Rich mobile application

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A Rich Mobile Application (RMA) is a mobile application that inherits numerous properties from rich internet applications and features several explicit properties, such as context awareness and ubiquity. RMAs are "energy efficient, multi-tier, online mobile applications originated from the convergence of mobile cloud computing, future web, and imminent communication technologies envisioning to deliver rich user experience via high functionality, immerse interaction, and crisp response in a secure wireless environment while enabling context-awareness, offline usability, portability, and data ubiquity"[1]

Mobile Computing Popularity[edit]

Consumers of internet and wireless technologies have a significant tendency toward mobile computing and mobile devices, particularly smartphones and tablets, which have gained such a popularity that they now outsell desktop computers.[2]

The use of mobile devices has become widespread in sectors such as healthcare, education, disaster recovery, and tele-monitoring, revealing the need for mobile applications, especially RMAs .[3] The RMA are surely future of mobile applications promising to fulfil QoS requirements of diverse category of end-users in multitude of diverse domains [4]

RMA's Genesis[edit]

Upon the successful deployment of Rich Internet Applications to desktop computers and the increasing popularity of mobile devices, researchers tried to empower smartphones functionality, enhance user experience and optimize computing richness in mobile devices that bred RMAs. NTT DoCoMo of Japan adopted Adobe Flash Lite in 2003 for the first time to enhance mobile applications’ functionality and engagement. In 2008, Google shifted ’Google Gears’ to Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices to support platform-neutral mobile applications in offline mode. Google Gears for mobile devices is a mobile browser extension for developing rich web applications. These applications can be executed inside the mobile browser with a web browser regardless of the architecture, operating system and technology. In April 2008, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Silverlight mobile to develop engaging, interactive UIs for mobile devices. Silverlight is a .NET plug-in compatible with several mobile browsers that runs the Silverlight-enabled mobile apps. Android accommodated the Google Gear plug-in to the Google Chrome Lite browser to improve the interaction experience of Android end-users.

Rich Mobile Application vs Rich Internet Application[edit]

Although RMAs are derived from RIAs, there are fundamental dissimilarities between them, particularly task/layer distribution of application, interaction medium, screen size and layout, communication and networking medium. The logic and data layers in RIAs are initially located in remote back end servers and only the user interface is located inside the end-user machine but this arrangement is subject to change with the development and advancement of desktop computing. The fundamental principle in forming RIAs is to mitigate the server-side computing cost of the applications by exploiting the computing power of contemporary desktop computers at the user end. Parts of logic and data layers are transferred from the server node to the client node. Rich computing and storage resources of resource-rich, contemporary PCs reduce client-server networking traffic and delay, and shrink ownership and maintenance costs on the server side. Therefore, this helps service providers to maintain servers with lower capital, maintenance and technical costs. In return, the end-user benefits from a crisp interaction response from the application since some part of the data and logic is stored in his local computer.

Another major difference between RMAs and RIAs is their communication medium. While an RIA uses wired communication as the major communication medium, RMAs are limited to the wireless communication bandwidth and throughput.

One of the other differences lies in their presentation and visualization capabilities. While desktop computers feature large screens and high graphical rendering capabilities, mobile devices feature very small screen and limited graphical rendering power. Hence, the amount of data to be presented to the mobile devices should be tailored accordingly.

More detailed discussions about RIA and RMAs can be found in the Rich Mobile Applications[4] article.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abolfazli, Saeid; Sanaei, Zohreh; Gani, Abdullah; Xia, Feng; Yang, Laurence T. (1 September 2013). "Rich Mobile Applications: Genesis, taxonomy, and open issues". Journal of Network and Computer Applications. doi:10.1016/j.jnca.2013.09.009. 
  2. ^ "Mary Meeker: Smartphones Will Surpass PC Shipments In Two Years". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Sanaei, Zohreh; Abolfazli, Saeid; Gani, Abdullah; Khokhar, Rashid Hafeez (May 2012). "Tripod of Requirements in Horizontal Heterogeneous Mobile Cloud Computing". 1st International Conference on Computing, Information Systems and Communications (CISCO’12). WSEAS. ISBN 978-1-61804-092-3. 
  4. ^ a b Abolfazli, Saeid; Sanaei, Zohreh; Gani, Abdullah; Xia, Feng; Yang, Laurence T. (1 September 2013). "Rich Mobile Applications: Genesis, taxonomy, and open issues". Journal of Network and Computer Applications. doi:10.1016/j.jnca.2013.09.009.