What Are Java-Enabled Mobile Phones?

By Samuel Porter

Many phones include support for Java
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Smartphones are growing exponentially in popularity. They let you use apps for a huge variety of purposes, from GPS mapping to email to entertainment. But even if your phone doesn't have a fancy touch screen or keyboard, it may be smarter than you think. That's because many phones include support for Java apps. Although it may not have an app store, if you have a Java-enabled phone, you might be able to find apps online and download them to your phone to improve its capabilities.

What is Java?

Java is a programming language and platform created by Sun Microsystems more than a decade ago. As phones became increasingly powerful, Sun created a version of Java, called Java 2 Micro Edition (or J2ME), designed specifically for phones. J2ME lets programmers build applications that take advantage of the specific user interface and hardware constraints of mobile devices.

Does My Phone Have Java?

Most phones produced within the last few years support J2ME unless they run Windows Mobile, Android, or iOS. To see if your specific phone supports J2ME, look in the phone's manual (if you've lost the hard copy, you can probably find it on the manufacturer's website).

How Do I Find J2ME Apps?

Search the web. You can also browse apps at a variety of sites, such as getjar.com and clickapps.com. As always, make sure you trust the source of the software before installing it. Although J2ME is designed to keep your phone safe from malicious apps, no computer security is perfect. If in doubt, don't install it.

How Do I Install J2ME Apps?

Consult your phone's manual for installation instructions. Some phones come with a USB cable that you can use to hook your phone to a computer and install apps. If not, you can probably purchase such a cable from the phone manufacturer or online. You may need to contact your cellular service provider to enable installing apps on your phone.