Many people are familiar with the concept of cloud computing. It means computing that relies on the cloud for tasks like data storage and running apps. Additionally, lots of folks know what mobile computing is. Mobile computing is what makes it possible to run apps while you’re walking down the street or waiting in line at the cashier instead of staying chained to your desktop system.
Ah, but what about mobile cloud computing?
That’s what we’re here for today. We are about to explore the fascinating world of mobile cloud computing, including what the term means, why it’s a fantastic thing, its best practices, mobile cloud computing examples, mobile cloud computing vs. cloud computing, and how to create cloud apps.
You’d be surprised how much mobile cloud computing the average user does, whether they realize it or not. So, let’s begin with a definition.
What is Mobile Cloud Computing?
Mobile cloud computing technology consists of cloud computing and mobile computing combined on a wireless network. This innovative technology makes it possible to deliver and execute high-quality applications on mobile devices, regardless of the latter’s operating system, storage capability, and computing tasks.
Mobile cloud computing offers a greater degree of speed and flexibility for end-users and applications developers. The mobile cloud encompasses cloud-based data and the applications and services created for mobile devices. It brings together mobile application development and cloud-based services, facilitating the delivery of cloud services and apps to mobile users. Remote data centers store the relevant data and run the apps.
Mobile cloud computing is a natural progression of mobile and cloud computing technology and has proven to be a game-changer in using our mobile devices, whether for work or leisure. Just stop and consider how many people use their mobile devices on any given day. That heavy usage gives you some idea of how popular mobile cloud computing is and why it will only become more widespread in the future. In fact, according to Mordor Intelligence, the mobile cloud market will reach the $118.70 billion mark by the end of 2026.
Benefits of Mobile Cloud Computing
We’ve lightly touched upon some of the advantages of cloud computing; let’s get into some solid details.
- Mobile cloud computing is fast and flexible. As a result, mobile cloud computing makes it easy for developers to create and share mobile app resources with end-users. Therefore, mobile applications can be built and updated faster.
- Mobile cloud computing shares resources. Mobile apps that run off the cloud aren’t constrained by any mobile device’s processing and storage limitations. All data-intensive processes can run from the cloud. This advantage means that any mobile device with access to a network can use mobile cloud apps, regardless of the operating system. Thus, users can enjoy cloud computing with Android or OS devices.
- Mobile cloud computing uses integrated data. Mobile cloud computing lets users securely and quickly collect and integrate information from many sources, no matter where the data is.
Here are some specific advantages generated by applications designed under mobile cloud computing architecture:
- Applications enjoy better processing power and data storage capacity
- Applications run more efficiently, thus extending battery life
- Applications are more user-friendly and easier to integrate
- Applications are more reliable and scalable
In summary, mobile cloud applications are platform agnostic, easier to keep updated, require fewer resources from user devices, and benefit from data security measures set in place by the cloud host.
What’s the Difference Between Cloud Computing and Mobile Computing?
Mobile computing and cloud computing seem, at first glance, to be much the same thing. The technologies are similar because they share some common characteristics, but they are different when you take a closer look at them.
Cloud computing delivers computer service over the internet. It’s a scalable, cost-effective service that offers customers everything an in-house computer room can give, such as software, analytics, data storage, and databases. So when you see offerings like IaaS, SaaS, or PaaS, you’re dealing with cloud computing.
Cloud computing isn’t even necessarily mobile computing. For instance, you could be using a desktop system and enjoying a Photoshop subscription (SaaS), and that computer’s staying put. No mobile element there!
On the other hand, mobile computing is a process that allows you to access information and data regardless of your location, provided, of course, you have access to a mobile network! Mobile computing sends data, video, and voice files over a network, using a mobile device like a smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Does Mobile Cloud Computing Have Anything to Do with Edge Computing?
According to Gartner, edge computing is “a part of a distributed computing topology in which information processing is located close to the edge—where things and people produce or consume that information.”
To put it in simpler terms, edge computing brings processing power and data storage physically closer to the devices that use those resources instead of relying on a central location that can potentially be hundreds or perhaps even thousands of miles away. In addition, edge computing exists to address latency issues that can affect data performance, especially real-time data.
Some IT analysts predict that edge computing will eventually replace cloud computing. Edge computing is a decentralized structure ideal for bandwidth-intensive or latency-sensitive applications. As a result, some pundits predict the demand for a centralized system (a main cloud computing characteristic) will fade.
