The Mobile Evolution - InformationWeek
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8/30/2008
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Paige Finkelman
Paige Finkelman
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The Mobile Evolution

The mobile workforce must feel frustrated. The market is chock full of cool 3G smart phones with slick interfaces and modern look and feel. Excitedly purchased with thoughts of using the device for work and play, it has to be disappointing to later be told by the grim faced IT department that they don't approve the device you've purchased. Bummer.However, security and risk assessment isn't something to be taken lightly. IT has to select not only the devices they'll support, but also which applications to choose on those devices. The size of a mobile device is also problematic. It's much easier to lose a mobile device than a laptop, and this in turn heightens the likelihood that secure information could be leaked.End users aren't the only ones that have it rough. Given the diverse platforms, carriers and devices available, a developer has to choose wisely as to how and where to develop an application. Luckily, vendors are offering more and more solutions to address the architecture issue inherent in the mobile platform and as the tools evolve, so will the amount of device types a developer can cater to.The future is definitely web-based. If you're mobile, data can be accessed far quicker through your browser. The page might not look as nice as it does on your PC, but now that the mobile platform has come into its own, developers have started designing pages to be simpler and easier to view on a small screen. The devices themselves will also evolve and larger screens are definitely in our future.The Japanese are doing amazing things in this space. In Japan the mobile phone, not the PC, is the device of choice for internet access. Now Over 80 million users access the internet through their mobile phones. PDAs never really took off in Japan - instead devices have emerged that offer screen sizes of up to 800480 pixel, document viewer software and OCR business card scanners. Connection speeds range from 250 Kbits up to 5 Mbit.The Western hempishpere isn't quite there yet, but we're on our way. Defnitely watch this space.

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