Mobile computing has been growing in popularity over several years, while the mobile telephone has evolved into a ubiquitous device used by the majority of people today. The increasing capabilities of mobile phones, and the more universal coverage and higher bandwidth networks available to them, has meant that the combination of mobile computing and the phone has become a very persuasive and appealing platform for both consumer and enterprise applications.
Until relatively recently, people would have needed to carry around a personal digital assistant (PDA), a phone, a separate Global Positioning System (GPS) device, a pager or two-way text messaging device, and a digital camera. Now a single device provides all these capabilities and more, and at an affordable price.
It’s now common to use a small mobile device to access phone services, music, video, Internet collaboration and information services, and communication systems such as email and messaging. Most modern smart phones and small form-factor devices have high resolution screens and advanced processing capabilities that support applications very similar to those more commonly seen on the desktop or in the domestic environment (such as MP3 players, TVs, and web browsers). Users can purchase and install applications from marketplace sites. In the future, corporations will also be able to distribute their own applications to selected users through private marketplaces.
Developers are increasingly exposing their enterprise and corporate applications and services to mobile devices such as phones to establish an “access everywhere” paradigm for all kinds of working scenarios, where the difference between a fixed and a mobile device is mainly usability and the availability of more advanced application features (and, of course, limited by screen size and battery life). Consumers also are adapting to a world where the primary mobile information,
socializing, and entertainment device is a phone. How ubiquitous this is, is evident from the number of people who no longer have a fixed phone line, and who rely on a mobile phone for all their communication requirements, both business and social.