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What is the difference between Native, Web and Hybrid Mobile Applications? July 9, 2013

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Native, mobile Web, or hybrid? For many companies considering tapping into the mobility of their increasingly connected workforce with enterprise mobile solutions, as well as b2c mobile applications with user communities in the millions, that’s the primary question.

The answer: It depends. There’s no single correct solution that applies to all scenarios and needs. Each option — mobile Web apps, hybrid applications, and native apps — has its own advantages and disadvantages. The right path for your company depends on a variety of factors.

Before beginning your mobile application development project, it is important to run through a checklist of questions that must be tackled at the outset: What is your business hoping to accomplish with the app? Do you have a mobile device management policy? If so, what is it? These are just a few examples, you should have a more comprehensive list of preliminary questions to have answered as part of your initial requirements elicitation and gathering process.

Before you can determine which option is best for your custom mobile development project, it is important to understand a few basic fundamentals on the differences between native, hybrid and mobile Web applications:

Native Applications are applications that are developed exclusively for a specific mobile platform and that can leverage all device capabilities.

Native applications can leverage the full array of features and functions available through the mobile device’s core operating system. Generally, they are faster, smoother and offer a significantly more fluid user experience than either Hybrid apps or mobile Web apps.

Hybrid Applications are applications that wrap a mobile web interface inside a native application “container”.

Today, technology changes so rapidly that most businesses require immense flexibility and scalability to adapt content, design and even application architecture, all on the fly. By deploying applications that rely on a robust combination of HTML5 Web technologies and native OS features, you preserve a large degree of control over the content and design of the solutions we build for mobile platforms.

Many companies find that this hybrid development process empowers them to perform fast, easy, on-demand updates, without losing the inherent advantages that come from hosting a solution in the iTunes Apps Store or the Android Marketplace.

Mobile Web Applications are applications that are implemented with HTML5 and JavaScript that operate entirely inside a mobile browser.

Mobile Web apps offer an attractive option for companies that are looking to get into the Mobility game but don’t want to invest in building native applications across four different mobile platforms. Whether getting a new app up and running or maintaining or updating an existing mobile solution, with Mobile Web Apps everything is simple and inexpensive. Better yet, HTML5-driven mobile Web apps are cross-platform compatible and, in large degree, more secure than native applications (given that very little data is stored locally on the native device.)

Comparing Native and Hybrid Mobile Applications

The following table offers a matrix comparing the benefits and various features supported by native and hybrid mobile applications:

Feature Native Hybrid
Access to the Contacts or Address Book Full support All platforms except older Blackberry OS and WebOS
Access to the Accelerometer (motion detection) Full support Not supported on older Blackberry OS
Camera Full support Not supported on older Blackberry OS
Storing data locally and offline Full support All platforms except older Blackberry OS and Samsung Bada
Accessing network properties and conditions Full support Full support
Access to the local file system for saving and retrieving files (e.g. images) Full support All except Symbian, older Blackberry OS, WebOS and Bada
Access to Location / GPS data Full support Full support
Local notifications (alerts, vibration, sound) Full support Full support

Want to know more?

You’re reading Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a blog stuffed with years of articles about Boston technology startups and venture capital-backed companies, software developmentAgile project managementmanaging software teams, designing web-based business applications, running successful software development projectsecommerce and telecommunications.

About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. I have been working in the software engineering and ecommerce industries for over fifteen years. My interests include computers, electronics, robotics and programmable microcontrollers, and I am an avid outdoorsman and guitar player. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Quora, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurshipecommercetelecommunications and software development, I’m a PMO Director, a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of several ecommerce and web-based software startups, the latest of which is Tshirtnow.net.

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What is NFC? What is the smartphone mobile payments technology known as Near Field Communications? March 6, 2011

Posted by HubTechInsider in Ecommerce, Mobile Software Applications, Telecommunications, Wireless Applications.
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It has been several years now that I have been reading and hearing about mobile phone toting consumers being able to purchase soft drinks from vending machines through the use of SMS texts to the vending machine.

The possibilities of a mobile digital wallet, a North American equivalent of European Smartcards and mobile SMS payments systems, to be used as a payments service for smartphones, certainly include the hypothetical future displacement of the cash register as the payment method of choice for consumers on the go.

