Motorola has acquired 280 North, a web application framework developer, in order to strengthen its application development proposition, and to develop its Android ecosystem with “innovative web-based technologies and applications.” According to reports, the handset vendor said that the deal will give it access to “specialised web-app engineering talent and technology,” which will enable it to continue the expansion of its Android software portfolio. The transaction apparently took place earlier in 2010, although neither company made an announcement at the time; website TechCrunch says that Motorola paid US$20 million for the business, which had previously only raised US$250,000 in external funding.

280 North has developed an open-source framework called Cappuccino, which is intended to make it easier to build “desktop-calibre” applications that run in a web browser. It is built on a new programming language called Objective-J, which is modelled on Objective-C and “built entirely on top of JavaScript.” Programmes written in Objective-J are interpreted in the client, so no compilation or plug-ins are required. TechCrunch notes that “developers we’ve spoken with have praised the framework, calling it one of the best ways to make applications with little programming knowledge.”