Mobile Applications Today and Tomorrow: What it means for Quality?
The mobile world has never been so exciting. A mobile phone today is no longer used merely for voice communications but is increasingly being utilized for data communications.
Der folgende Beitrag entstand unter Mitwirkung von Juliana Sutanto, Assistant Professor ETH Zurich, Anar Gasimov, Research Assistant ETH Zurich, Tan Chuan Hoo, Assistant Professor City University of Hongkong, Phang CheeWei, Assistant Professor Fudan University China
For instance, users can now use mobile applications to engage in a wide variety of social and commercial activities. Some of these activities including procuring canned drinks from QuickPhone kiosks in Manchester, locating the geographical location of an individual using traceamobile.com and childlocate.com.uk, posting messages to Twitter, and even uploading pictures of and blogging on places visited through limbo.com. All these activities no longer need to be done through a bulky device such as the laptop.
What cause these changes? We believe two technological factors fueled this mobile evolution. First, telecommunication operators in many countries have embraced on the 3G and/or 3.5G mobile telephony communication protocols. These communication protocols significantly enlarge the mobile network bandwidth and this trend will likely to persist with the upcoming protocols such as the 4G. With larger network bandwidth, more data intensive activities could be engaged. For instance, internet browsing would become more feasible, making it easier and enjoyable to instantaneously search for and install new mobile applications into the mobile phone when needed; resulting in greater demand for mobile application variety. Application developers would, in turn, be more motivated to expend and invest time and money on introducing new and innovative applications. Second, the thick mobile phone with small screen size and antenna we used to have are no longer existed. Mobile phone today is characterized by super-thin size, bigger screen size and more processing power, which are comparable to netbooks (e.g. Toshiba TG01 with 4.1" screen, 1GHz processor). Manufacturers are also introducing new technologies into their offerings such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. These developments have and will no doubt continue fueling the market for mobile applications.
Notwithstanding the market potential, it is imperative to remember that consumers are becoming more demanding on the variety and the quality of the mobile applications. By mobile application, we refer to a software written for mobile devices ranging from Operating System (OS) to a small utility tool, excluding middleware application (i.e. Java Virtual Machine). As a mobile application developer, knowledge of what is desired becomes pertinent. It is crucial to know what types of mobile applications are desirable by the mobile phone users so as not to blindly jump into the bandwagon. What is the mobile application trend and what quality-related issues that a developer should be aware of when harnessing on the increasingly competitive mobile application market? This article seeks to address these questions. To do so, we first establish a common knowledge of what applications are available in the market, and where they are heading to. Next, we examine the technicality of developing mobile application with a discussion on what it takes to ensure quality for a mobile application.