O2 have today announced a collaboration between themselves and PURE Digital, bringing PURE’s The Lounge Internet Radio streams to the March launch, O2 talked about Messaging and Internet Radio following in May, although only the Messaging support got added (and in June); so finally, they have added the Internet Radio support originally promised!, and at the same time, reduced the price down to £99.99. The , if you remember, is a proprietary device offering access to a limited set of applications providing access to certain facilities (Weather, Road Traffic, News, Sports, local photo display, and messaging). In fact, back in the
By working with PURE Digital, they are providing a “selection of the most popular UK BBC and commercial radio stations” (around 100 stations in total) out of the 12,000 or so available via PURE directly, although there’s no word as to whether thealso supports the listen again facilities of The Lounge.
O2 have also announced that the device will be upgraded from Flash 8 to Flash 10, and have announced an SDK will shortly be available to allow developers to create 3rd party application for this device, which will then be accessible to users via a dedicated App Store, which should be available before the end of the year (although based on pretty much all the timeframes so far being missed with this device, don’t hold your breath!)
Initially, theApp Store will only support free applications, which is probably a good move; and any developers interested in developing for this device should look at some of the UK specific widgets developed for the platform to understand what might work for the UK. As a hint, Flickr photo display, Live UK train departure / arrival information, and BBC support would all help the device, not to mention apps such as instant messaging and Social Networking support, plus last.fm and/or Spotify support would help make this device sell better, and compete against the and it’s own application support.
Of course, whether O2 would authorise all those applications is another story, but as the device does not use their 3G network (only the local broadband connection), there is little reason to limit the device, and support like this could in time make it a firm favourite with O2 customers…