by February 4, 2007 0 comments



The mobile phone has evolved into an inseparable device for many. In spite of
the many shortcomings in the device as well as the service, it has become the
primary mode of communication for most of us. But as a computing device, it
still has a long way to go. The blackberries and the smart phones of the world
have at best brought a limited form of email to the mobile phone. Full and
interactive application usage is still a distant dream. And for that, the
limitations are many, including the way traditional applications are architected
and of course the limitations of the client devices and the connecting
technologies.

Just imagine how great and ubiquitous a computing platform the mobile phone
could become. Looking at the sheer number of phones out there and the growth
rate of the segment, mobile phone based computing is a revolution waiting to
happen.

Krishna Kumar
Group Editor

I am repeatedly using the term “mobile phone” to avoid confusion with
mobile computing, which more often than not refers to notebook based computing.

Like with traditional computing, it could take off first in the Enterprise
and then spread to the personal segment, or given the sheer number of phones out
there, the personal segment might take the lead. We have so far waited for
mobile phone based computing to take off, waiting for connection technologies
and the device itself to mature, before applications and dashboards made their
appearance on the mobile. With fairly powerful mobiles having now reached a
threshold level of usage, it’s time to attack the problem from the other end.
Perhaps we need to look at the way our applications are architected and the way
they connect and deliver data to the client end. Perhaps we need to completely
re-architect some applications for a mobile phone environment. Perhaps, when
creating new applications, we need to do it with the mobile phone as the target
device.

Emerging standards in SOA could perhaps do the trick or we need to develop
new standards with mobile phone based, on the move computing in mind. Perhaps we
would need to go even further and look at the way our applications are to be
architected. After all, they were made for relatively fatter clients and
stronger connects.

Even if that is done, the quality of our networks would still be a major
bottleneck. Remember the days of dial up connections when you used to click on a
link and wait for all eternity for something to happen? Hopefully, as mobile
applications mature, the networks will also mature in service quality levels.
Like the PC did a quarter of a century back, we are waiting for a killer
application to come, for computing on the mobile phone to take off. That killer
application could be a productivity application in the enterprise space, or
equally if not more likely, it could be an entertainment application in the
personal space.

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