GyPSii Offers Java Version of Social Networking Client

Mobile social-networking site GyPSii is making its client available for Java-based mobile phones, a move that increases the number of devices that can run the application by more than a hundred, the company said on Tuesday.

Owners of mobile phones such as the Nokia 6300 and the C905 from Sony Ericsson will now be able to connect to the location-centric mobile social network, which, for example, lets users find nearby places that friends and others have tagged.

The user experience will be comparable to what users on high-end smartphones are currently getting, GyPSii said.

As the smartphone market has taken off, application development for simpler devices that use proprietary operating systems but support Java has taken a back seat, said Paolo Pescatore, analyst at CCS Insight. But for a social network like GyPSii it's important to be on as many devices as possible, he said.

GyPSii is already available for Apple's iPhone, BlackBerry handsets and phones based on Windows Mobile and the Symbian OS. In the next few weeks, GyPSii also plans to announce support for Google's Android platform, according to a spokesman. It's also preloaded on a range of handsets from Samsung, LG and Garmin.

GyPSii's big challenge will be to compete with the bigger social networks, especially Facebook, according to Pescatore. Last week Facebook announced it had more than 65 million mobile users, and Nokia announced a partnership with the company to make location a part of users' status updates.

"It has come to the point where the average consumer on the high-street has started asking for a Facebook phone," said Pescatore.

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