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2 janvier 2011 7 02 /01 /janvier /2011 04:58

The Mobile Web refers to the use of Internet-connected applications, or browser-based access to the Internet from a mobile device - such as a smartphone or tablet PC - connected to a wireless network  (Dell XPS M1210 Batteryhttp://www.hdd-shop.co.uk .

Traditionally, access to the Web has been via fixed-line services. However the Web is going mobile. In 2008 an important milestone in the transition from fixed to mobile Web use was reached when mobile access to the Internet exceeded desktop computer-based access for the first time (source: International Telecommunications Union, Oct 2009) (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery.

In fact, the shift to mobile Web access has been accelerating since 2007 with the rise of larger form factor multitouch smartphones, and more recently since 2010 with the emergence of multitouch tablet computers   (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery)    .

Both platforms are more conducive to Internet access and better browser- or application-based user Web experiences than have been afforded by previous generations of mobile devices  (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery)   .

The distinction between mobile Web applications and native applications is anticipated to become increasingly blurred, as mobile browsers gain direct access to the hardware of mobile devices (including accelerometers and GPS chips), and the performance of browser-based applications improve (speed- and capability-wise)  (Dell KM958 battery)    .

Persistent storage and access to sophisticated user interface graphics functions may further reduce the need for the development of platform-specific nativeapplications.

Once users are unable to differentiate between native and mobile web applications, the Mobile Web will refer generically to web access or use of Internet-connected apps from a mobile device  (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery)     .

Mobile Web access today still suffers from interoperability and usability problems. Interoperability issues stem from the platform fragmentation of mobile devices,mobile operating systems, and browsers. Usability problems are centered around the small physical size of the mobile phone form factors (limited resolution screens and user input/operating limitations)  (Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery) .

Mobile Internet

Further information: Mobile browser, Wireless broadband, and Mobile Internet Growth

'Mobile Internet' refers to access to the Internet from a mobile device, such as a smartphone or laptop via integrated capabilities or via an independent device (such as a USB modem or PCMCIA card)  (Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery)     .

Today USB modems are HSPA (3.5G) modems. Many users "tether" their smartphones to their laptop or personal computer with the wireless device providing access to the Internet via 3G, GPRS orCSD  (Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery)    .


Total data consumed by Opera Mini users worldwide from 2006 to mid-2008 in TB

The development of standards is one approach being implemented to improve the interoperability, usability, and accessibility issues surrounding mobile web usage  (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery)      .

The Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) is a new initiative set up by the W3C to develop best practices and technologies relevant to the Mobile Web. The goal of the initiative is to make browsing the Web from mobile devices more reliable and accessible  (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery)   .

The main aim is to evolve standards of data formats from Internet providers that are tailored to the specifications of particular mobile devices. The W3C has published guidelines for mobile content, and is actively addressing the problem of device diversity by establishing a technology to support a repository of device descriptions  (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery)     .

W3C is also developing a validating scheme to assess the readiness of content for the mobile web, through its mobileOK Scheme, which will help content developers to quickly determine if their content is web-ready. The W3C guidelines and mobile OK approach have not been immune from criticism  Sony VGP-BPL15 battery .

This puts the emphasis on Adaptation, which is now seen as the key process in achieving the ubiquitous web, when combined with a device description repository.

mTLD, the registry for .mobi, has released a free testing tool called the MobiReady Report (see mobiForge) to analyze the mobile readiness of website  (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery)   .

It does a free page analysis and gives a Mobi Ready score. This report tests the mobile-readiness of the site using industry best practices and standards  Dell Latitude E6400 battery .

Other standards for the mobile web are being documented and explored for particular applications by interested industry groups, such as the use of the mobile web for the purpose of education and training  (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery)     .


The first access to the mobile web was commercially offered in Finland in 1996 on the Nokia 9000 Communicator phone via the Sonera and Radiolinja networks  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery)    .