Edge computing relies on the cloud, but it moves the cloud closer to the action. Edge computing is also ideal for remote areas where network access is spotty.
However, cloud computing is a more scalable, versatile tool that offers customers the whole infrastructure (processing and data storage, etc.). Edge computing is excellent for when every nanosecond counts and clients need their data collected and analyzed in real-time, as soon as possible. For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) benefits greatly from edge computing.
Cloud computing is best for running applications that aren’t as time-dependent. However, we will always need both computing types.
Mobile Cloud Computing Examples and Applications
So now we know that mobile cloud computing delivers access to data storage and processing power to the customers’ mobile devices. Great! Now, how does this translate into real-world use? Here are some of the more commonplace mobile cloud computing applications.
Let’s begin with what is unquestionably the most popular application. It seems like everybody and their extended family is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or a host of other social media platforms. Mobile social networking lets users store data and share videos in real-time, so your friends and followers don’t have to wait for that new cat video!
Here’s another extremely popular mobile cloud computing use. However, it often seems that people are more likely to log onto their social media accounts every morning rather than open their new emails. Blame the endless spam floods for that phenomenon. However, we're probably using apps like Outlook, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail for those of us who do read our emails. So if you’re reading your emails on a mobile device such as your smartphone, that’s mobile cloud technology in action.
Finance and Commerce
Do you use your phone to monitor your checking account balances with a banking app? Do you make purchases on eBay or Amazon using your tablet? If so, that’s mobile cloud computing again, offering scalable processing power.
While this application is not as common among the public, it’s absolutely essential for healthcare workers. Thanks to mobile cloud computing, huge amounts of data can be instantaneously stored or accessed with a mobile device. Healthcare professionals can instantly access patient records, an especially important feature for referrals. A specialist needs to see a patient's medical history and why they were referred in the first place.
Tips on Creating Cloud Apps
Here are a few pointers for creating cloud applications. Bear in mind, applications consist of a front end, which the user interacts with, and a back end, which processes the app’s data and makes it work. Mobile cloud apps use remote servers to handle most of the data storage/processing tasks.
- Research the target market for your application. Cloud apps are great, but you must ensure to target the population segment that wants them. Conduct research on demographics (geography, age, device preference), and behavioral trends (security expectations, what stops a user from downloading an app).
- Bring in a development team. Recruit the talent you need to do the actual development work. This work includes conducting a business analysis, tech specifications, estimating the development cost, and project planning.
- Create a development workflow. Choose the main features you want in your app and come up with a design concept. Then create an application development workflow, complete with project milestones.
- Decide on your architecture and service model. These two elements factor heavily in your app’s performance. Most cloud applications work best with a microservices architecture. Regarding service models, whichever one you select (IaaS, SaaS, etc.) must coincide with the kind of cloud solution you’re working on.
- Define your app’s tech stack. Tech stacks are a collection of programming languages, frameworks, and tools needed to build an app. Consult with development experts to analyze your app’s features, design, and requirements. They can recommend the best technologies for your application.
- Pick a monetization model. How will your customers pay for your awesome new app? Will it be straightforward pay-granted access? Or will you offer the app’s basic functions for free and charge for the premium version? There’s even an a la carte option, where users pay for the specific items and features that interest them.
- Make an MVP. No, this isn't the Most Valuable Player. It’s a Minimum Viable Product. It’s challenging work making a cloud-based app, so launch an MVP first to test its business and technical performance. Consider it like a “soft opening.” People can get a sense of what your app is like and give feedback valuable in designing the final version.
- Test the product. This step is crucial. Is your product working smoothly or are there bugs? Your team must test the app carefully. Better to find mistakes before you release the app to the public!
- Release your application and keep it updated. Send your product to Google Play (for Android) and the App Store (for iOS). You will have to go through an approval process that requires the marketing service to test your app before your application gets the green light.
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Do You Want a Future in Cloud Computing?
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This course is also perfect if you’re interested more in upskilling than having a career that revolves around cloud computing. The cloud is the future, and those who can master its intricacies will be in greater demand by today’s forward-thinking businesses.
If you’re ready to find your future in the clouds and embark on an exciting new career that will always be in demand, check out our cloud-related courses and take those first steps today!