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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  • G

    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 Cloud Print

    Google Cloud Print is an online service that lets users print documents and other files from supported apps and mobile devices to any compatible printer.

  • 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 participate in group text, voice or video chats. Hangouts is part of Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite.

  • 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 packet-based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users.

  • GPS messaging (Global Positioning System messaging or mid-air messaging)

    GPS (Global Positioning System) messaging is a wireless messaging system for location-specific rather than recipient-specific messages.

  • ground-plane antenna

    A ground-plane antenna is a variant of the dipole antenna, designed for use with an unbalanced feed line such as coaxial cable.

  • 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.

  • handie talkie (HT, walkie talkie, handheld)

    A handie talkie, often referred to by its abbreviation, HT, is a handheld, portable two-way radio transceiver.

  • handoff

    In a cellular telephone network, handoff is the transition for any given user of signal transmission from one base station to a geographically adjacent base station as the user moves around.

  • 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.

  • HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language)

    HDML (Handheld Device Markup Language) - often compared to Wireless Markup Language (WML) - is a language that allows the text portions of Web pages to be presented on cellular telephones and personal digital assistants (PDA) via wireless access.

  • helical antenna

    A helical antenna is a specialized antenna that emits and responds to electromagnetic fields with rotating (circular)polarization.

  • 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.

  • Hierarchical Mobile IPv6 (HMIPv6)

    Hierarchical Mobile IPv6 (HMIPv6) is the proposed enhancement of Mobile Internet Protocol versions 6 (MIPv6) that is designed to reduce the amount of signaling required and to improve handoffspeed for mobile connections.

  • HiperLAN

    MEO satellite"HiperLAN is a set of wireless local area network (WLAN) communication standards primarily used in European countries.

  • HomePNA

    HomePNA is an industry standard for interconnecting computers within a home using existing telephone lines and registered jack.

  • horn antenna

    A horn antenna is used for the transmission and reception of microwave signals.

  • hot spot

    For users of portable computers equipped for wireless, a hot spot (or hotspot) is a wireless LAN (local area network) node that provides Internet connection and virtual private network (VPN) access from a given location.

  • hot zone

    A hot zone is a wireless access area created by multiple hot spots located in close proximity to each other.

  • HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access)

    High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is a packet-based mobile telephony protocol used in 3G UMTS radio networks. (...Continued)

  • 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

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

  • iPhone 3G

    iPhone 3G is the second generation of iPhone, a smartphone made by Apple that combines an iPod, a tablet PC, a digital camera and a cellular phone. (Continued...)

  • iPhone 5

    The iPhone 5 is the sixth version of Apple's touch-based smartphone.

  • iPhone 5s

    iPhone 5s is a smartphone from Apple that runs the iOS 7 operating system  (OS) and is powered by a 64-bit dual-core A7 processor, which Apple claims to be 2X faster than the A6 chip from the iPhone 5.

  • 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.

  • iPod

    The iPod is a combination portable digital media player and hard drive from Apple Computer...(Continued)

  • IR wireless (infrared wireless)

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

  • IrDA (Infrared Data Association)

    5IrDA (Infrared Data Association) is an industry-sponsored organization set up in 1993 to create international standards for the hardware and software used in infrared communication links.

  • J

    Jive Software

    Jive Software is an enterprise social networking software vendor based in Palo Alto, Calif.

  • 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.

  • Lemon Wallet

    Lemon Wallet is a digital wallet application that allows users to store digital copies of identification, insurance, loyalty and payment cards, providing a backup in case a physical wallet is lost, stolen or left at home.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

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

  • Lithium Ion battery (Li-Ion)

    A Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) battery is a rechargeable battery with twice the energy capacity of a Nickel-Cadmium battery and greater stability and safety.

  • 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)

    Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for 4G wireless broadband technology that offers increased network capacity and speed to mobile device users.

  • 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.

  • megachips per second (Mcps)

    Megachips per second (Mcps) is a measure of the speed with which encoding elements, called chips (not to be confused with microchips), are generated in Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) signals.

  • MEO satellite (medium earth orbit satellite)

    A medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite is one with an orbit within the range from a few hundred miles to a few thousand miles above the earth's surface.

  • micro-virtualization

    Micro-virtualization is technology that abstracts applications and sub-processes from hardware and runs them in isolated environments.

  • microblogging

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

  • Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Web Administration Tool

    The Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Web Administration Tool is a software application that provides a network administrator with a Web interface for mobile device management.

  • Microsoft HoloLens

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

  • Microsoft Office for iPad

    Microsoft Office for iPad is an app that allows users to use Microsoft Office on an Apple iPad.

  • Microsoft OneDrive

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

  • Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager (MSCMDM)

    Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager (MSCMDM) is server-based software that allows enterprise IT professionals to manage and automate tasks for Windows Mobile devices. (Continued...)

  • Microsoft Windows 8.1

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

  • microwave integrated circuit (MIC)

    A microwave integrated circuit (MIC) is an integrated circuit (IC) designed for operation at frequencies of approximately 1 gigahertz (GHz) or more... (Continued)

  • 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).

  • mLife

    mLife is a multi-million dollar advertising campaign sponsored by AT&T to promote their wireless products and services.

  • 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)

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