection -- its already been put on a printer (webOS, eat your heart out). However, its Android-only for now, so head on over to the Android Market for a free download if you want to check it out for yourself, and peep the PR below for more info.

Show full PR text
Marvell Launches Preview of Kinoma Play for Android
Kinoma dashboards automatically organize your media, news, and information


SXSW 2012 – Austin, TX. – March 12, 2012 – Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL), today announced the immediate availability of Kinoma® Play for Android-powered phones. The preview release of Kinoma Play includes a suite of 50 apps enabling digital media, social networking, location, and search. Anyone with an Android phone is invited to experience Kinoma Play as a free download from Android Market.

"Marvell is investing in our Kinoma software platform because we understand the importance of great software to the success of our customers. Our vision of the Connected Lifestyle guides our product development. Kinoma Play truly shows the power of that Connected Lifestyle," said Weili Dai, Co-Founder of Marvell. "I believe our customers can now build on Kinoma to bring increased value to their own products. Android is just the first stop. We're working to bring Kinoma to additional Marvell-powered devices."

Kinoma Dashboards
What makes Kinoma Play special is how it combines information and features from across Kinoma apps into dashboards to simplify and speed everyday tasks. Kinoma Play includes five dashboards:
- Play shows up-to-the-minute information from every Kinoma app with news – social networks, recent photos, stocks, weather, the song you're listening to, upcoming calendar events, and even Kinoma app updates.
- Search uncovers surprising information by quickly collecting results from across every Kinoma app that supports search.
- Places is an in-depth guide to what's nearby, combining information from foursquare, Yelp, YouTube, Wikipedia, and HearPlanet, the world's largest audio guide.
- Music is a music lover's dream, delivering photos, biographies, and videos of the artist you're listening to now.
- Send is the hub for sharing and organizing media: show videos on a television, tweet about a song, upload a picture to Flickr, download a podcast, or add to a playlist.

Media Connect
Kinoma Play's Media Connect app shares media with other devices on the same network, even other phones. It supports the popular Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard built into many televisions, computers, and game consoles including Xbox 360 and PS3. Media Connect allows you to easily:
- Show pictures, music, and video from your phone on DLNA compatible televisions
- Play content from media servers on your phone
- Share content with neighboring devices by turning your phone into a media server

Kinoma Create
Further setting it apart from other mobile apps, Kinoma Play is an open environment: developers are invited to bring their ideas into Kinoma Play, from simply plugging into dashboards to creating full apps. Kinoma Create is the environment for Kinoma development on Mac and Windows. Built on the popular Eclipse IDE, developers can easily edit, debug, and profile their apps in Kinoma Create's unified environment, and test on both the built-in Kinoma Simulator and Android phones over Wi-Fi.

Kinoma apps are written in Kinoma Play Script (KPS) which uses the same JavaScript language as HTML5, providing a familiar starting point for developers. The optimized KPS runtime delivers high performance, media rich, portable, integrated experiences. The biggest innovation in KPS is how it inverts the traditional event driven programming model. KPS apps follow a content-driven model where the primary task is gathering information to display, not displaying information and responding to events. This approach better reflects the focus of today's connected apps, simplifying development.

Coming soon
"Today's preview of Kinoma Play and Kinoma Create is just the beginning," said Peter Hoddie, vice president of the Kinoma Platform at Marvell. "We have big plans for the rest of the year. Our work on a fully hardware accelerated rendering pipeline using OpenGL is delivering beautiful results on tablets. We're making great progress on Kinoma for iOS, which will allow us to deliver the same Kinoma apps on both Android and iOS. And we'll share a significant portion of our app suite under an open source license for developers to learn from and build on."

Availability
Anyone with an Android phone running Android 2.1 or later (Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich) can experience Kinoma Play as a free download from Android Market.

Developers who want to discover how productive and fun it can be to build apps with Kinoma's innovative content-driven programming model are invited to try Kinoma Create on their Mac or Windows-based computer. An Android phone is optional. Kinoma Create is available as a free download at developer.kinoma.com.

SxSW show attendees and media are invited to see Kinoma Play and Kinoma Create, along with a preview of our upcoming work, at the Austin Convention Center, Booth #135.

Join the conversation about Kinoma on Twitter with #Kinoma and follow @Kinoma for the latest news and tips about Kinoma Play and Kinoma Create.