New Trends in Mobile Applications and Benefits for Business – One App for All! Xamarin
1969 – A new start for computers, the internet and mobile devices
Ancient and modern computers
The computer: also known as the electronic digital machine, the mathematical machine and, somewhat poetically, the electronic brain. Contrary to appearances, it was, in a simplified form, known in antiquity. The purpose and aim of creating computers have always been the same – processing and counting information. It is therefore safe to say that the computer is a kind of calculator. However, the differences in the operation of these two devices can be seen in the fact that computer data operations are performed repeatedly, automatically repeating calculations based on information stored in digital format. The determinant of the appropriate number of calculations to be made is the program, the “blueprint”. The calculator, on the other hand, is able to perform only one calculation at a time; unlike its younger brother the computer, it is not multifunctional.
As time passed, a turning point in the history of computers was reached when the British mathematician and cryptographer Alan Mathison Turing constructed the Turing Machine, the prototype for the equipment that today almost every one of us has at home. Current technological progress has allowed not only a reduction in the size of the computer, from a huge cabinet to a small handheld device. Modern computers differ somewhat in structure from those of 50 or 60 years ago. The basic elements are the processor, memory, RAM, and input and output devices that allow the user of the equipment to send and receive information. These include, for example, a mouse, a monitor and a printer.
Scientists are working not only to miniaturize electronic equipment, there are continuous attempts to create a different kinds of computers:
Although most of these ideas are regarded as being in the initial phases of development, the pace of progress means we could within 50 years see real supercomputers.
The classification of computers is also fairly broad. Nowadays we can split them into the most popular micros: stationary, automotive, and consoles for entertainment purposes such as video games. To this group can also be distinguished in particular mobile devices, such as laptops, notebooks, tablets, palmtops (personal touch screen computers of minimum size, which can fit in your pocket), smartphones, and smartbooks. One may also distinguish minicomputers and supercomputers, which have a particularly high processing power.
We mentioned the difference between a computer and a calculator. It is worth noting another factor that distinguishes the former from all other electronic devices, something that lies behind the word “programming”. Every computer has a memory. Modern appliances intended for the basic consumer can have a capacity even greater capacity, of two or three TB (terabytes). Twenty years ago, people could only dream of having such memory in a computer. For comparison, the world’s first floppy disk, produced in 1971, had a capacity of 80 KB (kilobytes), and by 1999 this had risen to 200 MB (megabytes).
The company eBay, engaged in running the world’s largest Internet auction service, announced in November 2006 that it has two petabytes of information, which is about more 1015 than one KB (kilobyte). Microsoft announced that, during the migration of e-mail accounts from Hotmail to Outlook it collected a total of 150 petabytes of data, and Facebook, managed by Mark Zuckerberg, published data which showed that, in 2012, the company’s servers gathered more than 180 petabytes. What is more, this figure rises by 0.5 petabytes of information every 24 hours. The most interesting piece of news was reported by Google, which in 2008 declared that it could sort one petabyte of data by 4,000 computers in six hours and two minutes. Today, it is probably capable of doing this four times faster.
The internet – the most important invention of the twentieth century
The United States, October 29, 1969. The University of California in Los Angeles and the scientific center of the Stanford Research Institute carried out a unique experiment. They were trying to build a computer network without a central point, which should been able to function even when a component fails. An organization called ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency), which financed research projects supported by the military, took care of the money. It was the same ARPA that could boast participation landing a human on the moon.
The first network nodes were called ARPANET, and were the direct predecessors of the internet that we know and use today. Initially, there were four computers joined together, at four different American universities. Many experts in the still fledgling field of computer science took part in the work, including, among other, Paul Baran. The work on the experiment attended many experts still fledgling computer science, among others, Paul Baran. After only two years the most important institutions and research centers in the United States joined the experiment. The scientists faced another barrier, though – to come up with solutions in the form of special programs or simpler applications that would make use of opportunities that the network offered.
The first step taken in the development of the internet was the remote execution of calculations, on computers in other places. In the eighties, the project was under the strict control of the army, but in 1991 the National Science Foundation lifted the ban on the use of the network for commercial purposes. Then the internet became available to a wider range of users, and could be developed for advertising and sales.
There followed the swift development of programming languages and internet operating systems, for example, the commonly known WWW (World Wide Web). What’s interesting though, is that at the time the internet was undergoing rapid development, many people (at least in the US) already had mobile phones. It would be a mistake, though to assume that the SMS predated the e-mail. In fact, a string looking something like this “OGDMABDIWNEIE” (the author himself not quite remember the exact content) she was sent by Raymond Tomlinson in 1971 with the help of his self-invented program installed on his computer. The first SMS, on the other hand, included “Merry Christmas” wishes, sent in 1992 by Neil Papworth, an employee of the international mobile operator Vodafone, to friends.
A new era for business – mobility
The next step in the technological development of the world was the mass production of mobile devices. They are simply electronic machines that allow you to send and receive information without being forced to connect to the network using cables. Most mobile devices are small objects that fit into the hand of the user. These include mobile phones, palmtops (handheld computers), smart phones, tablet PCs, notebooks, MP3 and MP4 players, and digital cameras. A breakthrough in the field of electronics and technology was the introduction of IBM’s prototype smartphone.
Android, iOS and Windows Phone
“Mobile application” is a fairly generic name for software that runs on mobile devices. The first software for mobile devices was Symbian, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. Today, three platforms lead the field, among which Android has the greatest market share, followed by iOS, with from which most market share is Android, iOS later ranks, with declining Windows Phone trailing and the niche Firefox OS and Ubuntu at the end. The main goal of all mobile application developers is to adapt their products to touch screens.
Several years ago, company development without an active internet domain was unimaginable. Today, business sets the bar much higher. Prevailing trends are the development of applications and customization of websites for mobile devices such as, for example, our smartphones and tablets. It is little wonder that the Google Play store available on the Android platform exceeded one million application downloads in 2013.
The management of mobile applications in practice
Experts in the field of mobile devices often indicate the errors of IT departments that try to “force implement” solutions that are popular in desktop environments into applications dedicated for smartphones or tablets. Managing applications is in fact based on two principles – clarity and flexibility. The target audience for a given application should be carefully analyzed, and prevailing market trends and possible development scenarios in the subject area of the created program should be known. In the effective management of applications, there are a few rules to keep in mind:
Sometimes it is also worth considering the possibility of signing a contract with a suitably qualified company that produces software to order, rather than to try to develop a small professional application yourself. This can save a lot of time and money.