This was access to the real internet. The first commercial launch of a mobile-specific browser-based web service was in 1999 in Japan when i-mode was launched by NTT DoCoMo  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery .

The Mobile Web primarily utilises lightweight pages written in Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) or Wireless Markup Language(WML) to deliver content to mobile devices. Many new mobile browsers are moving beyond these limitations by supporting a wider range of Web formats, including variants of HTML commonly found on the desktop Web (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery)  .

Top-level domain

The .mobi sponsored top-level domain was launched specifically for the mobile Internet by a consortium of companies including Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, and Vodafone  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery)      .

By forcing sites to comply with mobile web standards, .mobi tries to ensure visitors a consistent and optimized experience on their mobile device. However, this domain has been criticized by several big names, including Tim Berners-Lee of the W3C, who claims that it breaks the device independence of the web    (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery)   :

It is fundamentally useful to be able to quote the URI for some information and then look up that URI in an entirely different context. For example, I may want to look up a restaurant on my laptop, bookmark it, and then, when I only have my phone, check the bookmark to have a look at the evening menu (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ430E Battery).

Or, my travel agent may send me a pointer to my itinerary for a business trip. I may view the itinerary from my office on a large screen and want to see the map, or I may view it at the airport from my phone when all I want is the gate number (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery.

Dividing the Web into information destined for different devices, or different classes of user, or different classes of information, breaks the Web in a fundamental way. I urge ICANN not to create the ".mobi" top level domain (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery.

Seven mass media

Since the first ringing tone was sold on the mobile phone in Finland in 1998, the mobile has emerged as the seventh of the mass media  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery)   .

Today a wide range of paid media content is consumed on mobile phones ranging from 9.3 billion dollars of music and 5 billion dollars of videogaming to horoscopes, virtual gifts, jokes, news, adult entertainment, etc. Also like on all other media, advertising appeared onto mobile when a free news service launched in Finland sponsored by ads in 2000  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery) .

In 2005, The Crazy Frog ringtone became the first mobile ringtone to cross over into the mainstream music charts, beating Coldplay for the Number 1 spot on the UK charts (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery.


Advertisers are increasingly using the mobile Web as platform to reach consumers. The total value of advertising on mobile was 2.2 billion dollars in 2007  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery)     .

A recent study by the Online Publishers Association reports that about one-in-ten mobile Web users said they have made a purchase based on a mobile Web ad, while 23% said they have visited a Web site, 13% said they have requested more information about a product or service and 11% said they have gone to a store to check out a product  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery)  .


Though Internet access "on the go" provides advantages to many, such as the ability to communicate by email with others and obtain information anywhere, the web, accessed from mobile devices, has a large number of limitations , which may vary, depending on the device  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery)    .

However, newer smartphones such as the iPhone and those using the Android operating system overcome some of these restrictions. Some problems which may be encountered include  (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery)      :

