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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  • M

    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.

  • 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 the paid provision of an Interactive Development Environment (IDE) for the creation of mobile apps.

  • 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 standard (Ecma-340, ISO/IEC 18092) 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)

  • Nokia Lumia

    Nokia Lumia is a series of touch-based Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 smartphones that debuted in 2011.

  • 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 assistants were the precursors to smartphones. Most PDAs had a small physical keyboard, and many types of applications were written for these devices.

  • 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.

  • push voice

    Push Voice is a service that enables functionality normally associated with PBX-based phone systems for cellular phones or other mobile handsets... (Continued)

  • 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.

  • 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

    RPC over HTTP (Remote Procedure Call over HTTP) is a protocol that allows a client on the Internet to connect securely to a Microsoft Exchange Server without having to log into a virtual private network (VPN) first.

  • 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 Galaxy Note (Samsung GN)

    Samsung Galaxy Note is a large Android smartphone with a touchscreen and stylus that is manufactured by Samsung Electronics.

  • 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 Documents

    SAP Mobile Documents enables cross-platform mobile access to content that might otherwise be restricted to desktop environments.

  • 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

    In general, a satellite is anything that orbits something else, as, for example, the moon orbits the earth.

  • 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) is a service for sending short messages of up to 160 characters (224 characters if using a 5-bit mode) to mobile devices, including cell phones, smart phones and PDAs... (Continued)

  • short message service center (SMSC)

    A short message service center (SMSC) is the portion of a wireless network that handles SMS operations, such as routing, forwarding and storing incoming text messages on their way to desired endpoints...(Continued)

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • social collaboration

    Social collaboration is work that is carried out by more than one person. The term is also used to describe communication tools that help employees to work together.

  • 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.

  • Square (Square Register, Square Wallet)

    Square is a mobile payment startup co-founded in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Square’s first product, Square Register, allows registered members to accept debit and credit card payments on mobile devices by using the Square Reader, a small card-swipe dongle that plugs into the device's audio jack.

  • Sugar

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

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