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Mobile Design and Development by Brian Fling

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Chapter 2. The Mobile Ecosystem

The Internet has spoiled us. We tend to oversimplify the technology powering the Internet. The Internet is actually a complex ecosystem made up of many parts that must all work together seamlessly. When you enter a URL into a web browser, you don’t think about everything that has to happen to see a web page. When you send an email, you don’t care about all the servers, switches, and software that separate you from your recipient. Everything you do on the Internet happens in fractions of a second. And you have the perception that all of this happens for free.

If you talk to people unfamiliar with mobile, you might find that they quickly assume that the mobile ecosystem is exactly like the Internet, and that all the same rules apply. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Mobile is an entirely unique ecosystem and, like the Internet, it is made up of many different parts that must all work seamlessly together. However, with mobile technology, the parts are different, and because you can use mobile devices to access the Internet, that means that not only do you need to understand the facets of the Internet, but you also need to understand the mobile ecosystem.

To put it another way, think of the Internet as a great cloud in the sky. When we want to pull something from it, we use a tool, like a piece of software or device, to interact with it. This can include mobile devices, which we tend to think of as tools. Although this image is partially correct, ...

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