Visto Mobile (J2ME Email client embedded into Nokia/Sony Ericcsons) – developed by Psion/Visto Corp

I worked on Visto Mobile, an email client embedded into Nokia, Sony Ericsson and many other phones. Visto had just bought out the studio which used to be a division of Psion (one of my favourite companies, and a reason to work there).

Visto Mobile 6.0 is Industry’s First Push Mobile Social Networking Solution. Integrated solution enables real-time information and notifications across email, social networks and contacts including Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and Photobucket. The product uses custom GUI components. Visto Mobile 6.0 includes photo uploading to Facebook, Flickr and Photobucket. The application supports latest mobile platforms and touch screen devices.

  • Real-time push information about your most important contacts and social network relationships, with presence and notifications for your “Favorites.”
  • A contextual launch point to email, IM, the web and other device applications.
  • People-centric views that keeps you up-to-date on your friends’ activities.
  • A personal “Me” profile you can share with other mobile users so they are automatically kept up-to-date on your status and public profile information.
  • Integration with Photobucket and Flickr so you can instantly share pictures with friends and you can see when your friends share pictures with you.
  • Integration with Facebook to posts, messages, event/invites, instantly get pushed to your phone.

Breakthrough mobile messaging solutions provider Visto Corporation today announced its new integrated platform allowing mobile network operators to provide push-based mobile email/PIM solutions aimed at individual, small business or corporate customers.

“Visto continues to set the pace for introducing mobile email/PIM solutions to market,” said Brian Bogosian, chairman, president and CEO of Visto Corporation. “The heart of our proposition is that with the Visto Mobile platform, operators can offer customers individual, POP3, or corporate email/PIM accounts. What’s more, they can use handsets from Sony Ericsson, Nokia, palmOne, or many others, and run the service over Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, PalmSource, or J2ME operating platforms.”

Although common today, back then fully fledged email clients for smart phones were very rare, so Visto Mobile was widely adopted by over 200,000 paid subscribers and the company had just raised $70 million in venture funding. I worked on low level code for HTML Links, canvas painting of UIs, contact importing, porting, usability and lots of optimisation (memory and CPU profiling). It took a lot of work to make these things fast on the old handsets of the early 2000s. Some of the devices I worked with were were Nokia 6600, 7610, E61 and the Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications’ P910C. Visto Corp became “Good Technology” and were bought out by Blackberry.

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