Short for the Wireless Application Protocol, a
secure specification that allows users to access information
instantly via handheld wireless devices such as mobile phones,
pagers, two-way radios, smartphones and communicators.
WAP supports most wireless networks. These include CDPD, CDMA, GSM,
PDC, PHS, TDMA, FLEX, ReFLEX, iDEN, TETRA, DECT, DataTAC, and
WAP is supported by all operating systems. Ones specifically
engineered for handheld devices include PalmOS, EPOC, Windows CE,
FLEXOS, OS/9, and JavaOS.
WAPs that use displays and access the Internet run what are called
microbrowsers--browsers with small file sizes that can accommodate
the low memory constraints of handheld devices and the low-bandwidth
constraints of a wireless-handheld network.
Although WAP supports HTML and XML, the WML language (an XML
application) is specifically devised for small screens and one-hand
navigation without a keyboard. WML is scalable from two-line text
displays up through graphic screens found on items such as smart
phones and communicators. WAP also supports WMLScript. It is similar
because it does not contain many of the unnecessary functions found
in other scripting languages.
Because WAP is fairly new, it is not a formal standard yet. It is
still an initiative that was started by Unwired Planet, Motorola,
Nokia, and Ericsson.