Quick summary: Fascinated by the concept of mobile cloud computing but unsure about the advantages of mobile cloud computing? Cloud-based mobile app development is changing the possibilities of how mobile apps are delivered on smartphones across popular mobile app platforms such as iOS and Android. Here is the ultimate guide on the features of mobile cloud computing and everything you need to know about it.
There is an indisputable uproar about Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) in the mobile app development market. We are in a cloud and mobile computing era where we are witnessing the capabilities of cloud computing for mobile applications. As per Mordor Intelligence, the mobile cloud market is expected to record a CAGR of 25.28% for the duration 2022 – 2027.
Relevance and Importance of Cloud Computing for Mobile Applications
Apps today are much more complex than they were initially released. For instance, BSFI, eCommerce, and other industry-related apps require complex processing for delivering advanced functionalities such as location-based features, setting up advanced authentication, managing secure payment gateways, providing targeted content, and other such capabilities to the users.
Carrying out such tasks take an exorbitant price on computational resources like processing, memory, and data storage capabilities. Now for the premium end, mobile phones handling these demands are still more accessible due to their high specs; however, low to mid-range smartphones often suffer in terms of performance when needed to handle such tasks.
This is where Mobile Cloud Computing comes to the rescue! Building a mobile cloud computing architecture allows your app to run smoothly on devices with lower specs since the pressure of handling these complex actions is taken off your mobile device’s resources entirely. By developing and updating your mobile app on the cloud and deploying it to the devices that want to access it, your app’s overall performance improves significantly.
Types of Mobile Cloud Computing Platforms
What kind of mobile cloud computing solution you need greatly depends on your use case and the services you are looking for. Amazon is a tech leader in the cloud computing domain, categorizes mobile cloud computing into these two types:
General Purpose MMC Architecture
If your vendor says they provide general-purpose MMC solutions, they develop available systems with cloud computing to enhance the overall hardware performance of your phone. This is done by outsourcing computational-extensive tasks such as image augmentation, speech recognition, and others to dedicated cloud computing service providers. This kind of solution is ideal for situations where you are dealing with low-end smartphones that aren’t the best in providing hardware and computational facilities to handle complex or modern apps.
Application-Specific MMC Architecture
Application-specific solutions are more to do with improving a specific app’s performance. Suppose you are looking to develop a gaming or streaming app that requires higher computational resources; it is better to offload the operations of those apps to the cloud instead of taxing the user’s device hardware.
How does Mobile Cloud Computing Work? Mobile Cloud Computing Architecture
To understand the benefits of Mobile Cloud Computing, you must first understand how it works. The resources are shared and switched seamlessly between mobile devices and the cloud environment. The aim is to improve the overall app usage experience of mobile users.
The apps on the users’ devices would send a request to the cloud using the internet. The remote cloud servers would process this request and return its appropriate response that gets displayed on the users’ mobile app.
Components of Mobile Cloud Computing Architecture
Four essential components that generally build up the overall MCC architecture are:
|Components of Mobile Cloud Computing Architecture||Description|
|Proximate mobile computing entities||Apps can use the unused computational resources of nearby mobile devices to boost their performance.|
|Proximate immobile computing entities||Backend servers are located geographically nearby the mobile users.|
|Distant immobile entities||Cloud computing service providers manage virtual servers. Developers can send the app code to these virtual servers, which then respond and deliver content for the user request.|
|Hybrid solutions||Most cloud computing platforms mix all the three components mentioned above to provide hybrid mobile cloud computing solutions.|
Breaking down the Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Cloud Computing
Now that we understand the basics of ‘What is Mobile Cloud Computing,’ ‘we should have a better look at the benefits of mobile cloud computing and also its limitations. No technological advancement is without its merits and demerits. Let us get a clearer understanding of them:
|Mobile Cloud Computing – Benefits and Limitations|
|Highly Flexible||Network Dependency and Unexpected Downtime|
|Multi-Platform Support||Connectivity-based Performance Instability|
|Access to Real-Time Data||Security Threats|
|Ease of Backup and Recovery||Access to Limited Bandwidth|
|Cost-Efficiency||Lack of Support|
|Mobility and Ease of Remote Working||–|
|Expandable and Scalable Storage Memory||–|
Applications of Mobile Cloud Computing
Cloud mobile app development can be used for any mobile app and is already widely used for some of the most popular niches globally. Here are some of the top applications of mobile cloud computing:
1. Mobile Cloud Computing in Commerce Mobile Apps
Most BSFI and m-commerce apps use cloud and mobile computing technology to manage complex interactions and operations that such apps demand. All the data gets securely stored on the cloud, and the users can view limited and relevant search results per their query. If the user is not satisfied with the provided initial recommendations and scrolls further down the app, the app fetches more close results to the search query and displays it to the user. This helps the app be efficient and avoid overload by displaying all relevant results at once.
