Revolutionizing mobile applications: Plugging into the Cloud
It is often forgotten that not everyone owns a smart phone. As a result, not every mobile device is entitled to processing powers similar to those of the Snap Dragon processor. Majority of the people still use feature phones with low-end functionality and features. With limited battery life, storage space And Processing power of these devices, mobile cloud computing comes into the picture to save the day!
An infrastructure that offers data storage and data processing at a remote location can be very beneficial for all mobile devices since feature mobile devices with low end specification will continue to coexist with faster and better smart phones. One problem that current mobile phone users face is that all apps are tied to the parent company. With cloud computing, as long as there is web access, the application is yours. Mobile applications will exist in both formats – downloaded/purchased applications which are present on the storage of the mobile device, and cloud applications which are processed and stored at a remote location. The problem that opposes the idea of mobile cloud apps is the lack of fast internet access for mobile devices. As long as you have bars, you will have the application. The situation gets even worse if you have to travel often.
Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), needs little tweaking and companies such as ABI research are working on common issues associated with it. Another issue is that the mobile industry has many platforms that need to be covered. As a result it is quite appealing to create an application and at once go cross-platform.
Companies like Nokia, Google, Apple are fast at work to develop their mobile cloud services. Google’s App engine and Amazon web services are creating an impact on PaaS field of mobile cloud computing. Google App engine supports several programming languages. Its first beta version was released in April ’08. Google App engine provides better infrastructure to develop and write applications. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is not far behind. AWS has a collection of remote computing services that make up the cloud. Some notable services of the AWS are Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2. There are other emerging companies that are offering mobile cloud applications; one of them is Wyse. Wyse recently released PocketCloud 2.0 which will aim at developing and hosting applications for iPhone and iPad. It has impressive features like Auto Discovery, iPhone 4 retina support and VNC support. The most impressive feature of the service is external monitor support on iPhone 4 which enables a user to share desktop onto an external display.
Microsoft’s Azure Services is another contender in the field. This is Microsoft’s answer to platform as a service. PaaS player’s marketing capabilities will be better known in a year or two. With the release of HTML 5.0 due in 2011, we can see some real development in the field; in fact, HTML 5.0 might just reinvent it all! With so many applications available across the web, effective standardization of the apps will be one issue that’ll need some attention. As our computers become thin clients with time, requesting services online, inevitably our mobiles will closely follow the same course.