Mobile-Centric Computing: How Mobile Devices, Apps Are Creating a New Web

By J. Gerry Purdy  |  Posted 2012-01-04 Print this article Print

NEWS ANALYSIS: The world is shifting from a Web-centric one to one based on mobile-centric IT. Right now, smartphones, tablets and mobile apps are leading the way.

Are you aware that we're creating another Internet?  It's one that is mobile-centric rather than Web-centric, and it's going to continue and become more important in the years to come.

The reason that a good part of the Web is being recreated right before our eyes is summed up in one word: mobile.

If you use a mobile Web browser on your smartphone and enter a traditional Website, the experience is less than positive. Most of the time, it's just plain awful. That's because normal Websites are not meant to be viewed on tiny screens using smartphones.

As a result, if a site has not been modified to be "mobile-friendly," the user typically gets a poor experience. Developers of the popular Websites have already created-or are in the process of creating-mobile-friendly versions of their Websites that provide a better experience when accessed by someone using a smartphone. 

It's obvious that a small percentage of Websites get most of the traffic. This means that the developers of those sites have already spent the time and money to create a mobile version of those popular sites. Over time, more of the "long tail" of less regularly accessed Websites will get converted to be mobile-friendly.  Recently, a few companies like BlueTrain Mobile have developed tools and automated processes to help companies create mobile-optimized Websites.

The creation of mobile-friendly sites goes beyond the simple management of small screens. The entire inventory of ads you see on smartphones is different from the ads on the traditional Web. This inventory of ads is sold separately by companies such as AdMob, MillennialMedia, iAd and Smaato. These businesses focus on selling ads or providing ads on mobile-specific Websites.

So, the next time you use your iPhone or Android or BlackBerry device to visit a popular Website, it's more than likely the experience will be acceptable due to the site developers creating a mobile-friendly version for viewing on smartphones. You'll also see advertisements that are different from the ads that are on the traditional Web page when viewed by a Mac or PC.

It doesn't stop with the mobile versions of popular and most-visited Websites. It goes much further and will continue for many, many years until mobile-centric computing has become the center of the information universe.

If you doubt this conclusion, just take a look at what's happening with mobile applications. 

These applications have gone from zero to hundreds of thousands in just a couple of years and will be in the millions before too long. Why are so many mobile applications getting created? The answer is very simple-mobile applications provide a better experience for users, compared with what they see within a traditional Web browser. Application developers are able to manage the screen and processing better.  It looks and feels better.

J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is Principal Analyst of Mobile & Wireless at MobileTrax LLC.
Dr. Purdy has been covering mobile, wireless, cloud & enterprise for the past 20+ years. He writes analysis and recommendations each week in an easy-to-read manner that helps people better understand important technology issues and assist them in making better technology purchasing decisions.

Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in a column. If that situation happens, then I'll disclose it at that time.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel