Mobile Computing Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing mobile computing and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • D

    dual persona (mobile device management)

    Dual persona, in a mobile management context, is the provisioning and maintenance of two separate and independent end user environments on a single mobile device. Dual persona technology addresses one of the challenges of the bring your own device trend: how to exercise IT control over employees' personal devices without infringing on their right to privacy.

  • E

    e-paper (radio paper or electronic paper)

    E-paper (sometimes called radio paper or just electronic paper) is a portable, reusable storage and display medium that looks like paper but can be repeatedly written on (refreshed) - by electronic means - thousands or millions of times.

  • eBook

    An eBook is an electronic version of a traditional print book that can be read by using a personal computer or by using an eBook reader.

  • EFSS (Enterprise file sync-and-share)

    Enterprise file sync-and-share is a service that allows users to save files in cloud or on-premises storage and then access them on desktop and mobile devices.

  • electromagnetic interference (EMI)

    Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is unwanted noise or interference in an electrical path or circuit caused by an outside source.

  • electronic ink

    Electronic ink is a liquid substance, in development at MIT's Media Lab in partnership with a company called E Ink, that responds to electrical impulses to enable changeable text and image displays on a flexible surface.

  • electronic newspaper

    An electronic newspaper is a self-contained, reusable, and refreshable version of a traditional newspaper that acquires and holds information electronically.

  • end user policy

    An end user policy is a set of directives that describes what actions employees must take -- or avoid -- in order to protect corporate assets

  • end-user computing (EUC)

    End-user computing (EUC) refers to the devices, applications and data that workers need to perform their jobs, and the technologies used to deploy, manage and secure those resources.

  • enterprise app store (enterprise application store)

    An enterprise app store is a web portal through which end users can access, download and install corporate-approved software applications.

  • enterprise mobility

    Enterprise mobility is an approach to work in which employees can do their jobs from anywhere using a variety of devices and applications.

  • enterprise mobility management (EMM)

    Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is software that allows organizations to securely enable employee use of mobile devices and applications.

  • enterprise-mobile integration (EMI)

    Enterprise-mobile integration (EMI) is a form of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) that provides integration between communications carriers and enterprise networks... (Continued)

  • EUTELSAT (European Telecommunications Satellite Organization)

    EUTELSAT (European Telecommunications Satellite Organization) refers to both the organization and its set of satellites that were placed in geostationary orbits over Europe beginning in 1983. By early 1998, at least 48 countries had become members of EUTELSAT and the satellites were serving both public and private traffic, including telephone services, fax, data, land mobile service, and television and radio programming to home and business users with their own receivers.

  • Evernote

    Evernote is a cloud-based note-taking and file-storage application that synchronizes data across multiple devices.

  • F

    FaceTime

    FaceTime is an Apple video telephony application that allows users to make a video call over the internet with a forward-facing camera on iOS and macOS devices.

  • FDMA (frequency division multiple access)

  • feed line

    In a wireless communications or broadcasting antenna system, the feed line connects the antenna to the receiver, transmitter, or transceiver.

  • FeliCa

  • file sharing

    File sharing is the public or private sharing of computer data or space in a network with various levels of access privilege.

  • fixed wireless

    Fixed wireless networking refers to the operation of wireless devices in fixed locations such as homes and offices.

  • fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)

    Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) is the trend towards seamless connectivity between fixed and wireless telecommunications networks... (Continued)

  • FlashMob supercomputer

    A FlashMob supercomputer is a group of computer enthusiasts who gather together in one physical location for a brief time period in order to function as a supercomputer and work on a single problem.

  • forward error correction (FEC)

    Forward error correction (FEC) is a method of obtaining error control in data transmission in which the source (transmitter) sends redundant data and the destination (receiver) recognizes only the portion of the data that contains no apparent errors.

  • fronthaul

    Fronthaul, also known as mobile fronthaul, is a term that refers to the fiber-based connection of the cloud radio access network (C-RAN), a new type of cellular network architecture of centralized baseband units (BBUs) and remote radio heads (RRHs) at the access layer of the network.

  • G

    Generic Access Network (GAN)

    The Generic Access Network (GAN) is an evolving wireless communications system in which mobile phone sets function seamlessly between local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs)... (Continued)

  • geolocation

    Geolocation is the detection of the physical location of an Internet connected computing device. As a noun, geolocation refers to the physical location itself; as a verb, the term refers to the process of detecting that location.

  • geostationary satellite

    A geostationary satellite is an earth-orbiting satellite, placed at an altitude of approximately 35,800 kilometers (22,300 miles) directly over the equator, that revolves in the same direction the earth rotates (west to east)...

  • Global Positioning System (GPS)

    The GPS (Global Positioning System) is a 'constellation' of approximately 30 well-spaced satellites that orbit the Earth and make it possible for people with ground receivers to pinpoint their geographic location.

