All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 18-07-2010, 05:14 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Can the cloud replace mobile applications?

David Gilson explores the relative benefits of native applications and cloud applications, both from a consumer point of view, and from the point of view of the developers who ultimately supply our applications. Will the cloud replace the traditional app?

Read on in the full article.

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Old 18-07-2010, 06:03 PM
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mikejaydavies mikejaydavies is offline
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Brings back memories!

As I was reading about PDAs being some of the first to offer true mobile applications, it really took me back to the time when my best friend's cousin bought an HP iPAQ, and to run or install certain applications he had to insert a card to the top of the device! At the time (the only phone I'd had any interaction with was the Motorola T180 one One2One that both my parents owned) I thought that the whole process was amazing - look how far we've come in 10 years indeed.

Another brilliant article, David, keep it up!

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Old 18-07-2010, 06:24 PM
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The portable hardware might be ready but the networks have got a long way to go before they can be relied on.

Why, when you have got a microprocessor in your hand, would you use one that could be thousands of miles away to do simple calculations? What a waster of resources. Cloud apps will have their place, but so will mobile apps.

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Old 18-07-2010, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The portable hardware might be ready but the networks have got a long way to go before they can be relied on.

Why, when you have got a microprocessor in your hand, would you use one that could be thousands of miles away to do simple calculations? What a waster of resources. Cloud apps will have their place, but so will mobile apps.
If you look at the most popular applications out there, in the lead by far are the social networking ones. You could easily have these kinds of applications accessed from the cloud, as the apps are generally tailored versions of the mobile website.

Note-taking apps would also be ideal things to have in the cloud, and once there's a top-quality smartphone with a stellar QWERTY and touch input I could see mobile office suites really taking off - you could start an article on your computer, and instantly pick it up while you're on the move or live at the location of a press conference, etc.

We're seeing some games being accessed solely from the cloud in the home, too: as mobile processors and GPUs get better we could see something similar on mobile devices.

Using these examples there's not a lot that you would need mobile applications for to rely on. But I can't see cloud computing really taking off until a couple years' time when desktop OSs fully embrace them.

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Old 18-07-2010, 09:34 PM
sparx104 sparx104 is offline
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APIs

What we really need is a system like Twitter - a cloud based service with an API.

You can use Twitter from anywhere via the web interface, or you can never use the web interface at all. The API allows access to the system in a "better" way.

Obviously, there's no use for Twitter offline but if you use something like an online office suite the ability to pull a document into a local editor and then save it back to the "cloud" is going to be something that's extremely useful.

Such a model would also ideally support syncing changes in the background. Eg. pull the document onto your phone to edit it and the edits are saved back as long as you have signal, if you go onto the subway or such and lose that signal you should still be able to edit the document and the system should automatically sync the changes back once there's a signal - much like GMail has started with it's offline mode but it should be seamless - something a native app is going to be much better at. For "shared" document's or such it'd be trivial to mark files as "editing", "not editing" or "was editing but disappeared...". Or just write lock documents.

The "cloud" should simply act like a large storage location which other local apps can access via standardised APIs - eg. a large database. Web apps can then be used to access the data too but they shouldn't be the only way - the internet is still not ubiquitous and, in many cases, not fast enough to provide the experience everyone's used to.

My opinion anyway.

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Old 18-07-2010, 10:01 PM
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If you look at the most popular applications out there, in the lead by far are the social networking ones. You could easily have these kinds of applications accessed from the cloud, as the apps are generally tailored versions of the mobile website.

.
Social networking apps do keep their data remotely. The most popular applications out there by far are games.

Cloud is almost working for desktop because you can almost rely on home broadband. But currently network coverage for mobile is pretty shite if you truly are mobile. I would not like to rely on remote data for everything.

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Old 19-07-2010, 06:48 AM
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Lightbulb Mobile Web 2.0 Cloud

Mobile web-based business applications in the 'cloud'.

Imagine yourself as an account rep or consultant at a customer site experiencing a problem with your product or service. Wouldn't it be nice to have access to the last 10 interactions you have had with the customer, along with output from your companies knowledge base with info concerning how similar problems have been solved in the past.

In the on-demand software as a service world the providers also use a multi-tenant architecture that allows them to see how separate virtual organizations go about using their different apps and services, thus allowing a window into a sort of social CRM to improve business processes.

Network access speeds and latency will improve, and your CPU, GPU, RAM, Apps, Services etc. can be located wherever one's heart desires.

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Old 19-07-2010, 10:19 AM
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All this discussion seems to miss the two killer reasons why cloud based apps fail with mobile phones:

1. Availability. The whole point of the app being on the phone is you can use it anywhere. The lack of a mobile phone connection isn't limited to the Amazon rain forests or Scottish highlands (I stand to be corrected by Ewan). I regularly visit East coast Florida just down the road from the Kennedy Spaceport and the signal there is unreliable to say the least, particularly if in a building. Going outside in the Florida sunshine is not a solution as the screen then becomes invisible!

2. Cost - Living in the UK I have a decent data package but cross the water to France and it becomes 3 (or is it 5?) per MB. Definitely not a a rate at which I want to run anything off the cloud!!

WHilst the latter problem may one day be solved, sod's law says that the mobile connection will fail when you most need it. So cloud-based apps may be an amusing gimmick but for live in the real world they are just to unreliable.
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