JS and Mobile

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May 18, 2014 by Ozgur Ozden

Before we assess the importance of JavaScript in mobile computing, we need to take a look at the remarkable development and history of mobile computing and technologies. Uwe Vieille from ACM.org defines mobile computing as “Mobile computing is the ability to use computing capability without a pre-defined location and/or connection to a network to publish and/or subscribe to information”. With common agreement Alan Kay who used to work at Xerox was accepted as the first creator of the idea of a mobile computer around 1970s. His idea was to develop a mobile device for learning around 100$. By the way, we still have this idea alive today by an organization called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). Around 1980s Osborne 1 was developed and accepted as the first mobile computer with dimensions of a mid-size suitcase. With technological developments in CRT, Plasma, LCD screens’ rechargeable NiCD batteries and continuous network connectivity, mobile computers quickly became available to many people and came with reduced sizes.
Today, probably mobile computing is the fastest grown and spreaded technology in human history. We can count handheld devices, Laptops, smartphones, tablets, wearable computers as some examples of mobile computing devices. Today people carry devices capable of taking photographs/Videos, sending/receiving mails, capable of storing your music and book collection, finding out your location and assisting you to a new location, making untethered phone conversations, following your appointments in a single device. MIT Technology Review Business Report explains that “Facebook has a monthly audience as large as any ever reached. And in January 2013, it said for the first time that more of that audience was coming from mobile devices than from PCs.” And first time in India in May 2012 connection to internet by mobile devices exceeded desktop computers via regular connection. So mobile computing became a huge and unstoppable market today. According to Gardner, eMarketer Analytics only in 2012 application market expanded by 67% and mobile advertising market by 33%. So new market requires new tools or pre-existed but revised tools for further developments.

Since we have mentioned about the increased mobile application use, it might be a good idea to connect this with JavaScript and its position in the mobile world. In his paper Carzaniga (2007) discusses the development of mobile technology, agents in the last decade. He explains that around 1990s “Code On Demand” technologies emerged to convert static content of the web to dynamic. Java was the first one in the field. He explains as: “The Java language environment was also soon incorporated in Web browsers, extending the idea of dynamic applications to the Web.” This was a right move. But Java was not really successful for creating environments for mobile agents. Then JavaScript comes into the picture. It is a client-side language and makes good impact on creating dynamic contents on the web.
In todays world with increased mobile computing capabilities and unlimited connection, requires dynamic and interactive content for the users. Most of the mobile applications we have used today are created in JS. The applications we use when we are on the move like Google docs, e-mail systems, spreadsheets, calendars, cloud systems are important examples of JavaScript. So basically with increased mobile computing the importance of JS increased in the last decade as well. I am sure that there will be new developments in this field to increase user interactivity in the future.


1- Antonio Regalado (2013) Mobile Computing Is Just Getting Started (online) Available at: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/511766/mobile-computing-is-just-getting-started/ [Accessed at: 24 May 2013]

2- Antonio Carzaniga (207) Is Code Still Moving Around? Looking Back at a Decade of Code Mobility (online) Available at: http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~vigna/publications/2007_carzaniga_picco_vigna_ICSE.pdf [Accessed at: 24 May 2013]
3- C.Balakumar (2013) INTRODUCTION ABOUT MOBILE COMPUTING, International Journal of Communications and Engineering Volume 06– No.6, (online) Available at: http://www.ijcae.org/admin/journals/Journals847.pdf [Accessed at: 25 May 2013]
4- Michelle L. Cramer (??) The History of Mobile Computers (online) Available at: http://www.ehow.com/about_5377215_history-mobile-computers.html#ixzz2UKsGnnDJ [Accessed at: 25 May 2013]


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