Moreover, cloud computing enables the biggest freedom of scalability to the vendors to upsize or downsize their overall storage, seamlessly add or remove additional resources, and more. Hence you can adjust your capacity per your business’s growth to handle more traffic and maintain the quality of app experience among your users.
2. Mobile Cloud Computing in Social Media Apps
Mobile apps or even mobile website browsing has allowed users to carry out the most basic to the most complicated task in any industry on the go. Social media platforms allow users to share content in different formats, such as videos, audio, text, and more. It also allows them to upload media and store it on their profiles which requires accessing and processing heavy files such as videos and images. Using mobile cloud computing, developers can push these computational and processing tasks to the cloud allowing users to view their shared media in real time without taxing their intelligent devices.
3. Mobile Cloud Computing in Interactive Experiences
Cloud is the perfect solution for streaming services, whether video or audio. Streaming is a heavily resource-consuming task that requires transmitting bulked data packets each second. This transmission of data also needs to be seamless and uninterrupted. If there is no consistency in streaming media on your mobile apps, users will have latency issues that result in buffering and an inconvenient app experience. Now cloud computing mobile can help solve this problem by expanding the bandwidth to accommodate the traffic on your streaming app. However, some cloud computing services provide limited bandwidth on their free/basic plan, and you will most likely have to update your subscription to increase your bandwidth.
4. Mobile Cloud Computing in Healthcare
The benefits of mobile cloud computing in healthcare are innumerable. Doctors and hospitals can now track their patients’ health more accurately and easily. Test results, medical history, appointment reminders, and critical health-related tasks can be made in real time or with a button click. It also is an excellent way of maintaining doctor-to-patient privacy since all their sensitive information is stored on secured cloud setups and the records stay private between the doctor and the patient. Mobile cloud computing is also widespread in telehealth, allowing doctors to treat patients with remote or mild symptoms by self-medicating. This also avoids overloading hospitals and reduces overall infection rates.
5. Mobile Cloud Computing in Mobile Gaming Apps
Mobile games require the most processing and computational prowess since mobile games aren’t limited to fruit ninja or candy crush. With advancements in mobile game development, we have games that use AR, like Pokémon Go, and huge-scaled open-world games, like Genshin Impact, which requires high specs and rendering capabilities to function smoothly. Cloud gaming is gaining significant popularity for streamers and their viewers, almost becoming one of the most lucrative professions today. One of the most popular games that can be referenced to understand the impact of mobile cloud computing in mobile cloud gaming apps is Call of Duty. The parent company of COD, Activision Blizzard, runs the game in real-time with ML capabilities on Amazon Web Services platform.
Also Read: Game App Development Cost
Challenges of Mobile Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has many benefits under its belt. And it is a perfect solution for almost any mobile app you must develop. However, is setting up your mobile apps for cloud computing seamless and without hurdles? As much as we wish it were the case, you are also bound to face certain challenges with mobile cloud computing. However, knowing about the possible challenges can help you be better prepared to deal with them.
1. Low Bandwidth
Basing your mobile app on mobile cloud computing requires constant communication between your chosen cloud technology and your app. Most mobile app users use their mobile apps over Wi-Fi which can be problematic for cloud-based apps if they are not rightly optimized. This is because wireless networks generally have lower bandwidth or are often unreliable compared to wired networks.
2. Hardware Limitations
Cloud computing for mobile helps take the computational load off mobile devices; however, it does so at the cost of heavy battery consumption. Hence if your app isn’t optimized for battery consumption, users may not keep it on their devices for long. It depends on the users’ preference and level of need for your app to trade off battery for smoother performance or vice versa. Hence, it’s advisable to study your market before opting for mobile cloud computing and find ways to improvise your mobile cloud computing battery consumption rates.
3. Security Threats
There have always been some or other murmurs around the security credibility of mobile cloud computing. Identifying and managing threats on apps running on wireless networks isn’t as straightforward. This makes the network information more suspectable to be misused. Also, MCC follows a multi-user architecture which can again cause security complexities.
4. Network Availability Dependency
The main issue with cloud-based mobile applications is the possibility of network downtime, where all services dependent on the cloud are inaccessible to the users due to some complications in the software, hardware, or combination of both. The main threat of this issue is its uncertainty and unpredictable nature, which could hamper your daily operations or pause a crucial task on your mobile app. Such issues are also faced by established cloud computing service providers when you build your mobile app with the Google Cloud platform or build a mobile app with Adobe Creative Cloud or any other popular company out there.
Popular Mobile Cloud Computing Platforms You Can Use
Theocratically the concept of cloud computing started around the 1960s and was often associated with Digital Equipment Corporation and IBM. However, cloud computing gained popularity in modern times after Amazon launched its Amazon Web Services in 2006. Soon after, Google and Microsoft joined the cloud computing market in 2008, with Google introducing the beta version of its search engine and Microsoft releasing Microsoft Azure. Google caught up to the race in 2013.
