Opera Software has  introduced on Wednesday a widget runtime platform for the Google Android operating system, leveraging the WAC (Wholesale Applications Community) technology.

The runtime will support the WAC 1.0 specification, Opera said. WAC 1.0 is the first draft of the organization's standard enabling mobile applications to target functionality on the device itself, Opera said.

The alpha release of Opera's widget runtime for Android enables developers to get a head start in building the "next step" in applications for smartphones, Opera said.

"It is a great pleasure for us to present our public implementation of the WAC 1.0 specification and to get developers going," said Christen Krogh, chief developer officer at Opera Software, in a statement released by the company. "Opera is participating in WAC and remains committed to take the WAC platform to the masses."

Widgets are written as Web applications using Web technologies like HTML and JavaScript. Opera Widgets can run in the Opera browser or, in this case, the widget runtime. By using Web standards, widgets are cross-platform, according to Opera.

Developers can build widgets and implement WAC APIs by downloading the runtime from the Opera website.

WAC features an alliance of mobile operators, such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, seeking to increase the overall market for mobile applications by encouraging use of open, standardized technologies.