  • Good Technology

    Good Technology is a mobile security platform provider headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The company was founded in 2000 and was acquired by BlackBerry in 2015.

  • Google Android 4.4 KitKat

    Android 4.4 KitKat is a version of Google's operating system (OS) for smartphones and tablets.

  • Google Apps for Business

    Google Apps for Business is an email, messaging and content-sharing service provided by Google for small and medium-sized businesses as well as enterprises.

  • Google Chrome browser

    Google Chrome browser is an open source program for accessing the World Wide Web and running Web-based applications.

  • Google Drive

    Google Drive is a free cloud-based storage service that enables users to store and access files online.

  • Google Firebase

    Google Firebase is a Google-backed application development software that enables developers to develop iOS, Android and Web apps.

  • Google Hangouts

    Google Hangouts is a unified communications service that allows members to initiate and participate in text, voice or video chats, either one-on-one or in a group.

  • Google I/O

    Google I/O is Google's developer conference held annually in San Francisco.

  • Google Mobile Services (GMS)

    Google Mobile Services (GMS) is a collection of applications and API’s developed by Google that are available for Android devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

  • Google Play (Android Market)

    Google Play, formerly known as Android Market, is the official distribution storefront for Android applications and other digital media, such a music, movies and books, from Google.

  • Google Voice

    Google Voice allows registered members to link their mobile phones, IP telephony applications and land line phones to a single Google Voice phone number. 

  • GPRS (General Packet Radio Services)

    General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) is a best-effort packet-switching protocol for wireless and cellular network communication services.

  • GSM (Global System for Mobile communication)

    GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a digital mobile network that is widely used by mobile phone users in Europe and other parts of the world.

  • H

    handheld

    A handheld computer is a computer that can conveniently be stored in a pocket (of sufficient size) and used while you're holding it.

  • Handspring

    Handspring was a company that manufactured portable computer/organizer hardware.

  • handtop (ultra personal computer)

    A handtop is a full-featured portable computer that is slightly larger than a PDA, but much smaller than a laptop.

  • hertz

    Hertz is a unit of frequency (of change in state or cycle in a sound wave, alternating current, or other cyclical waveform) of one cycle per second.

  • HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access)

    High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSPDA) is a packet-based mobile telephony protocol used in 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS) radio networks to increase data capacity and speed up download rates.

  • HSPA (high speed packet access)

    HSPA (high speed packet access) is a third-generation (3G) mobile broadband communications technology.

  • HTML5 mobile app

    HTML5 mobile apps are developed through that version of the Web content standard. They enable cross-platform access without recoding.

  • hybrid mobile app dev

    Hybrid mobile app development is an approach to programming for mobile devices that combines the strengths of native programming and HTML5 mobile app development.

  • I

    IBM MobileFirst

    IBM MobileFirst is a group of products designed to simplify and accelerate mobile adoption by offering mobile application development and management in a single package.

  • IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation (formerly IBM Worklight)

    IBM MobileFirst Foundation, formerly known as IBM Worklight, is a suite of software development products that allow developers to build and deliver mobile applications for the enterprise.

  • iCloud

    Apple's free iCloud service stores subscribers' photos, videos, documents, apps and more and updates everything across users' synced devices.

  • identity as a Service (IDaaS)

    Identity as a Service (IDaaS) is an authentication infrastructure that is built, hosted and managed by a third-party service provider.

  • inductive charging

    Inductive charging is a wireless charging method used for charging mid-sized items such as cell phones, MP3 players and PDAs... (Continued)

  • instant app (Google Android instant app)

    A Google Android instant app is a small software program that enables end users to test out a portion of a native Android app without installing it on a device.

  • Intel Bay Trail

    Intel Bay Trail is the code name for a line of Atom processors manufactured by Intel Corp.

  • iOS 8

    IOS 8 is the eighth version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

  • iOS developer kit

    The iOS software development kit (iOS SDK) is a collection of tools for the creation of apps for Apple’s mobile operating system.

  • iOS Developer Program

    The iOS Developer Program is a fee-based subscription that allows program members to publish approved apps to the Apple app store.

  • iPad

    The iPad is a touchscreen tablet PC made by Apple.

  • iPad 2

    The iPad 2 is a 9.7 inch touch screen tablet PC made by Apple.

  • iPad Air

    Apple’s iPad Air is an iOS tablet that is lighter and thinner than the company’s previous tablets.

  • iPhone

    The iPhone is a smartphone made by Apple that combines a computer, iPod, digital camera and cellular phone into one device with a touchscreen interface.

  • iPhone Configuration Utility

    The iPhone Configuration Utility is free software for Windows and Mac OS X that lets an administrator control how an iOS device works within an enterprise IT network.

  • IR wireless (infrared wireless)

    IR wireless is the use of wireless technology in devices or systems that convey data through infrared (IR) radiation.