  • Small screen size – This makes it difficult or impossible to see text and graphics dependent on the standard size of a desktop computer screen  SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery .
  • Lack of windows – On a desktop computer, the ability to open more than one window at a time allows for multi-tasking and for easy revert to a previous page. Historically on mobile web, only one page can be displayed at a time, and pages can only be viewed in the sequence they were originally accessed  SONY VGP-BPS13 Battery .
  • However, there are apps for the iPhone (e.g. Oceanus), as well as browsers such as Opera Mini for Java ME, allowing multiple windows, but sometimes a limited number, and not multiple windows in the same screen  SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery .
  • Navigation – Most mobile devices do not use a mouselike pointer, but rather simply an up and down function for scrolling, thereby limiting the flexibility in navigation  SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery .
  • Lack of Javascript and cookies – Most devices do not support client-side scripting and storage of cookies (smartphones excluded), which are now widely used in most Web sites for enhancing user experience, facilitating the validation of data entered by the page visitor, etc  SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery .
  • This also results in web analytics tools not being suitable for uniquely identifying visitors using mobile devices.
  • Types of pages accessible – Many sites that can be accessed on a desktop cannot on a mobile device  SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery .
  • Many devices cannot access pages with a secured connection, Flash or other similar software, PDFs, or video sites, although recently this has been changing   SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery .
  • Speed – On most mobile devices, the speed of service is very slow, often slower than dial-up Internet access.
  • Broken pages – On many devices, a single page as viewed on a desktop is broken into segments, which are each treated as a separate page. Paired with the slow speed, navigation between these pages is slow  Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery .
  • Compressed pages – Many pages, in their conversion to mobile format, are squeezed into an order different from how they would customarily be viewed on a desktop computer   (Dell Inspiron 1464 Battery)    .
  • Size of messages – Many devices have limits on the number of characters that can be sent in an email message.
  • Cost – the access and bandwidth charges levied by cellphone networks can be high if there is no flat fee per month (Dell Inspiron 1564 Battery)   .
  • Location of mobile user:
    • if advertisements reach phone users in private locations, users find them more distressful (Banerjee & Dholakia, 2008)
    • if the user is abroad the flat fee per month usually does not apply  (Dell Inspiron 1764 Battery)
  • Situation in which ad reaches user – When advertisements reach users in work-related situations, they may be considered more intrusive than in leisure situations (Banerjee & Dholakia, 2008)  (Dell Studio 1450 Battery)

The inability of mobile web applications to access the local capabilities on the mobile device can limit their ability to provide the same features as native applications. The OMTP BONDI activity is acting as a catalyst to enable a set of JavaScript APIs which can access local capabilities in a secure way on the mobile device  (Dell Studio 1457 Battery)    .

Specifications and a reference implementation have been produced. Security is a key aspect in this provision in order to protect users from malicious web applications and widgets     (Dell Latitude D610 Battery)     .

In addition to the limitations of the device itself there are limitations that should be made known to users concerning the interference these devices cause in other electromagnetic technology     (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .

The convergence of the Internet and phone, in particular has caused hospitals to increase their mobile phone exclusion zones. A study by Erik van Lieshout and colleagues (Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam) has found that the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) used in modern phones can affect machines from up to 3 meters away  (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery)  .

The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) signals, used in 3G networks, have a smaller exclusion zone of just a few centimeters. Not surprisingly, the worst offenders in hospitals are the doctors (New Scientist, 15 September 2007, pg.5)  (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery)    .

Wireless Application Protocol

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is an open international standard. A WAP browser is a commonly used web browser for small mobile devices such as cell phones    (Dell Latitude D830 Battery)       .

Before the introduction of WAP, service providers had extremely limited opportunities to offer interactive data services, but needed interactivity to support now-commonplace activities such as     (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) :

  • Email by mobile phone
  • Tracking of stock-market prices
  • Sports results
  • News headlines new
  • Music downloads         (Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery)

The Japanese i-mode system offers another major competing wireless data protocol.

Technical specifications           (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery)

  • The WAP standard describes a protocol suite allowing the interoperability of WAP equipment and software with many different network technologies, thus allowing the building of a single platform for competing network technologies such as GSM and IS-95 (also known as CDMA) networks         (Sony VGN-FW11M Battery)       .
  • The bottom-most protocol in the suite, the WAP Datagram Protocol (WDP), functions as an adaptation layer that makes every data network look a bit like UDP to the upper layers by providing unreliable transport of data with two 16-bit port numbers (origin and destination)     (Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery)    .
  • All the upper layers view WDP as one and the same protocol, which has several "technical realizations" on top of other "data bearers" such as SMS, USSD, etc. On native IP bearers such as GPRS, UMTS packet-radio service, or PPP on top of a circuit-switched data connection, WDP is in fact exactly UDP  (Dell Latitude E5400 Battery)     .
  • WTLS, an optional layer, provides a public-key cryptography-based security mechanism similar to TLS.
  • WTP provides transaction support (reliable request/response) adapted to the wireless world  (Dell Latitude E4200 Battery) .
  • WTP supports more effectively than TCP the problem of packet loss, which occurs commonly in 2G wireless technologies in most radio conditions, but is misinterpreted by TCP as network congestion  (Dell Vostro A840 Battery)  .
  • Finally, one can think of WSP initially as a compressed version of HTTP.

