It’s early days for .TEL and the first app specifically for the Blackberry is in pre-release, but I still find myself excited as I wait for the 15 seconds or so it takes to download and install over the air.
Telnic have created sample applications for the Blackberry iPhone, Windows CE and Outlook, primarily to provide a bootstrap for developers who want to develop applications for popular platforms.
In just a couple of clicks I’ve installed prerelease version 2.6 on my Blackberry 8830 without any problems.
I’ve been warned that this is an early version of the software and that’s fine. The interface is simple and a bit clunky, but I’m used to seeing applications in progress and my main concern is to see if I can get a sense of the potential. That said, when I compare it to the .TEL iPhone app, I have to admit a bit of jealousy, but that’s true of many comparative iPhone apps I’ve seen.
It turns out that that there’s a lot of functionality that can’t be explored without being logged into the TelHosting server, which is disappointing as my credentials haven’t been issued yet. These include managing my .TEL name, managing friending messages, switching profiles and creating and using lists of .TELs
In fact, until I get my credentials, the only thing I can really do is look up .TELs and perform actions on them. I’m not complaining though – this is very, very early in the whole process. We’re still half a year away from General Availability of the .TEL
The lookup function is simple as you’d expect. Enter the name of a .TEL and the applications performs a lookup and retrieves the available data. In the provisional .TEL’s we’ve been given to play with, the data is sparse, but you can see the basic functionality.
Look up one of the Telnic sample .TEL’s however and we start to see a bit more of the potential.
While the Blackberry pulls down all the available information, it will only act on data for services which the device supports. So if you click on a Skype number, or an unsupported IM profile, the Blackberry will simply give an alert stating the service is not supported. Clicking on the same links in the Outlook app however, will connect you via Skype or launch the applicable IM service, assuming they’re installed.
What’s here so far looks promising. There are a number of kinks to work out, the interface could do with some work and having the credentials to access TelHosting will open up more of the functionality, but already we can get a feel for the potential.
Telnic has made the downloadable executables, the source code for all the apps as well as white papers and guides in their Developer Community available at http://dev.telnic.org/.
Click here for more information on .TEL