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.

Search Definitions
  • M

    mobile Internet device (MID)

    The mobile Internet device (MID) is a mini-tablet communications unit aimed at the consumer market and designed to provide entertainment, information and location-based services... (Continued)

  • Mobile IP

    Mobile IP is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard communications protocol that is designed to allow mobile device users to move from one network to another while maintaining their permanent IP address.

  • Mobile IPv6 (MIPv6 or Mobile Internet Protocol version 6)

    Mobile IPv6 (MIPv6) is a protocol developed as a subset of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to support mobile connections.

  • mobile malware

    Mobile malware is malicious software specifically written to attack mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.

  • mobile marketing

    Mobile marketing is promotional activity designed for delivery to cell phones, smart phones and other handheld devices, usually as a component of a multi-channel campaign.

  • mobile operating system

    A mobile operating system (OS) is software that allows smartphones, tablet PCs (personal computers) and other devices to run applications and programs.

  • mobile payment (m-payment)

    Mobile payment is a point-of-sale transaction made through a mobile device.

  • mobile platform as a service (mPaaS)

    Mobile platform as a service (mPaaS) is a specialized type of PaaS designed to provide an integrated development environment (IDE), deployment platform, lifecycle management and analytics for mobile/web applications.

  • mobile printing

    Mobile printing is the process of sending data to a printer wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet.

  • mobile productivity app (mobile productivity application)

    A mobile productivity app is a software program that allows smartphone, tablet and wearable device users to perform essential day-to-day tasks.

  • mobile search

    Mobile search is the practice of querying a search engine from an Internet-connected handheld device, such as a smart phone.

  • mobile service provider

    A mobile service provider (MSP) is a company that offers mobile communication services to users of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs.

  • Mobile Threat Defense (MTD)

    Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) software is meant to protect organizations and individual users from security threats on mobile platforms.

  • mobile UI (mobile user interface)

    A mobile UI is the user interface on a mobile device, usually including a touch screen display and all the other elements of the device that allow the user to interact with it.

  • mobile virtualization

    Mobile virtualization is an approach to mobile device management in which two virtual platforms are installed on a single wireless device. 

  • mobile workforce management (MWM)

    Mobile workforce management (MWM) is a category of software and related services used to manage employees working outside the company premises; the term is often used in reference to field teams.

  • mobile-to-mobile convergence (MMC)

    Mobile-to-mobile convergence (MMC) is a technology that facilitates the interoperability of mobile communications devices without the need for any fixed capabilities or proprietary service provider... (Continued)

  • MobileIron

    MobileIron is a company that provides management and security software for mobile apps, content and devices.

  • modem

    A modem modulates outgoing digital signals from a computer or other digital device to analog signals for a conventional copper twisted pair telephone line and demodulates the incoming analog signal and converts it to a digital signal for the digital device.

  • multi-touch

    Multi-touch, in a computing context, is an interface technology that enables input through pressure and gestures on multiple points on the surface of a device.

  • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

    Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) - sometimes called Multimedia Messaging System - is a communications technology developed by 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) that allows users to exchange multimedia communications between capable mobile phones and other devices.

  • N

    NANDroid backup

    NANDroid backups are typically created by Android device owners who have gained root access to their phone’s operating system in order to use aftermarket distributions of the Android OS.

  • near-field communication (NFC)

    Near-field communication (NFC) is a short-range wireless connectivity technology that uses magnetic field induction to enable communication between devices when they're touched together or brought within a few centimeters of each other.

  • Nexus

    Nexus is a series of smartphones and tablets manufactured by Google and its hardware partners. Nexus devices run the native Android operating system.

  • no-swipe credit card

    A no-swipe credit card is a credit card equipped with a radio frequency (RF) transponder that allows for purchases without the need for passing the card through a traditional magnetic-stripe detection machine. The card holder can simply come within approximately 0.6 meter (2 feet) of the checkout terminal. The terminal emits a tone or displays a confirmation when the transaction has been authorized and payment made... (Continued)

  • nomadicity

    Nomadicity is the tendency of a person, or group of people, to move with relative frequency.