This protocol suite allows a terminal to transmit requests that have an HTTP or HTTPS equivalent to a WAP gateway; the gateway translates requests into plain HTTP  (Dell Inspiron 300M Battery)   .

Wireless Application Environment (WAE)

The WAE space defines application-specific markup languages.

For WAP version 1.X, the primary language of the WAE is WML. In WAP 2.0, the primary markup language is XHTML Mobile Profile (Dell Studio 1737 battery)   .


The WAP Forum dates from 1997. It aimed primarily to bring together the various wireless technologies in a standardised protocol.

In 2002 the WAP Forum was consolidated (along with many other forums of the industry) into OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) , which covers virtually everything in future development of wireless data services  (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery)    .


The WAP 1.0 standard, released in April 1998, described a complete software stack for mobile internet access.

WAP version 1.1 came out in 1999. WAP 1.2, the final update of the 1.X series was released in June 2000. The most important addition in version 1.2 was WAP push  (Dell RM791 battery)     .

WAP Push

WAP Push has been incorporated into the specification to allow WAP content to be pushed to the mobile handset with minimum user intervention. A WAP Push is basically a specially encoded message which includes a link to a WAP address  (Dell XPS M1530 battery) .

WAP Push is specified on top of WDP; as such, it can be delivered over any WDP-supported bearer, such as GPRS or SMS. Most GSM networks have a wide range of modified processors, but GPRS activation from the network is not generally supported, so WAP Push messages have to be delivered on top of the SMS bearer  (Dell XPS M2010 battery)    .

On receiving a WAP Push, a WAP 1.2 or later enabled handset will automatically give the user the option to access the WAP content. This is also known as WAP Push SI (Service Indication).

The network entity that processes WAP Pushes and delivers them over an IP or SMS Bearer is known as a Push Proxy Gateway (PPG)  (Acer Aspire One battery)     .

WAP 2.0

WAP 2.0, released in 2002, a re-engineered WAP, uses a cut-down version of XHTML with end-to-end HTTP (i.e., dropping the gateway and custom protocol suite used to communicate with it)  (Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery)   .

A WAP gateway can be used in conjunction with WAP 2.0; however, in this scenario, it is used as a standard proxy server. The WAP gateway's role would then shift from one of translation to adding additional information to each request. This would be configured by the operator and could include telephone numbers, location, billing information, and handset information  (SONY VGN-FZ210CE Battery)    .

Mobile devices process XHTML Mobile Profile (XHTML MP), the markup language defined in WAP 2.0. It is a subset of XHTML and a superset of XHTML Basic. A version of cascading style sheets (CSS) called WAP CSS is supported by XHTML MP  (Dell Precision M70 Battery)     .

Commercial status


Marketers hyped WAP at the time of its introduction , leading users to expect WAP to have the performance of the Web. BT Cellnet, one of the UK telecoms, ran an advertising campaign depicting a cartoon WAP user surfing through a Neuromancer-like "information space"   (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery)   .

In terms of speed, ease of use, appearance and interoperability, the reality fell far short of expectations when the first handsets became available in 1999 . This led to the wide usage of sardonic phrases such as "Worthless Application Protocol" , "Wait And Pay"and so on     (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery)   .

Critics advanced several explanations for the early failure of WAP, possibly not realizing that it was a United Kingdom product which had to comply with the laws of European nations. An example is the requirement to utilize an ITU message-type that is specific to the French language with appropriate character conversions being deployed by the WAP message transmit-and-receive software (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery)    .

Between 2003 and 2004 WAP made a stronger resurgence with the introduction of Wireless services (such as Vodafone Live!, T-Mobile T-Zones and other easily-accessible services). Operator revenues were generated by transfer of GPRS and UMTS data, which is a different business model than the traditional Web sites and ISPs use  (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery)    .

