February 28, 2021
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Top Five Misconceptions about Mobile Development

  • By Robert Bogue
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Historically, mobile development has been a difficult process. The tight memory and low processing power required that developers work with either assembly language or perhaps in C. Those old requirements have been washed away by rapid developments in mobile hardware. Those developments have changed the mobile device world; however, the perception of the development community hasn't kept pace with the changes in the devices. Below are the top five misconceptions about mobile development.

1. Processing Power

I remember my first computer. It was a 1MHz Commodore 64. I remember my first PDA. It was a Sharp Wizard with 128K of memory with a processor speed that I'm not sure was ever quoted. As I sit on a 3 GHz computer with a gigabyte of RAM writing this article, I'm astounded at the changes which have taken place over the last 20 years. My Pocket PC-based PDA has a 400MHz processor and 64MB of RAM onboard, as well as another 256MB on a storage card that is always in the device.

My PDA plays MPEG movies, runs multiple applications at the same time and has the raw processing power to do what seemed impossible only a few short years ago. As a point of comparison, the PDA that I keep on my belt has more processing power than the laptop computer my wife uses to surf the internet, do our accounting, and email pictures of our son to the grandparents. So why is it that most people think that PDA devices don't have enough processing power? Limited processing power is definitely a misconception about mobile development.

2. Data Storage

It used to be that if you had a large contact list you would have to decide which contacts you kept on your PDA. Today, you can keep photos of your entire contact list on your mobile device. Storage options for mobile devices have radically changed. Compact Flash options allow for 2GB of storage in a PDA. Secure Digital cards can store 1GB of storage in the size of little more than a postage stamp. You can be walking around with a phone that has more memory than most desktop computers.

With the obvious exception of media files, most people will never consume this much storage on a PDA. For all but the most exotic applications, there's more than enough storage available. Minimal data storage is definitely a misconception about mobile development.

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This article was originally published on January 29, 2004

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