  • notebook computer

    A notebook computer 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.

  • O

    OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)

    The One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC) is an initiative aimed at providing inexpensive laptop computers to children in the developing world as a means of bridging the digital divide.

  • online file sharing service

    An online file sharing service provides a way to store and access documents, data, photos and video in the cloud rather than storing the information locally on a device hard drive or removable media.

  • Open Handset Alliance (OHA)

    The Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is a coalition of more than 30 technology and mobile companies that introduced Android, an open source mobile phone operating system. (Continued...)

  • Open Multimedia Application Platform (OMAP)

    Open Multimedia Application Platform (OMAP) is the name of Texas Instrument’s application processor

  • Opera

    Opera is a Web browser that provides some advantages over the two most popular browsers from Netscape and Microsoft...(Continued)

  • OTA update (over-the-air update)

    An over-the-air (OTA) update is the wireless delivery of new software, firmware, or other data to mobile devices.

  • P

    package manager or package management system (PMS)

    A package manager, also known as a package management system (PMS), is a program used to install, uninstall and manage software packages.

  • personal area network (PAN)

    A personal area network (PAN) is the interconnection of information technology devices within the range of an individual person, typically within a range of 10 meters.

  • personal digital assistant (PDA)

    Personal digital assistant is a term for a small, mobile, handheld device that provides computing and information storage and retrieval capabilities for personal or business use, often for keeping schedules, calendars and address book information handy.

  • personal operating space (POS)

    A personal operating space (POS) is a roughly spherical region that surrounds a portable or handheld digital wireless device operated by a person.

  • phased antenna system

  • polite cell phone

    A polite cell phone is a mobile telephone with built-in intelligence so that it adapts to its current environment and behaves appropriately... (Continued)

  • pull notification

    Pull notifications are communications that are sent as a response to a client request. The client sends a request to a server and the server responds with the update.

  • push notification

    Push notification, also called server push notification, is the delivery of information from a software application to a computing device without a specific request from the client.

  • Q

    QNX

    QNX is a mobile operating system that was originally developed for embedded systems.

  • R

    radio charging

    Radio charging is a wireless charging method used to charge items with small batteries and low power requirements, such as watches, hearing aids and wireless keyboards and mice... (Continued)

  • real-time location system (RTLS)

    A real-time location system (RTLS) is one of a number of technologies used to pinpoint the current geographic position and location of a target.

  • reconfigurable tactile display (RTD)

    A reconfigurable tactile display (RTD) is a control interface that provides physical touch input, but that can be configured by programming.

  • Red Hat Mobile Application Platform

    Red Hat Mobile Application Platform is a software development framework that enables organizations to extend their development capabilities to mobile by developing collaboratively, centralizing control of security and using back-end integration with a range of cloud deployments.

  • remote wakeup (RWU)

    Remote wakeup (RWU) is a general term for the powering-up of (turning on) a computer over a network.

  • remote wipe

    Remote wipe is a security feature that allows a network administrator or device owner to send a command that deletes data to a computing device.

  • remote-control software

    Remote-control software is programming in a central or server computer that is used to control other computers (or their users) at a distance, either under the control of an administrator or at the request of the user. Although remote-control software existed before the World Wide Web (for remote diagnosis of computer problems and other purposes), the Web has essentially built a platform on which anyone can build a new remote-control application that can reach millions of computers and their users. Remote-control software can be viewed as one class of application furnished by application service providers.

  • resonance charging

    Resonance charging is a wireless charging method for items that require large amounts of power, such as an electric car, robot, vacuum cleaner or laptop computer. The method works over small distances (3-5 meters)... (Continued)

  • RMON (Remote Network Monitoring)

    RMON (Remote Network Monitoring) provides standard information that a network administrator can use to monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot a group of distributed local area networks (LANs) and interconnecting T-1/E-1 and T-2/E-3 lines from a central site.

  • roaming service

    Roaming service is the ability to get access to the Internet when away from home at the price of a local call or at a charge considerably less than the regular long-distance charges.

  • RPC over HTTP

    Remote Procedure Call over HTTP (RPC over HTTP) is a Microsoft protocol that enables Microsoft Outlook clients to access Microsoft Exchange servers over HTTP.

  • S

    Samsung for Enterprise (SAFE)

    Samsung for Enterprise (SAFE) is a line of smartphones and tablets manufactured to meet specific enterprise management and security criteria, including interoperability with third-party mobile device management (MDM) and virtual private network (VPN) software.

  • Samsung Galaxy

    Samsung Galaxy is Samsung Electronics' flagship line of Android smartphones and tablets.

  • Samsung KNOX

    Samsung KNOX is a set of enterprise mobility management services that offers mobile device and data protection and management. KNOX is available in three versions based on level of coverage. The two main services in the KNOX suite are Samsung KNOX EMM and KNOX Workspace.

  • Samsung Tizen

    Samsung Tizen is Samsung's implementation of Tizen, an open source mobile operating system.

  • SAP Mobile Platform (SMP)

    SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) facilitates the development and deployment of business-to-enterprise (B2E) and business-to-customer (B2C) applications through reusable components, drag and drop HTML5 apps and other programming tools.

  • satellite

    A satellite is any object that orbits something else, as, for example, the Earth orbits the sun.

  • searching

    On the Internet, searching is just trying to find the information you need. (Continued...)

  • service set identifier (SSID)

    A service set identifier (SSID) is a sequence of characters that uniquely names a wireless local area network (WLAN)... (Continued)

  • Short Message Service (SMS)

    SMS (Short Message Service), commonly referred to as 'text messaging,' is a service for sending short messages of up to 160 characters (224 character limit if using a 5-bit mode) to mobile devices, including cellular phones, smartphones and tablets.

  • short message service center (SMSC)

    The short message service center (SMSC) is the portion of a mobile phone network that handles text message operations.

  • sideloading

    Sideloading is the installation of an application on a mobile device without using the device’s official application-distribution method.

  • SIM card

    A SIM card, also known as a subscriber identity module, is a smart card that stores identification information that pinpoints a smartphone to a specific mobile network.

  • SIMO (single input, multiple output)

    SIMO (single input, multiple output) is an antenna technology for wireless communications in which multiple antennas are used at the destination (receiver).

  • single stream 802.11n

    Single-stream 802.11n takes advantage of the fact that the second draft of the 802.11n specification does not require the number of antennas on the sending station to be equal to the number on the receiving station.

  • Siri

    Siri is Apple's personal assistant for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS devices that uses voice recognition and is powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

  • SISO (single input, single output)

    SISO (single input, single output) refers to a wireless communications system in which one antenna is used at the source (transmitter) and one antenna is used at the destination (receiver).

  • Small Office Home Office (SOHO)

    In information technology, SOHO is a term for the small office or home office environment and business culture.

  • smart wristwatch

    A smart wristwatch is a wristwatch that not only tells time but, using a wireless connection to an information source, can show you the news, stock, sports scores, or weather; remind you of meetings on your Outlook calendar; provide instant messaging input from others; and update the time when you move to another time zone.

  • smartphone

    A smartphone is a cellular telephone with an integrated computer and other features not originally associated with telephones, such as an operating system, web browsing and the ability to run software applications.

  • SMiShing (SMS phishing)

    SMiShing is a mobile phone security attack in which the user is tricked into downloading a Trojan horse, virus or other malware onto his phone. SMiShing is short for "SMS phishing." (Continued)

  • SMS gateway

    An SMS gateway is a website that allows users to send SMS messages from a web browser to people within the cell served by that gateway. An SMS gateway can also serve as an international gateway for users with roaming capability, allowing SMS communication away from the home network.

  • SMS spam (cell phone spam or short messaging service spam)

    SMS spam (sometimes called cell phone spam) is any junk message delivered to a mobile phone as text messaging through the Short Message Service (SMS). The practice is fairly rare in North America, but has been common in Japan for years. In 2001-2002, the systems at DoCoMo, the country's major service provider, were overcome by the volume of SMS spam, causing users' screens to freeze and spreading programs that caused the phones to dial emergency numbers.