  • J

    join.me

    Join.me is an online meeting and screen-sharing application by LogMeIn.

  • K

    keitai

    Keitai (pronounced k-tie) is a Japanese word meaning "portable.

  • Kony

    Kony is a company that provides enterprise mobility products and services, including a mobile application development platform (MADP) and mobile backend as a service.

  • L

    laptop computer

    A laptop computer, usually called a notebook computer by manufacturers, is a battery- or AC-powered personal computer generally smaller than a briefcase that can easily be transported and conveniently used in temporary spaces such as on airplanes, in libraries, temporary offices, and at meetings.

  • LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

    LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a software protocol for enabling anyone to locate data such as organizations, individuals and other resources such as files and devices in a network -- whether on the public internet or on a corporate intranet.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

    The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga is a line of convertible tablet computers that run the Windows operating system.

  • location awareness

    Location awareness is a component of presence technology that delivers information about a device's physical location to another user or application. The location is usually determined by one of three methods... (Continued)

  • Lookout Mobile Security

    Lookout Mobile Security is an antimalware, data backup and remote management app for smartphones and tablets.

  • LTE (Long-Term Evolution)

    LTE (Long-Term Evolution) is a standard for 4G wireless technology that offers increased network capacity and speed for cellphones and other cellular devices compared with 3G.

  • LTE-Advanced (Long Term Evolution-Advanced)

    Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-Advanced) is a cellular networking standard that offers higher throughput than its predecessor, the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard.

  • M

    m-commerce (mobile commerce)

    M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets.

  • managed mobility services (MMS)

    Managed mobility services (MMS) is the procurement, deployment and management of mobile devices and apps, PC software and services connecting out-of-office workers to the enterprise environment.

  • microblogging

    Microblogging is a web service that allows the subscriber to broadcast short messages to other subscribers of the service. (Continued)

  • Microsoft HoloLens

    Microsoft HoloLens is a virtual reality (VR) headset with transparent lenses for an augmented reality experience.

  • Microsoft OneDrive

    OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) is an online cloud storage service from Microsoft.

  • Microsoft Store

    The Microsoft Store -- formerly called the Windows Store -- is an online marketplace for consumers to buy and download a variety of items.

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1

    Microsoft Windows 8.1 is a PC and tablet operating system released in October 2013.

  • MIMO (multiple input, multiple output)

    MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) is an antenna technology for wireless communications in which multiple antennas are used at both the source (transmitter) and the destination (receiver).

  • MISO (multiple input, single output)

    MISO (multiple input, single output) is an antenna technology for wireless communications in which multiple antennas are used at the source (transmitter).

  • Mobile Active Defense (MAD)

    Mobile Active Defense’s main product is the Mobile Enterprise Compliance and Security Server (MECS).

  • mobile application development platform (MADP)

    A mobile application development platform (MADP) is a type of software that allows a business to rapidly build, test and perhaps deploy mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.

  • Mobile Application Management (MAM)

    Mobile application management (MAM) is software that secures and enables IT control over enterprise applications on end users' corporate and personal smartphones and tablets.

  • mobile application processor

    A mobile application processor is a system on a chip (SoC) designed to support applications running in a mobile operating system environment such as Android, Apple iOS, Windows CE/Mobile or Symbian.

  • mobile backend as a service (mobile BaaS)

    Mobile backend as a service is a cloud computing architecture that provides mobile applications with the resources they need to run.

  • mobile card reader

    A mobile card reader, such as Square or PayPal Here, allows the user to accept payments through their mobile devices.

  • mobile computing (nomadic computing)

    Mobile computing is the use of portable computing devices in conjunction with mobile technology that enables users to access the internet and data on mobile devices anytime, anywhere.

  • mobile content management

    Mobile content management (MCM) is set of technologies that provide secure access to corporate data on smartphones, tablets and other endpoint devices.

  • mobile desktop virtualization

    Mobile desktop virtualization is the delivery of a virtual machine (VM) image that runs business applications to a tablet or smartphone.

  • mobile device fragmentation

    Mobile device fragmentation is a phenomenon that occurs when some mobile users are running older versions of an operating system, while other users are running newer versions.

  • mobile device management (MDM)

    Mobile device management (MDM) is software that allows IT administrators to control, secure and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets and other endpoints.

  • mobile device management software

    Mobile device management software is any application that gives IT administrators a way to troubleshoot and manage employee mobile devices remotely.

  • mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP)

    A mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) is a development environment that provides tools and middleware to develop, test, deploy and manage corporate software running on mobile devices.

  • mobile first

    Mobile first is an approach to business process and technology that assumes smartphones, tablets and task-specific apps are employees' primary tools for getting work done.

  • mobile information management (MIM)

    Mobile information management (MIM) is a device-agnostic security strategy that involves keeping sensitive data encrypted and allowing only approved applications to access or transmit it.

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