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MIDlet Managers for Opera Mini and/or games on the i600

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#1
Dark Horse

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Have been messing around with Opera Mini of late and only just noticed that the TAO Intent MIDlet manager can't handle special characters or and symbols on the i600. Once you choose a character or symbol, the screen goes black and the only way out is to return to the home screen and then switch back to TAO Intent. Once there, it picks right back up where you left it minus any special characters or symbols that you tried to select previously. Obviously, this is a real pain for example, with email addresses or websites that use the _ character which is not on the i600 keypad.

Therefore, I've had a snoop around the various other flavours of MIDlet managers available and tested how they work with the i600 for Opera Mini and the odd game. My i600 runs the generic version of WM5 and it's also worth reading the excellent and very informative Java MIDlet Bible for any further info required.

TAO Intent MIDlet Manager 10.1.7.561 Build 20060726
Installs perfectly but can't handle any special characters or symbols as per above. Otherwise, it works well with Opera Mini but launching the manager and any installed Java apps is far slower than with other MIDlet managers plus it doesn't play hardly any games. Apps can be installed locally or via the Web and the security model is per session.

Aplix JBlend 3.2.8 20061016c
Prompts you during install saying it's for a different version of WM although I believe this is the preferred MIDlet manager that Samsung ships with some of its handsets. Handles special characters and symbols and has no screen formatting problems plus it also plays the widest range of games (no sound though). However, Opera Mini usage is completely ruined by the oneshot security model that means it asks you *every* time you load a webpage whether it's ok to do so. On top of that, it takes a fair while to load Opera Mini and apps can only be installed through the Internet which rarely works or by executing them in the File Manager that requires the correct file association if you have more than one MIDlet manager installed.

Esmertec JBed 20070802.2.1 (Cloudyfa version)
Prompts you during install saying it's for a different version of WM. Handles specials characters and symbols but the bottom of the screen is chopped off in Opera Mini and the games I tried meaning you can't see the content there. Otherwise, it's quick and plays games well with sound. Apps can be installed locally or via the web and the security model is per session. JBed seems to be the preferred MIDlet manager of choice for most people.

Esmertec Jeodek 20070425 (dFine version)
Prompts you during install saying it's for a different version of WM and crashed the first time I ran it. Handles specials characters and symbols but unfortunately, it places a useless command bar at the bottom of the screen for the standard soft keys which is pointless as each app has its own use for this area. For example, Opera Mini places its own soft keys above the standard ones that are displayed that is a real waste of screen real estate. Does play quite a few games with sound though and is very quick in launching both Java apps and the manager itself. The security model is per session.

Esmertec Jeodek 20070312-116861.2.1 ;)
Prompts you during install saying it's for a different version of WM but installed fine first time unlike the dFine version. Handles special characters and symbols AND has no screen formatting problems AND has session level security model AND even plays games well with sound albeit a small number (but no less than the dFine version for the games I tried). It's lightning quick, stable and for me, definitely the one to go for if you want both proper Opera Mini support plus the odd game.

Edited by Dark Horse, 03 October 2008 - 02:56 PM.

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#2
kasovnik

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Nice overview, but wich one of theese works best with performance and memory hungry 3D games?
With "Colin McRae Dirt 3D" for example?

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#3
Dark Horse

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Nice overview, but wich one of theese works best with performance and memory hungry 3D games?
With "Colin McRae Dirt 3D" for example?


No idea if Colin McRae Dirt 3D works with the i600 but JBlend has 3D support and works with a lot of games although there is no sound.

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#4
Dark Horse

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Quick update on this, I've found a small limitation with Esmertec Jeodek 20070312-116861.2.1 that affects text entry. If you click on a text box or text entry field to zoom into a full screen text box, you can only enter as much text as the screen shows which is about six lines. After that, the cursor doesn't move or let you scroll down making it impossible to send any reasonably long emails.

Neither of the other Esmertec MIDlets managers nor TAO Intent have this problem (didn't try JBlend) so if you use Opera Mini to send emails, your best bet is to use the Cloudyfa version of Esmertec JBed 20070802.2.1 that, although chops off some of the bottom of the screen in the MIDlet Manager, doesn't affect actual browsing in Opera Mini 4.1 which remains fulls screen with softkeys (the screen is chopped off if you zoom into the text entry box though as are other option screens in Opera).

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#5
Dark Horse

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Another quick update on this, Esmertec Jbed 20080328.3.1 works very well on the i600:
  • Handles special characters
  • Installs to device or storage card
  • Session level security
  • No screen formatting problems
  • No text entry problems
  • Excellent for Opera Mini
  • Plays games with reasonable 3D performance (but sound needs to be disabled - see below)
  • Stable with a lightning quick compiler!
The issue with games is that you must disable sound for the game otherwise this version of Jbed crashes out to the home screen although it doesn't kill the i600. This doesn't occur on HTC handsets so it looks like it's yet another hardware issue with the i600 that Samsung couldn't be bothered to address :D

If you can live without sound for games, this is the MIDlet manager to go for as it ticks all the boxes. Opera Mini performance in particular is much quicker than other MIDlet managers.

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