NFC, or Near Field Communication, may perhaps have such a potential.

Since the middle of December, in and around Portland, Oregon, Google has been handing out hundreds of NFC kits to local businesses as part of an NFC trial they are calling “Hotpot”.

The Google Hotpot kits include special NFC-capable window decals. NFC is a low power technology that beams and receives wireless information from up to four inches away. When consumers with NFC-equipped telephones such as the latest models of Android operating system cellular phones, scan a NFC-equiped window decal, they will be presented with information on their mobile device such as business hours, reviews, and more.

The hope is that the increasingly mobile consumer will willingly engage with local merchants using this new technology, allowing merchants to interact with the generations of consumers growing up with texting and mobile smartphones in their pockets.

2011 is really shaping up to be the year of NFC, with Google considering building an NFC-based payment service in the U.S. that could make its debut later this year. The technology would let customers pay for items by passing their smartphone over a small reader. A single NFC chip would be able to hold a consumer’s bank account information, gift cards, loyalty cards, and coupons, say the two people, who requested anonymity because the plans aren’t public. Google’s NFC scheme includes an advertising component that would allow merchants to beam a coupon or other reward to customers while they are shopping.

Of course, advanced smartphone owners can already complete mobile transactions by downloading payment applications. Paypal’s iPhone iOS application, for example, lets PayPal users transmit funds to other PayPal account holders. But NFC technology could potentially streamline such transactions. Users of advanced smartphones equipped with NFC technology don’t need to launch an application; they simply wave or tap their smartphone against a small reader device and enter a PIN number on it to authenticate their purchases.

A Google NFC network offering would encounter stiff competition from the start from the likes of companies such as Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, the three of whom in November 2010 formed a joint commercial venture called ISIS that plans to launch an NFC-based payments service by 2012. Visa is also field testing several mobile payment technologies, including NFC, and plans a commercial rollout later this year. It is rumored that PayPal, a division of eBay, may test an NFC service in the second half of 2011 as well.

Silicon Valley is hard at work on NFC technology too, with Apple having filed a patent for a process to transmit money between cellular telephones using NFC. Apple recently hired NFC expert Benjamin Vigier away from mFoundry, a startup that helps banks build mobile payments applications. If the next iPhone does come equipped with an NFC chip, then perhaps Apple will process mobile payments through Apple’s iTunes store.

The increased competition and jockeying for position in the NFC space is undoubtedly due to the high stakes involved, as the prize for whoever wins the NFC race is a dominant position in a small but fast-growing market that could displace the cash register in time. A leading market research firm, IE Market Research, estimates that by 2014, NFC-based payment systems will account for a third of the $1.13 trillion in worldwide mobile transactions.

In mid-December, Google, whose former CEO, Eric Schmidt, has said that NFC will “eventually replace credit cards”, in December 2010 bought Zetawire, a Canadian startup with several NFC patents to its name, including a novel method for diners to split up and pay a restaurant bill using their smartphones. If Google does decide to launch an NFC payments network, they would have the built-in advantage of its very large and rapidly expanding installed user base of Android smartphone owners. Every single day, around 300,000 people activate Android telephones, and they accounted for more than 25 percent of the new smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2010, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The latest version of Google’s smartphone operating system, Android, capable of reading NFC tags is dubbed Gingerbread. Later this year, software updates to Android will let Android smartphones transmit information using NFC as well. In December 2010, Google introduced its Nexus S smartphone, based on Android Gingerbread and carrying an NFC chip onboard. In January 2011, Starbucks announced that customers would be able to start using a bar-code application on their smartphones to purchase coffee in some 6,800 of its stores.

There are obstacles to widespread consumer adoption, however. For an NFC-based payments network to really work, Google needs to convince not just Android smartphone owners but also local merchants who must install NFC readers to process mobile payments. Hotpot, which Google has been promoting heavily, introduces merchants to the NFC technology. NFC is already in heavy use in parts of Asia and Europe.


Want to know more?

You’re reading Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a blog stuffed with years of articles about Boston technology startups and venture capital-backed companies,software developmentAgile project managementmanaging software teams, designing web-based business applications, running successful software development projectsecommerce and telecommunications.