  • Snapchat

    Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send and receive 'self-destructing' photos and videos. Photos and videos taken with the app are called snaps.

  • sniff subrating

    Sniff subrating is a Bluetooth feature designed to increase battery life as much as 500 percent for devices whose typical usage involves a significant amount of inactive time... (Continued)

  • Socialcast

    Socialcast is an enterprise social networking and collaboration platform by VMware.

  • SoLoMo (social, local and mobile)

    SoLoMo (social, local and mobile) is a term representing the convergence of collaborative, location-based and on-the-go technologies, primarily used for marketing and discovery purposes.

  • SoMoClo (social, mobile and cloud)

    SoMoClo (social, mobile and cloud) is the convergence of collaborative, on-the-go technologies that allow users to access data and applications from anywhere at any time.

  • spectrum efficiency

    Spectrum efficiency describes the amount of data transmitted over a given spectrum or bandwidth with minimum transmission errors.

  • Splashtop

    Splashtop is a vendor that sells remote connection software which lets users access their PCs or Macs from other computing devices.

  • Sugar

    Sugar is a graphical user interface GUI developed for the $100 laptop (XO)... (Continued)

  • swirl

  • T

    tablet (tablet PC)

    A tablet is a wireless, portable personal computer with a touchscreen interface. The tablet form factor is typically smaller than a notebook computer, but larger than a smartphone.

  • telecommuting

    Telecommuting is an arrangement to work outside the traditional office or workplace, usually at home or in a mobile situation.

  • text messaging (texting or wireless messaging)

    Text messaging is the act of sending short, alphanumeric communications between cellphones, pagers or other hand-held devices, as implemented by a wireless carrier.

  • TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol)

    TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) is an encryption protocol included as part of the IEEE 802.11i standard for wireless LANs (WLANs).

  • touch pad (touchpad)

    A touch pad is a device for pointing (controlling input positioning) on a computer display screen.

  • turnkey

    Turnkey is a product or service that is designed, supplied, built, or installed fully complete and ready to operate.

  • tvOS

    TvOS is the operating system that runs on the 4th and 5th generation Apple TV digital media player.

  • U

    ultra-mobile personal computer (UMPC or Ultra-mobile PC)

    Ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) is a design specification for a hand-held computer that is larger than a PDA but smaller than a laptop. (Continued...)

  • UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service)

    UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) is a third-generation (3G) broadband, packet-based transmission of text, digitized voice, video, and multimedia at data rates up to 2 megabits per second (Mbps). UMTS offers a consistent set of services to mobile computer and phone users, no matter where they are located in the world. Based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication standard, UMTS is endorsed by major standards bodies and manufacturers and is the planned standard for mobile users around the world.

  • unified network management

    Unified network management is the administration of both wired and wireless networks through a single interface.

  • Universal Windows app

    A Universal Windows app is a software program that uses the Windows 8 or Windows 10 codebase and runs the same way on PCs, Windows tablets and smartphones.

  • unlocked cell phone

    An unlocked cell phone is a cellular telephone handset that can be used with more than one service provider, making it easy for a user to switch from one cellular network to another... (Continued)

  • unzipping

    Unzipping is the act of extracting the files from a zipped single file or similar file archive.

  • upgrade

    In computers, an upgrade is a new version of or addition to a hardware or, more often, software product that is already installed or in use.

  • V

    virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI)

    Virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI) is a delivery platform which does not require an application or operating system (OS) to run locally on a mobile device.

  • VMware AirWatch

    VMware AirWatch is an enterprise mobility software provider based in Atlanta. AirWatch, a division of virtualization vendor VMware, provides technologies that help IT administrators deploy, secure and manage mobile devices, applications and data, as well as Windows 10 and Apple Mac computers.

SearchNetworking
SearchUnifiedCommunications
SearchSecurity
Close