AOL Launching 'Open Mobile Platform,' Allows Homebrewed Programs on Any Phone

AOL, the company you haven't patronised since 1996, has announced that it's launching an "Open Mobile Platform" to help developers get mobile programs across multiple platforms. Despite the name, it's not a full mobile OS like Android, rather a protocol for building and distributing applications across multiple mobile OSes. Think of it like Android's API, but for all phone platforms rather than just for one.

The AOL Open Mobile Platform is based on proven technology acquired by AOL that has been deployed across more than 150 different handsets on carrier networks in the U.S. The platform will consist of three components: an XML-based, next-generation markup language; an ultra-lightweight mobile device client; and an application server. A dynamic presentation layer will allow for rapid deployment of new features and easy optimization for a wide variety of mobile devices, allowing developers to build and update applications once, and then distribute them across all supported devices and platforms.

In addition, it will be possible to integrate applications built using the AOL Open Mobile Platform with third-party APIs, as well as with AOL's open APIs for AIM, AOL Mail, AOL Video, MapQuest, Userplane, Truveo, Winamp, and others. The AOL Open Mobile Platform will also give developers the ability to monetize their mobile applications by utilizing advertising resources, such as clickable banner ads, provided by AOL's Platform-A.

So essentially it's like an API for all phones, rather than just for the iPhone or for Android like the current ones floating around. It's actually pretty cool, offering amateurs the opportunity to try their hand at creating, say, a custom AIM client for a pretty wide variety of phones.

The goods should be available later this summer for your tinkering pleasure. [AOL Dev Network]

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