According to the Mobile Data Association, the WAP traffic in the UK doubled from 2003 to 2004.

Today WAP use has largely disappeared. All modern handsets support full HTML, and do not use any kind of WAP markup (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery)  .

The list of handsets supporting HTML is extensive, and easily includes all Android handsets, all Blackberry devices, all versions of the iPhone handset, and many Nokia handsets. WAP has not been the mainstream technology for web on mobile for a number of years  (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery)      .


Unlike in Europe, WAP has seen huge success in Japan. While the largest operator NTT DoCoMo has famously disdained WAP in favor of its in-house system i-mode, rival operators KDDI (au) andSoftBank Mobile (previously Vodafone Japan) have both successfully deployed WAP technology  (Sony Vaio PCG-5G2L Battery)  .

In particular, J-Phone's Sha-Mail picture mail and Java (JSCL) services, as well as (au)'schakuuta/chakumovie (ringtone song/ringtone movie) services are based on WAP. After being shadowed by the initial success of i-mode, the two smaller Japanese operators have been gaining market share from DoCoMo since Spring 2001  Sony Vaio PCG-5G3L Battery .

Korea also provides advanced WAP services.


The adoption of WAP in the US has suffered because many cell phone providers require separate activation and additional fees for data support, and also because telecommunications companies have sought to limit data access to only approved data providers operating under license of the signal carrier  Sony Vaio PCG-5J1L Battery .

In recognition of the problem, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order on July 31, 2007 which mandates that licensees of the 22-megahertz wide "Upper 700 MHz C Block" spectrum will have to implement a wireless platform which allows customers, device manufacturers, third-party application developers, and others to use any device or application of their choice when operating on this particular licensed network band  Sony Vaio PCG-5K2L Battery .

Spin-off technologies

Spin-off technologies, such as MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) (picture-messaging), a combination of WAP and SMS, have further driven the protocol  Sony Vaio PCG-5J2L Battery .

An enhanced appreciation of device diversity, supported by the concomitant changes to WAP content to become more device-specific rather aiming at a lowest common denominator, has allowed for more usable and compelling content. As a result, the adoption rate of WAP technology is on the upswing  Sony Vaio PCG-5K1L Battery .


Commentators have criticized several aspects of WML and WAP. Technical criticisms include:

  • The idiosyncratic WML language: WML cut users off from the conventional HTML Web, leaving only native WAP content and Web-to-WAP proxi-content available to WAP users  Sony Vaio PCG-5L1L Battery .
  • However, others argue that technology at that stage would simply not have been able to give access to anything but custom-designed content which was the sole purpose of WAP and its simple  Sony Vaio PCG-6S2L Battery ,
  • reduced complexity interface as the citizens of many nations are not connected to the web at the present time and have to use government funded and controlled portals to WAP and similar non-complex services  Sony Vaio PCG-6S3L Battery .
  • Under-specification of terminal requirements: The early WAP standards included many optional features and under-specified requirements, which meant that compliant devices would not necessarily interoperate properly  Sony Vaio PCG-6V1L Battery.
  • This resulted in great variability in the actual behavior of phones, principally because WAP-service implementers and mobile-phone manufacturers did not obtain a copy of the standards or the correct hardware and the standard software modules. As an example, some phone models would not accept a page more than 1 Kb in size; others would downright crash Sony Vaio PCG-6W1L Battery .
  • The user interface of devices was also underspecified: as an example, accesskeys (e.g., the ability to press '4' to access directly the fourth link in a list) were variously implemented depending on phone models (sometimes with the accesskey number automatically displayed by the browser next to the link, sometimes without it, and sometimes accesskeys were not implemented at all)  Sony Vaio PCG-6W2L Battery .
  • Constrained user interface capabilities: Terminals with small black-and-white screens and few buttons, like the early WAP terminals, face difficulties in presenting a lot of information to their user, which compounded the other problems  Sony Vaio PCG-6W3L Battery :
  • one would have had to be extra careful in designing the user interface on such a resource-constrained device which was the real concept of WAP.
  • Lack of good authoring tools   Sony Vaio PCG-7111L Battery :
  • The problems above might have succumbed in the face of a WML authoring tool that would have allowed content providers to easily publish content that would interoperate flawlessly with many models, adapting the pages presented to the User-Agent type    Sony Vaio PCG-7112L Battery .
  • However, the development kits which existed did not provide such a general capability. Developing for the web was easy: with a text editor and a web browser, anybody could get started, thanks also to the forgiving nature of most desktop browser rendering engines     Sony Vaio PCG-7113L Battery .
  • By contrast, the stringent requirements of the WML specifications, the variability in terminals, and the demands of testing on various wireless terminals, along with the lack of widely available desktop authoring and emulation tools, considerably lengthened the time required to complete most projects      Sony Vaio PCG-7133L Battery .
  • As of 2009, however, with many mobile devices supporting XHTML, and programs such as Adobe Go Live and Dreamweaver offering improved web-authoring tools, it is becoming easier to create content, accessible by many new devices  Sony Vaio PCG-7Z2L Battery .
  • Lack of user agent profiling tools: It quickly became nearly impossible for web hosts to determine if a request came from a mobile device, or from a larger more capable device. No useful profiling or database of device capabilities were built into the specifications in the unauthorized non-compliant products   Sony Vaio PCG-8Y1L Battery .

