Litl Lays Plans for Channel Store to Offer New Kinds of Webbook Content

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smart digital picture frame that happens to have a keyboard. In view of the fact that the device is simply a vessel for the larger vision, it might only be a matter of time before Litl evolves from an appliance maker into a content company, supplying Litl channels to a range of devices. After all, there’s no particular reason a Mac or Windows laptop couldn’t display the same Flash content designed for the Webbook.

“The reality is that the software experience is the secret sauce,” Litl’s Gardner admitted when I probed on this point. “We haven’t talked too much about the next-generation Litl device, but maybe we should really be thinking about how we can take this experience and deliver it to people in an enjoyable way that doesn’t have to be tied to this physical form factor.”

Freedman agreed, saying he would eventually like to enable Webbook channel developers to “write once, deploy to many.” “I love the concept of being able to build something and know my user base doesn’t have to be specific or local to one device, but that what I’m creating can be experienced across many platforms,” Freedman says, in a not-so-veiled dig at the iPhone/iPad ecosystem.

But first things first—Litl’s current task is simply to get the SDK out the door. “Rolling out an SDK is like rolling out another product,” says Freedman. “The team needs to be built out and the support in place. We’re accompanying the SDK with sample channels and a lot of sample code that developers can customize and redeploy, as well as some amazing documentation, guides, and videos.”

The key SDK component sucking up the time of Freedman’s team is the Webbook simulator, which mimics the behavior of the Webbook on a conventional PC. “The simulator is really important, since we can’t assume that every developer in our community is going to own a Litl, or if they do, that it will be at hand,” says Freedman. “I have one at home, for example, but usually my wife or my son are using it.” Which probably means Litl is doing something right.

The video below is republished by permission from Litl’s developer site,

litl: sdk & flash player 10.1 from litl on Vimeo.

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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