A Simple Mobile Application
Dec 24, 2010
A mobile application many a time is lot more than just the part of it that runs on the phone. We saw earlier that the central processor and memory need to be optimally utilized. This is because they are less able components compared to their counterparts on the desktop or a server. They need to work very optimally so that the battery on the mobile device needs less frequent recharge. Therefore the software that runs on the phone needs to have a much smaller memory footprint and perform only the most critical number crunching that needs to be done on the mobile phone.
This brings up the realization that the mobile application is probably something that has three parts. A front end that deals with the user interaction at the point of presence, a mobile service delivery platform (we talked about it in an earlier post) and a backend application or a suite of them providing the lions share of application functionality.
Simplest of mobile applications leverage a very simple and existing user interface front end on the mobile device. It is an existing software that resides on the phone and is none other than the texting or SMS application. Although, this software can only communicate in short chunks of text, it can be very effective and deliver powerful and business critical mobility features for certain applications.
Take for example an airline company. For loyal customers who have registered their contact information, the existing enterprise fleet scheduling and tracking application can be positively extended to enable mobility for these customers. i.e., They can be informed of their next flight's status, which will help them manage their personal time better. This is a simple yet highly valued functionality. This can be done through a simple text message indicating any possible delays and the most probable time of departure. Similarly the baggage handling system (of IT applications) can be upgraded to deliver lost baggage status in real time through simple text messages to wherever the concerned customers are at present.
In the above example, the information transmitted does not compromise or pose a threat to the mobile user's privacy, security or safety. In such simple yet powerful use cases that are very similar, mobility can simply be delivered without much fanfare through the obvious and ubiquitous texting application.