Some Characteristics Of Mobile Devices.

Mobile Devices 3

Some Characteristics Of Mobile Devices.


  • Characteristics of Mobile Devices


Developing an application for a computer system consists in giving the elements that make up that system the necessary instructions so that they behave as we want; this procedure is called application programming, In a certain way, the role of a programmer is similar to that of a boss who has to organize the work of a group of subordinates, but with an important difference: since computer systems lack intelligence, they are not capable of making reasoned decisions on their own. The instructions given by a programmer have to be much more precise and complete than those that a boss would use with his co-workers. In other words: a computer system will do exactly what we ask (precision) and only what we ask (completion).


Mobile Devices 1

Within the general discipline of application programming (or, more colloquially, apps), the particular case of apps for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and phablets) is a field of specialization due to the differences in the hardware of these applications. Devices with respect to traditional computers, among which the following stand out:


Processing capacity: Despite the remarkable increase in computing capacity of processors using mobile devices, they are still significantly lower than those of computers. Use of batteries: A minimum specification for any mobile device is that its battery is capable of supporting at least one day of normal use; taking into account the small size and weight of these devices, and the increasingly demanding uses demanded by society (permanent connectivity, high-resolution video, 3D games, …), the programmer must pay special attention to this factor, trying to make the code of your applications as efficient as possible.

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Size of the screens: The small size of the screens of mobile devices and their variety (usually between 4 and 10 inches diagonal) requires interface designers to explore new solutions that neglect the traditional presentation of information through texts, and favor other formats more appropriate for these devices such as graphics or sound. For example (see Figure 1.1), most applications for computers have the main menu with text commands at the top that is not appropriate for mobile applications. Beyond the size, other factors of the screens that due to their diversity should be considered when developing applications are the aspect ratio, the resolution and the orientation (in the later section “characteristics of mobile devices” will be dealt with more detail these topics).


Additional interaction systems to the classic monitor + keyboard/mouse: On mobile devices, the user interacts with the system mainly through the touchscreen; the mouse and keyboard have simply disappeared, or are offered as optional or in virtual mode. In addition, most mobile devices include other types of sensors, such as camera, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope or magnetometer, whose data can be used to provide a more complete user experience; for example, a game in which the user directs the protagonist by tilting the device instead of pressing buttons


Connectivity: Despite the multiple methods of connection that include current mobile devices (GPRS / 3G / 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC), as programmers we can not assume that connectivity is stable or even constant, so our Applications must be designed to manage an eventual connection loss, that is, to operate in offline mode.

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Clarification: Phablet Anglicism refers to devices that combine the capabilities of a Smartphone with the largest size of a tablet.



Figure 1.1. In desktop applications, it is common to find a menu with text commands in the upper area (image on the left), but in mobile applications, it is preferable to use more graphics menus (image on the right).

Mobile Devices 1

Of these differences at the hardware level with respect to other computer systems, of course disparities also arise at the software level (so that, in general, the applications developed for computers are not valid for mobile devices) and, to make the At the software level, today’s mobile devices do not use the same standard, but compete with two main players (iOS, the Apple operating system, and Android, the system).


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