We are in a new era of mobile computing! There are many powerful and user-friendly smart phones in the world with multi-connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, etc. The phones are becoming an all-time on tool for both personal use and business use. If properly utilized, these phones are powerful medium to connect with customers, suppliers and employees.
Connectivity to Internet is one of the astonishing features in these smart phones. We are used to Internet accessed through either desktop or notebook or netbook. Accessing Internet using smart phones follows a different channel as compared to traditional ways of Internet access. The mobile channel has both advantages and disadvantages. For one, the screen sizes are much smaller compared to a desktop or a netbook. The form factor is not the same. Users interact differently too. Instead of point-and-click, they touch, pinch or flick. On the other hand, mobile applications are more easily accessible and are location aware. All this means you have to architect a solid mobile strategy before taking the plunge.
At Innodeas we can help your organization chart out a mobile strategy and implement it. Many strategic decisions are to be made, namely whether to use mobile-web or go native, what phones to support and the type of architecture based on the reliability of the connection. Mobile-web works across most smart phones with no need to rewrite the application for each device. However, it does not work if the phone is not connected to the network like when you are in an aircraft or inside a building where the carrier's signals have no reach. However if you go for a smart-client architecture, data can be cached in a local database within the mobile. This will allow users to use the application even when there is no mobile coverage. The application architecture can get quite complex though - the effects of data being stale must be thought through.
The popular smart phone platforms in the market today are iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Unfortunately, each of these smart phones have different development SDKs (Software Development Kit) and APIs (Application Programming Interface), and that rules out the write-once-run-anywhere paradigm at least for the time being. But, proper draft and design of the applications can reduce porting costs to multiple platforms. One strategy is to keep all business logic on the server-side, thereby keeping the client thin.
In addition to programming smart phones, Innodeas also has experience with Java for Mobile (previously J2ME) programming. J2ME is cross platform and works on any mobile with Java support including most models from Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson.
Innodeas Mobile Application Capability Document
Innodeas Mobile Application Capability Document (PDF)