Run with MeeGo

What's new in 1.1?

The MeeGo Project has had multiple releases and has progressed significantly since its announcement in February 2010. This article provides an overview of the MeeGo Project for newcomers, a review of the benefits MeeGo provides to the players in the mobile ecosystem, and discusses the features in the latest MeeGo 1.1 release, announced October 28, 2010.

Introduction to MeeGo

MeeGo is an open, collaborative project between the project founders (Nokia and Intel), the Open Source community and various commercial and noncommercial partners with the goals of accelerating the adoption of Linux on a magnitude of client devices and enriching the technical Linux platform as the platform of choice for mobile computing devices.

MeeGo is a Linux-based operating system built for the next generation of computing devices across multiple hardware architectures. Different from other mobile operating systems, MeeGo is an open-source platform governed by best practices of open-source development. It includes the following:

  1. Core operating system.

  2. User Interface (UI) libraries and tools.

  3. References user experiences for multiple devices.

  4. Standard set of application programming interfaces (APIs) across all target device types.

  5. A software development kit (SDK) that enables application developers to develop, install, debug and run applications either on reference devices or in an emulated environment.

MeeGo supports a magnitude of mobile client devices (handsets, connected TVs, in-vehicle infotainment, Netbooks and tablets). It provides choice and flexibility to create and deliver a uniquely differentiated service offering. It's an unusual project in that it is aligned closely with upstream projects, as MeeGo requires that submitted patches also are submitted to the appropriate upstream project and are on a path for acceptance. This development model has the great effect of improving all upstream open-source projects used in MeeGo, and it guarantees a unified technical approach led by the upstream projects.

How Does MeeGo Benefit the Mobile Ecosystem?

If you are an open-source developer, you will enjoy working on an open-source mobile platform project that follows open-source development practices. You will have full access to everything MeeGo, and you can rest assured that any code contributed by MeeGo will be submitted to the appropriate upstream open-source projects. From this perspective, every other Linux mobile and desktop effort will benefit from MeeGo's work and contributions.

If you are an application developer, you will enjoy working with a single set of APIs across a number of client devices (handsets, tablets, Netbooks, in-vehicle infotainment systems and connected TVs). You have access to polished and easy-to-get-and-use developer tools and infrastructure. In addition, there are open forums where you can engage in discussions directly with the platform and tool creators, exchange ideas and best practices and even participate in the evolution of the platform. Plus, you will enjoy the flexibility of hosting your applications in more than one application store.

If you are a device manufacturer or a wireless operator looking to build and/or deploy devices with MeeGo, the project offers tremendous opportunities. MeeGo is a democratic project with open access to all, at all times. It is the only platform of its kind built with unparalleled openness in the industry. It will accelerate your time to market, lower the complexities involved in targeting multiple device types, allow you to optimize the software stack and, most important, grant you an equal right to participate in the evolution of the software platform.

MeeGo 2010 Milestones

Since the project announcement in February 2010, MeeGo has delivered the core software platform in addition to three user experience implementations (Netbook, handset and in-vehicle infotainment), with several updates in between. Figure 1 provides the roadmap of releases since the project's inception and Figure 2 offers the roadmap of the release updates and what they included.

Figure 1. MeeGo Releases Since the Project's Announcement

Figure 2. MeeGo Release Updates

Between major releases, MeeGo offers updates that usually include general operating system fixes to enhance the stability, compatibility, security and visual quality of the devices running MeeGo. Between MeeGo 1.0 (05/2010) and MeeGo 1.1 (10/2010), the MeeGo Project provided three update releases that featured improvements to the MeeGo core stack and the Netbook release.

The releases follow the six-month cycle promised by the project and are being delivered on time. The MeeGo source code repository is open for people to pull the source code anytime they like, if they don't want to be restricted to the six-month release cycle. The release updates are available as necessary, depending on the security/stability/compatibility updates. However, you don't need to wait for the official update to become available, because you have access to the code repository, and you can create an updated image from scratch for your target device.