About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurshipecommercetelecommunications andsoftware development, I’m a Technical PMO Director, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of TwitterMiners.com & Tshirtnow.net.


What’s the difference between a Graphic Designer, an Information Architect and an Interaction Designer? September 15, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Agile Software Development, Definitions, Ecommerce, Mobile Software Applications, Project Management, Social Media, Software, VoIP, VUI Voice User Interface, Wireless Applications.
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Information Architecture is the study of the organization and structure of effective web systems. Information architects study and design the relationships between internal page elements, as well as the relationships and navigation paths between individual pages. They combine Web design, information and library science as well as technical skills to order enterprise knowledge and design organizational systems within websites that help Users find and manage information more successfully. They are also responsible for things like ordering tabs and content sections of a web-based software application.  They try to structure content and access to functions in such a way as to facilitate Users finding paths to knowledge and the swift accomplishment of their User Goals with the System.

Graphic Design is the skill of creating presentations of content (usually hypertext or hypermedia) that are delivered to Users through the World Wide Web, by way of a Web browser or other Web-enabled software like Internet television clients, micro blogging clients and RSS readers. Graphic designers study and design graphic elements, logos, artwork, stock photography, typography, font selection, color selection, color palettes and CSS styles.


Interaction Design is the process of creating an interface for the user to engage with a site or application’s functionality and content. Interaction designers are concerned mainly with facilitating users’ goals and tasks, and use a systematic and iterative process for designing highly interactive user interfaces. Their methodology includes research and discovery techniques such as requirements analysis, stakeholder analysis, task analysis, as well as prototyping, inspection and evaluation methods to define the structure and behavior of a web-based software system.


What’s the difference between Design and User Experience?

  • Design is about changing understanding; user experience is about changing behavior.
  • Design is about intent; user experience is about purpose.
  • Design is about style; user experience is about substance.
  • Design is about the platform; user experience is about the person.
  • Design is about the present; user experience is about the past and future.
  • Design is about action; user experience is about impact.

Cambridge’s Vanu, Inc., announces a $2.15 Million round of equity financing August 23, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Mobile Software Applications, Startups, Telecommunications, Venture Capital, Wireless Applications.
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Cambridge’s Vanu, Inc., a maker of software radio systems, announces a $2.15 Million round of equity financing led by a group of investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Teta Capital, and Charles River Ventures.

Boston’s Skyhook Wireless maps the physical meatspace world so your smartphone can know its location in a minute without slow GPS satellite fixes August 23, 2010

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Boston’s Skyhook Wireless maps the physical meatspace world so your smartphone can know its location in a minute without slow GPS satellite fixes and tap into the new wave of nascent geo-location services.


Skyhook Wireless software loads onto mobile telephones and other portable devices like netbook computers and tablet computers and in most urban city locations can pinpoint a user’s location within 60 feet, obtaining a position fix in around one to two minutes, much faster than traditional GPS, or Global Positioning Systems, are able to obtain positive location information or even connect, while inside buildings.


When a Skyhook-enabled smartphone checks on its location, it will use the Skyhook Wireless software to scan for nearby cellular towers, Wi-Fi hotspots and available GPS satellites. The smartphone then sends that data to a Skyhhok Wireless server and within seconds can get a positive position fix on where in the world that smartphone is. This three-pronged approach is superior in the field in many instances for obtaining a position as opposed to reliance on GPS alone, which can take minutes to obtain a position fix.


But Skyhook Wireless must continuously update its location database as people move and new hotspots emerge and cease. The biggest challenge is not getting the data, it is managing the chaos that surrounds the shifting database of location-fixing data.


Skyhook Wireless software is part of a thriving emerging market for location-based services. These services include mobile social networks like Facebook Places, Gowalla and Foursquare, which enable “checking in” and broadcasting your location information to friends, announcing, for example, your arrival at a neighborhood restaurant.


