What is Mobile Computing

October 26, 2017 Author: virendra
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Mobile Computing is a technology that allows transmission of data, voice and video via a computer or any other wireless enabled device without having to be connected to a fixed physical link. Mobile computing (or ubiquitous computing as it is sometimes called) is the use of computers in a non-static environment. This use may range from using notebook-type computers away from one’s office or home to the use of handheld, palmtop-type PDA-like devices to perform both simple and complex computing tasks.

Mobile Computing: General

Mobile device has become essential part of human life. Apart from call and receive functions, user can access many function in his/her mobile. A user wants everything on his/her mobile device for the ease of work. Some people use tablets instead of laptop or desktop. Despite increasing usage of mobile computing, exploiting its full potential is difficult due to its inherent problems such as resource scarcity, frequent disconnections, and mobility. Mobile cloud computing can address these problems by executing mobile applications on resource providers external to the mobile device.

Mobile phones are set to become the universal interface to online services and cloud computing applications. However, using them for this purpose today is limited to two configurations: applications either run on the phone or run on the server and are remotely accessed by the phone. These two options do not allow for a customized and flexible service interaction, limiting the possibilities for performance optimization as well. Communication or data sharing among mobile devices is often limited by proximity of the devices. The invention of Internet has affected the way of searching the information by a human. Today abundance of information is available to the user from the Internet through single click of mouse. In the earlier days, the software was utilized and sold as package and user was happy about this mode of usage.

Mobile Computing Devices : Classification

Mobile Computing is a technology that allows transmission of data, voice and video via a computer or any other wireless enabled device without having to be connected to a fixed physical link.

Mobile computing is not only limited to mobile phones, but there are various gadgets available in the market that is built on a platform to support mobile computing. They are usually classified in the following categories:

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

The main purpose of this device is to act as an electronic organizer or day planner that is portable, easy to use and capable of sharing information with your computer systems.

PDA is an extension of the PC, not a replacement. These systems are capable of sharing information with a computer system through a process or service known as synchronization. Both devices will access each other to check for changes or updates in the individual devices. The use of infrared and Bluetooth connections enables these devices to always be synchronized.

Examples of PDAs

Figure 1:  Examples of PDAs


This kind of phone combines the features of a PDA with that of a mobile phone or camera phone. It has a superior edge over other kinds of mobile phones.

Smartphones have the capability to run multiple programs concurrently. These phones include high-resolution touch screens, web browsers that can access and properly display standard web pages rather than just mobile-optimized sites, and high-speed data access via Wi-Fi and high speed cellular broadband.

Example of Smartphone

Figure 2: Example of Smartphone

The most common mobile Operating Systems (OS) used by modern smartphones include Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS, Nokia’s Symbian, RIM’s BlackBerry OS, Samsung’s Bada, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and embedded Linux distributions such as Maemo and MeeGo. Such operating systems can be installed on different phone models, and typically each device can receive multiple OS software updates over its lifetime.

Tablet PC and iPads

This mobile device is larger than a mobile phone or a PDA and integrates into a touch screen and is operated using touch sensitive motions on the screen. They are often controlled by a pen or by the touch of a finger. They are usually in slate form and are light in weight. Examples would include ipads, Galaxy Tabs, Blackberry Playbooks etc.

Example of Tablet and iPads

Figure 3: Example of Tablet and iPads

They offer the same functionality as portable computers. They support mobile computing in a far superior way and have enormous processing horsepower. Users can edit and modify document files, access high speed internet, stream video and audio data, receive and send e-mails, attend/give lectures and presentations among its very many other functions. They have excellent screen resolution and clarity.


[1] Niroshinie Fernando, Seng W. Loke and Wenny Rahayu, “Mobile cloud computing: A survey”, Future Generation Computer Systems, (2013), PP. 84–106.

[2] Joshi, Anupam, et al. “A survey of mobile computing technologies and applications.” (1995).

[3] “Mobile Computing”, available online at: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/mobile_computing/mobile_computing_classification.htm

[4] Kumar, Sathish Alampalayam, “Classification and Review of Security Schemes in Mobile Computing”, Wireless Sensor Network 2.06 (2010): 419.

One Comment

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