The Mobile Cloud App Infrastructure: Centralizing Apps across Mobile Platforms
There are currently two leading Mobile operating systems in the market – the Android OS by Google, and the iOS by Apple. These two OS’s dominate the mobile market while Android is currently holding the larger market share of the two. But in terms of device proliferation, iOS holds that crown as all the devices using it are made by Apple while the Android market is fragmented with different devices from various manufacturers with very different hardware specifications, not to mention all the different flavors and versions of Android currently in wide use. We also have our holders of the smaller shares of the pie, Windows Phone (previously Windows Mobile) and the Blackberry 10 OS.
This fragmentation means that not everyone will be able to enjoy the same applications unless they have been ported to their respective mobile platforms. And this is tedious work; developers have to change a lot of features and functions because of the type of processor, screen size, and other hardware and platform specific quirks to make a proper port. This is especially true for business applications until fairly recently. They usually supported only a single platform and those that adopt this application are forced to adopt the platform as well. For a while, this proprietary nature has been used by the platform vendors themselves to sell their platform. But the status quo right now is that multiplatform is the best way to go for any application, which allows it to penetrate a wider market audience.
So how can we go multi-platform in today’s mobile environment considering the fragmentation we have? The answer is obviously Cloud Computing. All of these mobile platforms share something in common – the ability to get on the internet. We require a common Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) that is available on all mobile platforms. Mobile applications can run on the Cloud and accessed through the MEAP, allowing everyone to have a common ground in mobile application consumption.
Another method is to use HTML5. Since all platforms have full browser capabilities, or at least close to it, HTML5 can become the common ground where developers create their apps and not worry about device-specific quirks. This is mainly because of HTML5’s ability to scale to any screen size and processor because it is a common standard that everybody will be implementing on their mobile platforms.
The future of Cloud Computing rests partly on the mobile market, and for companies and businesses to be successful in this space, the would need to think in the Cloud and go multiplatform so that they get a shot at the whole market rather than just a piece of it.
By Abdul Salam
He has recently co-authored: Deploying and Managing a Cloud Infrastructure: Real-World Skills for the CompTIA Cloud+ Certification (Wiley).