To make this possible, Skyhook Wireless has amassed a database of more than 50 billion scanned records of Wi-Fi, cellular tower and GPS signals. This “map” of locations captures nearly 80% of the geographic areas in which the population of the US lives and works daily. In order to gather all of this information, Skyhook Wireless, on any given day, employs 500 drivers to cruise around with laptops and wireless antennas that read Wi-Fi and other signals and correlate them with locations. The company’s ultimate goal is to obtain baseline scans of all the roads and cities across the entire globe.


Skyhook Wireless has among its customers the manufacturers of mobile phones and other consumer devices. Skyhook Wireless software is installed in tens of millions of consumer gadgets, including some netbook computers, cameras, and until very recently, every iPhone, iPad and iPod that Apple shipped. In April, Apple began using its own location data it had been collecting for this purpose over years of iPhone use. In July of this year, Skyhook Wireless inked a deal with Samsung for its smartphones and has agreements with Motorola and Dell as well.


Licensing Skyhook Wireless technology can cost as much as $2 per device. Forbes magazine estimated the company’s 2009 revenues at $25 Million. Skyhook Wireless has around 35 emplyees, was founded in 2003, and has raised around $17 Million from investors to date.


Skyhook Wireless is competing against Apple, Inc., as mentioned previously in this article, as well as giants Google and Nokia, which have both also developed and acquired similar services that use multiple locataion data inputs, like Wi-Fi hotspots for mobile location fixing. It may be significant that in April of this year, Motorola choose to license the Skyhook Wireless technology rather than use Google’s free location software.


The CEO of Skyhook Wireless is Ted Morgan, age 43, the company’s founder.

The Hub Tech Insider Glossary of Mobile Web Terminology August 21, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Definitions, Mobile Software Applications, Wireless Applications.
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Well, as all of my regular readers know, and most casual readers of these pages can probably easily surmise, I am an ecommerce guy.

I have been designing, programming, managing, and just about everything-ing, ecommerce sites and companies for well over 15 years at this point.

I started my first ecommerce site in 1994. My first web site was an ecommerce site, the third web site in the US state in which I was living at the time. So building online stores is something I am super passionate about.

Sometime ago, probably around 2003 or 2004, I became convinced of the inevitability of the mobile web, and mobile web browsing for ecommerce sites.

I never really believed that the mobile browsing and online purchasing experience, or typical use case, for mobile browsing would be the same as the browsing experience on the desktop PC-based web. It just seemed to me that the mobile version of an ecommerce (or any other content-serving web site, for that matter) site would have to be optimized for a person on-the-go.

The appearance of the Apple iPhone really got me fired up about the mobile web, because I saw Apple driving mobile browsing to the fore of the public’s attention. There were several other factors that were, to my mind, inevitably driving the adoption of mobile web browsing.

So I set out to learn everything I could about mobile browsing, browsers, devices, standards, everything about mobile ecommerce and mobile web design.

At this point (summer 2010), I have set up several mobile versions of ecommerce sites. The mobile version of one of  my latest ecommerce projects, tshirtnow.net, is currently responsible for around 9% of that site’s orders, which I find amazing. I expect this number to grow over time.

My employer, eSpendWise, (I am Director of Technical Projects there) is in the midst of developing a very thoughtful mobile portal into the eSpendWise ecommerce and eProcurement platform used by many Fortune 100 companies, like Apple, Inc., Nike, and others. Optimizing the mobile portal for the nomadic browsing experience (picture a store manager approving a shipment of cleaning supplies on their smartphone while running to help a cashier) while still preserving the power and flexibility of the eSpendWise platform, as you might well be able to imagine, dear reader, is a challenging task to say the least.

A recent study by mobile commerce analysts at Morgan Stanley projected that within five years, the number of user accessing the net from mobile devices will surpass the number who access it from PCs.

Because the screens are smaller, such mobile traffic is trending to be driven in the future by specialty software, mostly apps, designed for a single purpose. For the sake of the optimized experience on mobile devices, many users will forgo the general purpose browser for specialized mobile applications. Users want the Net on their mobile devices, but not necessarily the Web. Fast and easy (specialized purpose-built mobile applications) may eventually win out over flexible (the current desktop browser-oriented world wide web).

One thing I recommend is designing to web standards for your mobile applications or portals. In this way, you have the best shot at “future proofing” your mobile optimized content and applications.