Other criticisms address the wireless carriers' particular implementations of WAP:

  • Neglect of content providers: Some wireless carriers had assumed a "build it and they will come" strategy, meaning that they would just provide the transport of data as well as the terminals     Sony Vaio PCG-8Y2L Battery ,
  • and then wait for content providers to publish their services on the Internet and make their investment in WAP useful. However, content providers received little help or incentive to go through the complicated route of development  Sony Vaio PCG-8Z1L Battery .
  • Others, notably in Japan (cf. below), had a more thorough dialogue with their content-provider community, which was then replicated in modern, more successful WAP services such as i-mode in Japan or the Gallery service in France  Sony Vaio PCG-8Z2L Battery .
  • Lack of openness: Many wireless carriers sold their WAP services as "open", in that they allowed users to reach any service expressed in WML and published on the Internet. However, they also made sure that the first page that clients accessed was their own "wireless portal", which they controlled very closely  Sony VAIO PCG-5G2L Battery .
  • Some carriers also turned off editing or accessing the address bar in the device's browser. To facilitate users wanting to go off deck, an address bar on a form on a page linked off the hard coded home page page was provided. It makes it easier for carriers to implement filtering of off deck WML sites by URLs or to disable the address bar in the future if the carrier decides to switch all users to a walled garden model Sony VAIO PCG-5G3L Battery .
  • Given the difficulty in typing up fully qualifiedURLs on a phone keyboard, most users would give up going "off portal" or out of the walled garden; by not letting third parties put their own entries on the operators' wireless portal, some contend that operators cut themselves off from a valuable opportunity  Sony VAIO PCG-5J1L Battery .
  • On the other hand, some operators  argue that their customers would have wanted them to manage the experience and, on such a constrained device, avoid giving access to too many services  Sony VAIO PCG-5K2L Battery .

Protocol design lessons from WAP

The original WAP model provided a simple platform for access to web-like WML services and e-mail using mobile phones in Europe and the SE Asian regions. As of 2009 it continues with a considerable user base      Sony VAIO PCG-5J2L Battery .

The later versions of WAP, primarily targeting the United States market, were designed  for a different requirement - to enable full web XHTML access using mobile devices with a higher specification and cost, and with a higher degree of software complexity.

Considerable discussion has addressed the question whether the WAP protocol design was appropriate  Sony VAIO PCG-5K1L Battery.

Some  have suggested that the bandwidth-sparing simple interface of Gopher would be a better match for mobile phones and Personal digital assistants (PDAs)     Sony VAIO PCG-5L1L Battery .

