Mobile Cloud Computing: The Next Logical Evolution
Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) is the next logical evolution for cloud computing. Though mobile technology is still evolving, especially the operating systems, it is doing so in a very rapid pace. Most modern mobile devices are now sporting capable web browsers mainly due to advances in mobile operating systems done by Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Because of this, mobile devices are now able to consume some cloud applications, with some tweaking on the part of the provider, of course. But the divide between a mobile browser and browsers found in PCs is blurring quickly and pretty soon all web-based cloud applications can be run on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets which will allow further flexibility and freedom to those users of cloud applications.
Mobile cloud computing can be considered as the blend three technology foundations, namely mobile computing, networking, and of course cloud computing. Cloud application developers will now have little trouble developing applications that will run on mobile browsers because the restrictions created by the limitations of mobile operating systems are now gone, giving developers and providers a wider market for their applications and services. This is also because mobile hardware has progressed quickly that today the power of a high end smart phone may rival that of smaller netbooks.
This is a revolutionary step towards how people do computing, but it is not without its hurdles. The biggest one would be money. Currently smart phones and tablets are pushing applications though a market system that provides big revenue for the owners of the mobile OS. Think Apple and the AppStore and Google and the Android Marketplace. Let’s say Apple does not make any money when people consume cloud applications on their iPhone, then there is a big possibility and the guys at Cupertino will restrict the use of these cloud applications, effectively hindering the progress of MCC. This could be the same for Google, but they are way more tolerant when it comes to things like this.
Another problem would be the infrastructure. MCC is dependent on the reliability of the network which allows people to use cloud applications properly. However, carriers around the world never really achieve their advertised connectivity prowess and even some locations may not have 3G at all. 4G is set to change that but so far the promises that come with the technology have not yet been met. If you cannot access cloud applications from anywhere then that defeats the purpose of MCC, and it could then be limited to metropolitan centers because of connectivity issues.
But I am still hopeful that mobile communications technology will be able to provide everything as advertised, and this will certainly help secure the future of mobile cloud computing.
By Abdul Salam