During the writing of Functional Specifications for some of the mobile projects I have been involved with or responsible for, I have created a Glossary of mobile web terms and terminology I wanted to share with my HubTechInsider.com readers so that it may serve as a reference for their own mobile web design efforts.

Please don’t hesitate to send me an email with any questions or additions / corrects you may have for me, and please send me a short note with links / information about your own mobile web design efforts!

The Hub Tech Insider Glossary of Mobile Web Terminology

3G – 3G stands for Third Generation and refers to the latest phase in mobile technology. 3G enables much faster connections to the Internet so that you can get richer multimedia experiences such as video messaging.

4G – 4G stands for Fourth Generation and is a somewhat vague term used to describe wireless mobile radio technologies that offer faster data rates than current 3G (third generation) technologies. 4G networks are also more data-centric and based on standard Internet technologies such as IP. Voice service is typically provided using a special form of VoIP. WiMAX and LTE are examples of 4G technologies.

A-GPS – Assisted Global positioning System. This is a mobile-based location technology. The mobile uses A-GPS to work out location with the help of both GPS satellites and local network base stations.

AFLT (Advanced Forward Link Transmission) – AFLT is a mobile-based location technology. AFLT does not employ GPS satellites to work out locations. Instead, the phone measures signals from nearby cellular base stations and reports the time/distance readings back to the network which is then able to work out your location.

BROWSER – Software that allows you to view Internet content on a web-enabled device.

cHTML, C-HTML, Compact HTML – cHTML is a subset of HTML for i-mode browsers.  cHTML is used only in Japan. cHTML is considered technical superior to WML. cHTML was replaced at W3C by XHTML Basic.

CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) – CTI is an optional set of applications that integrate your business’ telephone system with a computer.  Features can include video conferencing, one-click dialing, incoming call routing, and a variety of other timesaving features that could be appealing to large businesses.

EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) – This is an enhanced modulation technique which increases network capacity and data rates in GSM networks.

FEATURE PHONE – A cell phone with lightweight web features, not smartphones.

GSM (Global System for Mobile) – This is the digital network that mobile phones have used to make calls and send text messages, as well as the standard network available across much of the world. The data connection to the mobile internet is a phone call (similar to a fixed line modem) and it is billed relative to the duration of the call.

HDML(Hyper Device Markup Language) Computer language format used to create wireless websites. HDML is the oldest markup language for display on mobile devices (circa 1996). HDML has a very simple syntax. HDML was never standardized, but was influential in the development of WML. No longer used on mobile phones in North America and Europe.

iDEN – a mobile telecommunications technology, developed by Motorola, which provides its users the benefits of a trunked radio and a cellular telephone. iDEN places more users in a given spectral space, compared to analog cellular and two-way radio systems, by using speech compression and time division multiple access (TDMA). iDEN is an enhanced specialized mobile radio network technology that combines two-way radio, telephone, text messaging and data transmission into one network.

i-mode – NTT DoCoMo proprietary wireless Internet service. Provides mobile devices access to web, e-mail and packet data. NTT DoCoMo I-mode is available only in Japan.

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier) – This is 15-digit number which identifies an individual phone to the network operators.

Java (J2ME: Java 2 Micro Edition) – Java or J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition) enables users to download tailor-made software applications onto their phones e.g. mobile games.

LTE (Long-Term Evolution) – An effort to develop advanced wireless mobile radio technology that will succeed current 3G WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA technology. Although “LTE” is not the name of the standard itself, it is often used that way. The actual standard is called 3GPP Release 8. LTE is considered by many to be a “4G” technology, both because it is faster than 3G, and because it uses an “all-IP” architecture where everything (including voice) is handled as data, similar to the Internet.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) – Also referred to as picture messaging, MMS works much like text messaging but with a greater capacity so you can send larger quantities of text as well as attaching images and audio files from your phone.

NATIVE APPLICATION – Mobile phone software compiled into a compatible binary format, stored in phone memory and run locally on the device. I.e. web browser, email reader, phone book.

PORTAL – A website accessed by desktop or wireless device that provides a wide selection of information from a single place.