The most promising players in the cloud computing market in 2023 are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. As per a recent study published by Statista, this is how the market share breakdown between top cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platforms:
|Cloud Computing Platforms||Market Share|
Top Mobile Cloud Computing Platforms:
Let us see how these popular cloud computing platforms support mobile cloud computing and what they have to offer:
1. AWS Amplify: Amazon Web Services
AWS Amplify Key Features:
Here are some of the beneficial features of AWS Amplify for Mobile Cloud Computing:
- Command Line Interface – for setting up the backend of your app.
- Authentication – AWS Identity and Access Management and AWS Cognito for secure storage and access to user data.
- API – secure HTTP request to GraphQL and REST endpoints.
- Push Notifications – Amazon Pinpoint makes managing personalized push notifications easier.
- Storage – Amazon uses S3 and DynamoDB for storage. It can store and retrieve any data with static web and media content support. It also has a faster retrieval process.
- Bots – Amazon has a dedicated bot service known as Amazon Lex Service that makes AI-enabled chatbot integration seamless.
- Publish and Subscribe: Amazon passes messages from your app to the backend using its dedicated AWS PubSub services.
Benefits of using Amazon Amplify:
- Hosting and infrastructure are already taken care of
- You pay for only the services you utilize
- UI-driven development approach
- Easier to quickly build and deploy mobile and web apps
- Built-in support for backend management
- Native-like app development
- App testing on various platforms made possible with Amazon Device Farm
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2. Microsoft Datasync Framework: Microsoft Azure Mobile App Service
Microsoft is still catching up in providing full-stack mobile app development features through its Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. Microsoft Azure Mobile Apps, also known as Microsoft Datasync Framework, is a collection of servers and client-side libraries that provide features such as authenticating data access and offline sync to your mobile apps. Azure works with multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android, and Windows, and cross-platform frameworks, such as Cordova and Xamarin. Microsoft Azure works by combining Web API mobile data access with a web app. Using Microsoft Azure, you can build an app once and reach users on Android, iOS, and Windows. You can hire Azure developers from a trusted and reputed Mobile cloud computing agency who has proven experience in Azure development.
Microsoft Azure Key Features:
- Build once, deploy anywhere (Android, iOS, Windows)
- Continuous Learning and Automatic Testing
- High-quality apps deployed faster
- Flexible support for various devices and models
- Reliable database support with Azure Cosmos DB
- Connect repositories, test on thousands of devices, and monitor real-world usage from Visual Studio App Centre.
Benefits of using Microsoft Azure:
- High data security
- Integrated delivery pipeline
- Enterprise ready solution
- Hybrid capabilities
3. IBM Cloud Mobile App
IBM is one of the oldest players in the market and also one of the most popular when it comes to cloud computing platforms. The company provides full-stack mobile development facilities and features alongside support for hybrid and native mobile apps. They have proper documentation and articles on their website about iOS and Android app development with some meaningful insights that can help you improve your mobile app performance.
IBM Cloud Mobile App Development Key Features:
- Securely Deploy Apps
- AI/ML integration with IoT devices using IBM Watson
- Authentication – set up a login for customers with custom accounts or social login
- Analytics – get proper insights into app performance and engagement levels
- Push Notifications – send and manage unified push notifications across various devices and platforms
- Offline Sync – ensure your app works seamlessly offline and online by leveraging automated data sync with backend databases.
Benefits of using the IBM Cloud Mobile App:
- Cost-effective compared to most alternatives
- Enhanced Service Quality
- Reduce time to market
- Varied mobile-specific tools to make mobile development easier
- Flexibility and support for developing hybrid, native, and/or web-based mobile apps
4. Firebase: Google Cloud Platform Mobile App
If you plan for mobile app development using google cloud, you can opt for Firebase. Firebase is a Google app development platform for mobile app and game development. You can build, release, monitor, and gauge user engagement on your mobile app using Google Firebase. One of the most significant benefits of Firebase is its possible integrations with other Google suite apps such as Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and more.
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Firebase Key Features:
- Comes with a cloud-hosted real-time NoSQL database.
- Customer journey tracking is easier since Firebase can seamlessly integrate with Google Analytics.
- Rapid and secure web app hosting services with free SSN certificates for custom domains.
- Firebase comes with ready-to-use ML kits that can be used on-device or Cloud APIs as per user needs.
- Firebase allows easy content storage.
- In-app advertising with AdMob.
Benefits of using Firebase Cloud Mobile App:
- Reliable and extensive databases
- Safe and Fast Hosting
- Google Analytics Integration
- Easy to use for beginners as well as experts
- Multi-platform Firebase Authentication
- Dedicated Firebase Testing System
- Revenue Increment with App Indexing API
With this, we wrap up the ultimate guide on Mobile Cloud Computing for cloud-based mobile apps. Make sure to truly understand your mobile app development requirements and look for a reliable and trustworthy company to build your next powerful mobile app.