10 Upcoming Mobile Trends to Watch

[singlepic id=96 w=320 h=240 float=right]by Michelle Maisto

  • Bluetooth 3 and 4
    By 2011, two new versions of Bluetooth will emerge, according to Garner. Bluetooth 3 will introduce 802.11 for faster data transmission, and Bluetooth 4 will introduce a low-energy mode that will enable communication with peripherals and sensors and makes it a fit for industries such as health care. The Littman Electronic Stethoscope, pictured, relies on Bluetooth to transmit sounds in real time to a PC for further analysis.
  • The Mobile Web
    By 2011, more than 85 percent of the handsets shipped globally are expected to include a browser. In mature markets, the mobile Web and Web adaptation tools will encourage the use of business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile apps, which Gartner says should be part of every enterprise’s B2C portfolio by 2012.
  • Mobile Widgets
    Widgets, installable Web applications that can run on a device’s home screen, are simple to use, convenient and can offer a business a good, inexpensive first step toward assessing demand for an application. This Verizon Wireless widget shows the real-time view from a New York City traffic camera.
  • Platform-Independent Mobile AD Tools
    Web technologies will be “insufficiently mature” through 2012, says Garter, making tools that can “reduce the burden of delivering installable applications to several platforms” more attractive. Such tools include Flash, Silverlight and AIR, as well as multiplatform development tools such as Qt, Appcelerator and Java Micro Edition.
  • App Stores
    Application stores will become part of a broader ecosystem that includes services in the cloud and technical partnerships offering functionalities such as navigation, mapping, search and social networking, says Gartner. It also expects app stores to take on the past tasks of mobile device management tools. Pictured here is Nokia’s Ovi app store.
  • Enhanced Location Awareness
    By the end of 2011, Gartner expects more than 75 percent of the devices shipped to mature markets to include GPS. Enterprises, using services such as Twitter, are expected to take advantage of consumer-aware apps. In January, Nokia began offering its Ovi Maps, which offers walking and driving directions, as well as landmark callouts, as a free download.
  • Celluar Broadband
    Multimegabit wireless broadband will grow through 2011, with 3.5G technologies increasing and leading the way to 4G LTE deployments, says Gartner. On March 25, Lenovo introduced the ThinkPad Edge 14 and 15 laptops with the option of a Qualcomm Gobi modem to access Sprint’s 4G network.
  • Touch Screens
    Touch screens are becoming the dominant user interface on large-screen handsets and are expected be included on 60 percent of mobile devices shipped to mature markets in 2011. The Palm Pre Plus, pictured here, features a 3.1-inch HVGA multitouch display.
  • M2M
    The increasing quality of cellular broadband is expected to accelerate the use of M2M (machine-to-machine) applications such as for video surveillance, meter reading, vending and point-of-sale solutions. In 2009, Motorola introduced the H24 wireless modem, for 3.5G connectivity, to its M2M solutions portfolio.
  • Device-Independent Security
    CIOs are being pressured to support new devices and form factors, particularly tablets, such as the Apple iPad, pictured here, and e-readers. Consequently, device-independent security solutions will help to deliver applications that run on a range of devices, while reducing security risks, says Gartner. (Image courtesy of Apple)


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