PREDICTIVE TEXT (T9: Text on Nine Keys) – Predictive text allows you to enter text by pressing only one key per letter. When you try and text in a word, the phone will automatically compare all of the possible letter combinations against its own dictionary and predict which word you intended to type.

ROAMING – Making or receiving calls (or using wireless data services) outside your home airtime rate area. Additional fees may apply, depending on your calling plan.

SERIES 60 / SERIES 40 – Series 60 is based on the Symbian Operating System and is a major platform for smartphones. Series 60 was developed by Nokia for their own smartphones but they also license the platform to other mobile manufacturers. Series 60 mobiles tend to have a large color display and a large amount of memory for storing content. Series 40 phones tend to have smaller screens and less memory.

SIM CARD – This is the small card that slots into the back of a mobile phone underneath the battery. The SIM card controls your phone number and the Network that it works on.

SMARTPHONE – A smartphone is like a combination of a standard mobile phone and a PDA. Smartphones have their own complete Operating Systems but differ from PDAs in that they have a standard phone keyboard for input instead of a touch screen and pen.

SMS – (Short Message Service) Send or receive messages (up to 160 characters each) using your wireless device.  SMS is also known as “Text Messaging”.

SOFT KEYS – Soft keys can be used for many different functions according to what is displayed on your mobile at any one moment e.g. ‘Select’ and ‘Exit’. They are commonly found right under the display.

SYMBIAN – Symbian is made up of a group of companies (Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, and Psion) who create operating systems for mobiles and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

SYNCHRONIZED ACCESS – Some companies create a scaled-down version of their website for PDAs. A copy of the site is stored on the PDA and updated each time it is placed in its cradle and synchronized.

TEXT MESSAGING – Send/receive messages (up to 160 characters each) from your wireless device. Text Messaging is also known as “SMS.”

TRI-BAND – A GSM mobile of which there are two major types (European and Americas) and supports three of the four major GSM frequency bands. This type of mobile functions in most parts of the world.

U-TDOA (Uplink Time Difference on Arrival) – U-TDOA is a position-location technology for mobile phone networks. It works out your exact location by using triangulation techniques i.e. by measuring your distance from two known points.

UMTS – UMTS is one of the standard technologies used to enable 3G mobile services e.g. video on your phone.

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) – This is the technology that enables mobile phones to browse the Internet. Open standard for network communication that allows mobile devices to access the Internet. WAP is a lightweight protocol providing primitive Internet support (from a desktop point of view). WAP was criticized for fragmenting the Web into Desktop and Mobile variants.

  • WAP 1.x – WML
  • WAP 2.x – XHTML-MP

WEB APPLICATION – A web application is an application that is accessed via Web browser over the Internet.  Application runs on a web server. Markup documents are typically rendered on the User’s phone. No binary compilation or persistent local storage.

WiMax – (802.16a) WiMax is the trade name for a family of new technologies related to the IEEE 802.16 wireless standards. WiMax has the potential for very long range (5 – 30 miles) and high speeds. The initial version, based on 802.16a, is designed for fixed (non-mobile) applications only, such as a wireless replacement for home DSL or cable modem service.  Newer versions, such as 802.16e, add support for mobility, potentially making WiMax a competitor for certain 3G or 4G cell-phone technologies. WiMax uses OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), an increasingly common type of digital wireless technology that is also used in some digital radio and television standards. WiMax operates at higher frequencies than mobile phone networks. WiMax technology can operate in the 2.5 or 3.5 GHz licensed bands, or in the 5.8 GHz unlicensed band.

WML (Wireless Markup Language)–  Computer language format used to create websites that can be viewed on a wireless telephone or device. WML is a XML-based markup language for mobile phones. WML has a very simple syntax. WML was standardized by W3C. WML is considered to be a legacy markup language for mobile devices. Implements WAP.

WTAI (Wireless Telephony Applications Interface) – A protocol used in conjunction with the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to allow a phone number to be linked to a web page.

WURFL (Wireless Universal Resource File) – WURFL is an open source directory and APIs for programmatic discovery of mobile device capabilities.

XHTML – XHTML is a HTML markup language in XML-compliant syntax.

XHTML Basic – W3C-standardized subset of HTML targeted for mobile devices, pagers and set-top boxes.

