Introduction to Mobile Computing Features
Mobile computing features empower computer users to remain connected with servers irrespective of their current geographical location while they are on the move and access information from the servers as well as commit transactions in it; these features, along with the internet, brought in drastic changes in the way we do our business, banking, Government transactions, social networking, official collaboration, interactions among friends/ family members; it has also enabled the development of innovative use cases and business cases to improve productivity and reduce costs; these features helped in proliferation of computing devices among the common public at an affordable cost and improved the living standards of the people in general.
Brief Explanation on Mobile Computing
The success of Mobile computing was possible due to the following five factors
1. Inventions of smaller, easily portable end-user devices
2. Development of new Communication protocols between device and servers
3. Evolution of Wireless networks to transfer data and voice among devices and servers
4. Invention of Global Position System (GPS) to track the location of mobile devices.
5. Evolution of New software platform to develop apps exploiting new hardware and mobile technologies
Let’s analyze the features of mobile computing features by grouping them into five groups, as described above.
Features of Mobile Computing
The first semblance of mobile computing for old-timers was Laptop due to its little bit of mobility across desks and offices though connected by wire. The mobile evolution continued with the invention of slimmer and easily portable end-user compute devices like a walkie-talkie, pager, Data assistants, Tablet computers like iPad/ Tablet, and finally merging of Phone and computers as smartphones.
Features of the devices are:
• The size should be as small as possible to carry it easily where ever one goes, and the weight should be as minimum as possible.
• It should have sufficient processing power to churn out numbers fast.
• Should support all communication protocols
• It should support all networks and should work anywhere in the globe without any network glitch
• Display should be very clear and responsive to environmental changes
• Battery should have a long life as much as possible
• It should support Near Field communicator (NFC) protocol to emit signals to nearby devices for completing payment transactions as a replacement to Debit/ Credit cards.
• It should have sufficient storage space
• Should have a modern camera to take photos and interface them with applications seamlessly.
• It should have finger print sensor to incorporate secured locking features
• Should have fast charging facility
Mobile computing uses wireless network protocols mostly to connect to external networks and devices, and it uses a spectrum of radio waves in the communication. These protocols deploy the multiplexing technique which combines digital signals with analog signals in a channel before sending it and demultiplexes at the destination. Multiplexing optimizes the utilization of scarce resources.
Each user is allotted a different frequency in Frequency division multiplexing (FDMA) and users share frequency in Time-division Multiplexing (TDMA), and in Code Division Multiplexing (CDMA), users share the same frequency but identified by a unique code.
Global System of Mobile communication (GSM) was one of the most adopted wireless systems in the 1980s. It uses TDMA protocol and it helped in popularising mobile telephones to a large extent. Wireless local loop (WLL) provided telephone services in a local area, and it had a base system and handsets for voice communication.
General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) transmitted the voice data over the network in packets. Users paid only for the volume of data transmitted not for the usage time.
First-generation (1G) mobile communication that used analog signals to transmit data was introduced in the 1980s in the US. The lacunae in 1G was low-speed 2.4kbps, inferior quality of voice transmission, and a bulky phone with low battery life.
Second generation (2G) mobile communication used digital signal over GSM technology improved voice quality and improved the speed up to 64kps and enabled messaging. 2G had several security issues.
3G offered speed upto 2Mbps and enabled internet browsing, audio/video file transfer, Email services, and games. It paved the way for merging data technologies with telephony systems and enabled everything in mobile and mobile-first concepts.
4G improved the mobile user experience to the peak level and it achieved the speed of 1Gbps. It enabled HD TV with live streaming, cloud computing, telephone on the data network, etc.
Mobile devices use voice and data network services offered by the telecom service provider. Users utilize the data services provided by Telcom operators and get into the internet and do whatever they want. The only disadvantage in this service is the bandwidth of the data network is limited, and users cannot download large files and refrain from using data-intensive applications.
Mobile devices can be used as desktops, laptops, and connected to the Local area network or Wide area network of any organization through wireless connection and continue to do normal activities. These devices can be connected to the internet thru local Wi-fi networks in the home or in a public place.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Mobile devices are capable of availing the satellite services to know its current location. Though the internet is not involved for GPS location services, it added a lot of extra features in enabling unique services offered to the users such as
• Integration with Maps to know the current position pictorially
• Navigational applications to know the routes to a place.
• Taxi and other Delivery services to reach your locations
• Location-based contextual information access
Mobile devices vary in size, and it was a challenge to develop programs to display content matching the size. Responsive web design facility offered by several application platforms resolved this issue.
Another issue in this software development is that too much content had to be displayed in a too little place and get the attention of the users quickly. It is addressed by using innovative methods of simple web design.
Developers need to manage the security concerns and take care of any breaches at the coding stage itself.
Mobile computing changed our lives dramatically and the mobile phone is the first computer for many young people. Kinder garden and Elementary school classes are conducted thru mobile phones. Since mobile computing impacts, many people and there would be more focus on Mobile computing as we move on.
This is a guide to Mobile Computing Features. Here we discuss the definition, brief, features in detail. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –
- Mobile Cloud Computing
- Edge Computing Architecture
- What is Utility Computing?
- Mobile Application Software