2.1 Handheld Mobile Devices and Mobile Applications
2.1.1 Defining Handheld Mobile Devices
The medium for mobile applications is a mobile device. While the functions of mobile devices vary, the key criteria such a device must fulfil is portability. To that extent, mobile devices have been described as ‘interactive wireless media’ (Haghirian and Madlberger 2005, 2). Mobile devices offer a range of capabilities, but essentially they allow access to data and information with the opportunity of being used in a variety of environments (ISACA 2010, 2). The term ‘handheld mobile device’ indicates that the device is limited to something that can be ‘held in the hand(s)’.
Even so, the term ‘handheld mobile device’ may represent a different meaning to different people and therefore can be anything from a PDA to a digital camera. For the purpose of this paper, the term handheld mobile device (henceforth abbreviated as mobile device) will be associated only with those mobile computing devices that have the capability of downloading third-party mobile applications (as defined in 2.1.3). Namely, these are smartphones, PDAs and tablet PCs.
22.214.171.124 Mobile phones
There are many known terms for mobile phones including cell phone, basic phone, feature phone, traditional mobile phone, smartphone, and system phone. Nonetheless, it can be argued that mobile phones currently on the market are typically categorised as either ‘feature phones’ or a ‘smartphones’. The definitions of these two types are widely discussed and disputed by analysts, manufacturers, journalists, and end users. The lack of a standard definition can be attributed to the advancement of mobile phone technology. As the technology continues to evolve, definitions are subject to change.
In simple terms, a smartphone ordinarily has PC-like functionality and processing power, as well as advanced capabilities (ten24 Media Inc. 2011; Cassavoy 2011; Ho 2009). While there is no standard definition of a smartphone, there seems to be an industry agreement on certain elements that a smartphone possesses. The first element is the operating system (OS) which manages the hardware and software resources of smartphones (Phone Factor "Smartphone" 2011; TechTarget 2011; Cassavoy 2011; Litchfield 2010; Sutter 2010). These include proprietary OS platforms such the RIM BlackBerry OS and Apple OS X, as well as open OS platforms such as the Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, and even versions of Linux. These operating systems allow for computer-like abilities such as the possibility to run a countless number of applications, in addition to the built-in functions (PC Magazine 2011).
In addition, it is the type of software applications that a smartphone is able to run (Phone Factor "Smartphone" 2011; TechTarget 2011; Cassavoy 2011; Litchfield 2010). Although almost all cell phones run some sort of software, smartphone software is usually more powerful. Besides the standard applications, such as a contact manager,...