XHTML-MP – Superset of XHTML-Basic defined by the Open Mobile Alliance industry group. XHTML-MP is considered to be the implementation of WAP 2.0. XHTML-MP is a very popular markup language for mobile devices and carrier sponsored applications and portals.

Want to know more?

You’re reading Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a blog stuffed with years of articles about Boston technology startups and venture capital-backed companies,software developmentAgile project managementmanaging software teams, designing web-based business applications, running successful software development projectsecommerce and telecommunications.

About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurshipecommercetelecommunications andsoftware development, I’m the Director, Technical Projects at eSpendWise, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tshirtnow.net.

Verizon to open new Waltham, Massachusetts 4G & FiOS Innovation & Research Center April 19, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in events, Fiber Optics, Mobile Software Applications, Telecommunications, Wireless Applications.
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Verizon Communications Inc. says it plans to start building a new research center in Waltham, Massachusetts focused around 4G wireless Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Verizon Wireless currently is piloting an LTE network deployment in parts of Boston. The new Verizon Waltham Technology Innovation Center will eventually house more than 300 scientists and researchers, officials said, most of whom are already working for Verizon in two exisitng buildings at that location.


In addition to its LTE research, the new Waltham campus will house researchers working on other Verizon offerings. LTE is the major focus of that building, but there will also be other Verizon work going on, including the further development of FiOS.


The campus at 117 West St. in Waltham will include three buildings once the new one is finished. In addition to the research space, it will house offices, as well as an executive briefing center.


As of August 2009, Verizon had 10 LTE 4G cell sites running around Greater Boston in its pilot deployment. LTE wireless service is expected to provide up to 10 times the speed – or about 8 megabits per second – of current 3G services. In March, Verizon announced that in its pilot deployments it was seeing average speeds of between 5Mbps and 12Mbps on a download in real world use, with peaks as high as 50Mbps.


How much bandwidth does a smartphone use? How much bandwidth does an Apple iPad use? How much bandwidth does an Apple iPhone use? February 7, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Mobile Software Applications, Technology, Telecommunications, Wireless Applications.
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How much bandwidth does a smartphone use? How much bandwidth does an Apple iPad use? How much bandwidth does an Apple iPhone use?

Wireless operators are struggling to keep up with demand as more people use their phones to check Facebook and watch videos online. Here are estimates of how much bandwidth is used per person for various activities on different phones.

One megabyte is roughly equivalent to one digital book, 45 seconds of music, or 20 seconds of medium-quality video.

Feature Phones such as the Motorola Razr are used primarily to make calls, and they consume littel bandwidth even for web activities because they have stripped-down web browsers. Feature phones and their users tend to consume around 100 Megabytes of data downloads a month, using 4 MB of voice calls an hour, and 4 to 5 MB of web browsing per hour.

Smartphones such as Research in Motion’s popular Blackberry, are used for phone calls, email, and light web browsing. Smartphones and their users tend to consume around 185 Megabytes of total monthly data downloads, utilizing 4 MB per hour for voice calls, and 4 to 5 MB of web browsing.

Superphones are advanced smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone and Motorola’s Droid, that make it easy for people to surf the web and watch online videos, leading to much higher bandwidth use.

Superphones and their users tend to consume around 560 Megabytes of total monthly data downloads, using 4 MB per hour for voice calls, 40 MB per hour for web browsing, 60 MB per hour for internet radio, and 200 MB per hour for YouTube videos.

Tablet computers such as Apple’s newly unveiled iPad are likely to send data use even higher. Th iPad will chew up even more bandwidth than the iPone because of its larger screen. Tablet computer and iPad users tend to consume 800 to 1,000 Megabytes of total monthly data downloads, using 50 to 60 MB per hour for web browsing, 60 MB per hour for internet radio, and 300 to 400 MB per hour for YouTube videos.

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  Feature Phones Smartphones Superphones Tablet Computers
Monthly Totals
100 MB
185 MB
560 MB
800-1K MB
Voice Calls
4 MB / Hr.
4 MB / Hr.
4 MB / Hr.
 
Web Browsing
4-5 MB/Hr.
4-5 MB/Hr
40 MB/Hr.
50-60 MB/Hr
Internet Radio     60 MB/Hr.
60 MB / Hr.
YouTube Videos     200MB/Hr 3-400MB/Hr.