The initial design of WAP specifically aimed at protocol independence across a range of different protocols (SMS, IP over PPP over a circuit switched bearer, IP over GPRS, etc.). This has led to a protocol considerably more complex than an approach directly over IP might have caused       Sony VAIO PCG-6S2L Battery .

Most controversial, especially for many from the IP side, was the design of WAP over IP. WAP's transmission layer protocol, WTP, uses its own retransmission mechanisms over UDP to attempt to solve the problem of the inadequacy of TCP over high-packet-loss networks  Sony VAIO PCG-6S3L Battery .

Mobile application development is the process by which applications are developed for small low-power handheld devices such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. These applications are either pre-installed on phones during manufacture, or downloaded by customers from app stores and other mobile software distribution platforms Sony VAIO PCG-6V1L Battery .

Mobile software development

Mobile software development is the process of creating software which can be used on a mobile device. It also refers to the creation of special web and applications for mobile devices  Sony VAIO PCG-6W1L Battery .

Mobile software is developed by using different platforms and programming languages based on the target mobile device. There are many different hardware components found in mobile devices so their applications are developed using different software architectures  Sony VAIO PCG-6W2L Battery .

It is also made more difficult because users of mobile applications have diverse preferences so extensive improvements to traditional system development methodologies are required in order to keep up with this demand  Sony VAIO PCG-6W3L Battery .

Most of the methodologies in use are based on the model-driven approach which has three different views of the application development process: (1) the application itself and its structure, (2) the business logic and (3) the graphical user interface of the application  Sony VAIO PCG-7111L Battery .

Platforms for multi-vendor devices

The following software platforms will run on hardware platforms from a number of different manufacturers:

