Samsung is opening up its TouchWiz user interface to allow developers to create multiple widgets for its lineup of phones.
TouchWiz is a finger-friendly UI that is found on handsets like the Omnia and Memoir, and it offers users one-click access to Web-based information like weather and stocks, as well as native phone features like the camera. This represents a sizable potential audience for developers because Samsung will be including TouchWiz on much of its portfolio, including smartphones and feature phones.
Samsung is releasing a software development kit for TouchWiz that's based on the Eclipse platform, and developers would also be able to create carrier-specific widgets. For example, a content creator could make a Verizon Wireless widget that gives the user one-click access to the V Cast music and video services.
Through the company's Mobile Innovator program, developers would have a chance to pitch widgets directly to Samsung to get them preloaded on handsets in the future. Developers will be able to distribute their widgets through an on-deck widget gallery, or through Samsung's application store.
"The Samsung Mobile Innovator program is a global program focused on giving developers the tools and the support that they need to develop and market widgets for Samsung's lineup of TouchWiz-based devices and applications for different Samsung phones," said Omar Khan, senior VP with Samsung, in a statement.
Samsung said its developer program would focus on developer tools, education, and the marketing and advertising of content. Additionally, the company will be holding its first Widget Developer Camp in San Francisco September 11-13, and content creators will get the chance to compete for up to $20,000 in prizes.
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