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Burlington’s BlueSocket, a developer of wireless technologies, raises $8.02 Million February 1, 2010

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Burlington’s BlueSocket, a developer of wireless technologies, raises $8.02 Million from a group of investors including Ascent Venture Partners, Boulder Ventures, Intel Capital, Ironside Ventures, Ridgewood Capital, and St. Paul Venture Capital.


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Boston’s SCVNGR, location-aware mobile games maker, raises $4 Million January 3, 2010

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Boston’s SCVNGR, a maker of a mobile software platform that lets you build location-based games compatible with any mobile phone, raises $4 Million from a group of investors including Google Ventures and Highland Capital.

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Boston’s Nexage raises $4 Million in a Series A round of equity financing December 17, 2009

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Boston’s Nexage, a provider of mobile advertising solutions, has announced it has raised $4 Million in a Series A round of equity financing led by GrandBanks Capital and Blackberry Partners Fund

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Littleton’s Movik, a developer of software to speed delivery of content to mobile devices, has raised $8.5 Million in a Series B round of equity financing. December 16, 2009

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Littleton’s Movik, a developer of software to speed delivery of content to mobile devices, has announced it has raised $8.5 Million in a Series B round of equity financing led by Highland Capital Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.

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North Billerica’s Contour Semiconductor raises $8 Million December 11, 2009

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North Billerica’s Contour Semiconductor, a producer of Flash memory chips for mobile-device data storage, has raised $8 Million from Fairhaven Capital Partners, American Capital, Still River Funds, and Eastward Capital Partners.

Boston’s Roam Data, cell phone payment processing software maker, raises $6.5 Million in a Series B round of equity financing December 1, 2009

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Boston’s Roam Data, a developer of cell phone payment processing software that allows merchants to process payments over cell phones, has raised $6.5 Million in a Series B round of equity financing led by Ingenico Ventures (a unit of payment solutions provider Ingenico SAS) and George Wallner (founder and former CEO of Hypercom).

BitWave Semiconductor of Lowell, MA raises $1.33 Million from a group of undisclosed investors November 18, 2009

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BitWave Semiconductor, the programmable transceiver company based in Lowell, MA raises $1.33 Million from a group of undisclosed investors.

Westford, MA based wireless video technology company Aylus Networks Inc raises $5.7 Million in a Series C round of equity financing November 17, 2009

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Westford, MA based wireless video technology company Aylus Networks Inc raises $5.7 Million in a Series C round of equity financing from a number of undisclosed institutional investors.

Skyhook Wireless, based in Boston, makes chips that improve the performance of Google Maps on Nokia smartphones November 13, 2009

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Boston-based Skyhook Wireless is expected to announce next week that it’s releasing an application for Nokia smartphones that will give owners a far faster and more accurate fix on their locations. Skyhook’s $2.99 Maps Booster works on any Symbian S60 handset and will be available starting next week through Nokia’s new and much-heralded Ovi app store; it replaces the Symbian operating system’s built-in location-finding platform with Skyhook’s software, which then feeds location data directly to other location-aware apps such as Google Maps. The company says it created the program because Nokia phones are notorious for their slow performance in GPS mode. “With such high price tags, we think all features of Nokia smartphones should work perfectly,” Kate Imbach, Skyhook’s director of marketing and developer programs, said in a statement. “Maps Booster, finally, will make the location on any Nokia S60 device work just as well as location on the iPhone.”

What is the frequency response of the North American Public Switched Telephone Network? June 3, 2009

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Sinusoidal waves of various frequencies; the b...

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The conventional North American Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN, has a frequency response range of 300 Hz to 3,400 Hz. The normal hearing range of humans is typically 30 Hz to 20,000 Hz. So the conventional telephone transmission system is unable to carry bright, high-frequency and deep, low-frequency tones.

But, somewhat surprisingly, because our ears are so used to hearing poor-quality audio over the telephone, our brains actually “fill in” the missing frequencies. As an example, the crisp “s” sound in the word “Christmas”. So in effect, the telephone audio often sounds better than it actually is to us.

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