  • Java ME This platform generally produces portable applications, although sometimes device-specific libraries exist (commonly used for games), making them non-portable  Sony VAIO PCG-7112L Battery .
  • It is often used to provide simple applications on feature phones. Applications (including their data) cannot be larger than around 1 MB if they are to run on most phones. They must also be cryptographically signed in order to use APIs such as the file system access API  Sony VAIO PCG-7113L Battery .
  • This is relatively expensive and is rarely done, even for commercial applications. Java ME runs atop a Virtual Machine (called the KVM) which allows reasonable, but not complete, access to the functionality of the underlying phone  Sony VAIO PCG-7133L Battery .
  • The JSR process serves to incrementally increase the functionality that can be made available to Java ME, while also providing Carriers and OEMs the ability to prevent access, or limit access to provisioned software   Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1L Battery .
  • Symbian platform Designed from the start for mobile devices, the Symbian platform is a real time, multi-tasking OS specifically architected to run well on resource-constrained systems, maximising performance and battery life whilst minimising memory usage  Sony VAIO PCG-7Z2L Battery .
  • The Symbian Foundation maintains the code for the open source software platform based on Symbian OS and software assets contributed by Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, and Sony Ericsson, including the S60 and MOAP(S) user interfaces   Sony VAIO PCG-8Y1L Battery .
  • The platform is fully open source, mostly supplied under the Eclipse Public License. Over 300 million Symbian OS-based units have been shipped and Symbian holds more than a 50% market share globally    Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2L Battery .
  • Android Android is a Linux-based platform from the Open Handset Alliance, whose 34 members include Google, HTC, Motorola, Qualcomm, and T-Mobile. It is supported by over 34 major software, hardware and telecoms companies    Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1L Battery .
  • The Linux kernel is used as a hardware abstraction layer (HAL). Application programming is primarily done in Java. The Android specific Java SDK is required for development although any Java IDE may be used. Performance critical code can be written in C, C++ or other native code languages using the Android Native Development Kit (NDK)  Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2L Battery .
  • Windows Mobile is a variant of Windows CE for mobile phones. Windows CE was originally developed for palmtop computers and Pocket PC PDAs with stylus-touch screens, and later adapted for use with keyboard-equipped smartphones  (Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery)  .
  • Phones have become the largest installed base for CE, though market share has fallen since the introduction of Android and IPhone. Windows Mobile supports a subset of the win32 programming interface, and a simplified GUI with one window on the screen at a time  Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery .
  • Applications can use the .NET Compact Framework Devices are compatible with applications on Pocket PC/Windows Mobile devices. Windows Mobile 6.5 introduced IPhone-like finger-based touch interfaces, while Windows Phone 7 is a substantial redesign that usesSilverlight and XNA for rich user interfaces   Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery .
  • Qt (framework) Qt uses standard C++ but makes extensive use of a special pre-processor (called the Meta Object Compiler, or moc) to enrich the language. Qt can also be used in several otherprogramming languages via language bindings. It runs on all major platforms and has extensive internationalization support   Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery .
  • Non-GUI features include SQL database access, XML parsing, thread management, network support, and a unified cross-platform API for file handling  Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery .
  • BREW Used for deploying applications on CDMA devices (but also supports GPRS/GSM models). Distributed via a Brew Content Platform. Little penetration in Europe. BREW can provide complete control of the handset and access to all its functionality  WD passport essential (500GB/640GB) .
  • However the power provided by native code with direct access to the handset APIs, has caused the BREW development process to be tailored largely towards recognized software vendors   WD passport essential (250GB/320GB) .
  • While the BREW SDK (Software Development Kit) is freely available, running software on real mobile hardware (as opposed to the provided emulator) requires a digital signature which can only be generated with tools issued by a handful of parties, namely mobile content providers and Qualcomm themselves  WD  passport essential SE (750GB/1TB) .
  • Even then, the software will only work on test enabled devices. To be downloadable on regular phones the software must be checked, tested and given approval by Qualcomm via their TRUE BREW Testing program  WD  passport elite(250GB/320GB) .
  • Palm OS formerly had a strong enterprise following in the important US market, based on Palm PDAs
    • Palm webOS is Palm's follow-on proprietary mobile operating system running on a Linux kernel which supports multitasking. Launched with Palm Pre and Pixi, now owned by Hewlett Packard  WD passport elite(500GB/640GB) .
  • Flash Lite Used for devices that support the Flash Lite player.
  • Microbrowser based. Lightweight functionality provided via a web-interface  WD  passport studio for Mac(320GB/500GB)

Platforms for single vendor devices

The following software platforms will only run on a hardware platforms from a specific manufacturer:

  • BlackBerry Supports push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing and other wireless information services as well as a multi-touch interface  WD  passport studio for Mac(500GB/640GB)
  • . It has a built-in QWERTY keyboard, optimized for "thumbing", the use of only the thumbs to type. The BlackBerry devices soon took a dominating position on the North American smartphone market. Also important for BlackBerry are the BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) and the Mobile Data System (BlackBerry MDS)  WD  Elements series(250GB/320GB) .
  • iOS (Apple) The iPhone and iPod Touch SDK uses Objective-C, based on the C programming language. Currently, is only available on Mac OS X 10.5+ and is the only way to write an iPhone application. All applications must be cleared by Apple before being hosted on the AppStore, the sole distribution channel for iPhone and iPod touch applications  WD  Elements SE(500GB/640GB) .
  • However, non-Apple approved applications can be released to jailbroken iPhones via Cydia or Installer. This system is also used for the iPad tablet computer   WD Elements SE(750GB/1TB) .

Execution environments

Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian OS and iOS support typical application binaries as found on personal computers with code which executes in the native machine format of the processor   WD  Elements desktop(500GB/640GB)

the ARM architecture is a dominant design used on many current models). Windows Mobile can also be compiled to x86 executables for debugging on a PC without a processor emulator, and also supports thePortable Executable (PE) format associated with the .NET Framework   WD  Elements desktop(750GB/1TB) .

Windows Mobile, Palm OS and iOS offer free SDKs and Integrated Development Environments to developers. Machine language executables offer considerable performance advantages over Java  WD  Elements desktop(1.5 TB/2TB) .

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