Running head: THE IMPACT OF MOBILE COMPUTING

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The Impact of Mobile Computing
Diana Phillips
INF 103: Computer Literacy
Instructor: Melody White
September 15, 2014

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Mobile computing has infiltrated every area of our planet and personal lives. We have become
so dependent upon our mobile devices they are often referred to as our third limb. Regardless of
race, color, creed or location, mobile technology has shrunk the entire world into the palm of our
hands. Mobile technology has made research, communication with our friends and family,
education, entertainment and even banking possible to do on the go.

There are mobile applications for just about everything. There are “apps” for games, social
networking, banking, shopping, web browsers, word processors, weather, GPS, weight
management, and even an “app” to remind you to drink water. A few of the hottest trends in
mobile applications are social networking, location-based services, mobile search and mobile
commerce.

Microsoft has nearly the entire Office Suite available in a mobile application. The applications
you once used only on a desktop are now designed for smartphones and tablets. Word,
PowerPoint and Excel are a few of the Microsoft applications available on a mobile device.
These mobile applications are the full versions. Some of the features had to be removed in order
for the application to work in a mobile setting

Mobile computing has become so popular there are now mobile awards given much like the
Academy Awards for films. The GSMA Global Mobile Awards have been giving awards since
1995. “In 2012, the winner for the “Best Mobile App for Consumers” was a popular game called
Angry Birds.” (Bowles, 2013

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According to Hanson, 2011, 82% of all American adults owned a cell phone or other mobile
device that works like a phone, by 2010. That statistic did not include laptops. The Pew Internet
and American Life Project revealed 40% of adults use their phone to access the internet, send
and receive text messages, or for instant messaging. (Hanson, 2011)

Hanson went on to say 90% of Americans ages 18-29 owned a cell phone by 2010. Of those
90%, The Pew Internet and American Life Project states that 65% used their phones to access the
internet.

Hanson, 2011, predicted smartphone sales to pass sales of PCs and the number of smartphone
users around the world to triple from 2009 to 2012. With so many people using their mobile
devices and the technology available through them, Hanson, 2011 believes libraries have a duty
to provide mobile library services.
Being a librarian and one who has always “had a fascination with gadgets” (Hanson, 2011), and
a passion for both information and technology, Hanson states he has been working for five years
to find a better way to join technology and information. He notes “libraries and librarians have
perceived themselves as subject to near-constant technological upheaval and information
revolution, largely due to the rise of microcomputing, desktop computing and Internet
connectivity.” (Hanson, 2011) He believes libraries are situated in a place to encourage libraries
to provide mobile library services. With nearly all Americans owning cell phones, accessing the
internet via their cell phones and tablets and major service providers focusing on mobile
applications instead of applications for the PC, Hanson suggests it is time for libraries to also
focus their efforts on providing mobile services.

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Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that mobile applications are now their main focus when
developing new services and are now working on mobile operations first. (Hanson, 2011).
Hanson summed up his point of view by stating, “The evidence is compelling. The vast majority
of Americans now own cell phones. Nearly half use them to access the Internet. Sales of
smartphones have already or soon will surpass those of traditional PCs. Underrepresented
groups are accessing the mobile Internet in impressive numbers. Google is developing or mobile
first and the desktop second. Apple is in the midst of making its desktop computers behave more
like its mobile devices. If your library, like mine (and every library I can think of), has been
transformed by desktop computing and Internet access, now is the time to take action and be
proactive in providing robust services to mobile users.” (Hanson, 2011)

Mobile computing has impacted education as well. The world is in the palm of our hands and
easy to access through our smart phones and tablet. Because access is so convenient, many
students prefer using smartphones and tablets to do their homework and access University data.
Because of the rise in mobile computing, schools are changing the way they deliver content,
changing applications, and university communication. Currie & Colin state the rise in adaptation
to mobile devices contributes to the necessity to bring on board mobile computing.
“Most impactful of all will likely be the next generation of electronic textbooks, which will be
engineered around the notion of the mobile device user.” (Currie & Colin, 2013)

The e-textbook will include everything a traditional textbook includes plus, video and lectures.
The e-textbook will be available from anywhere right on your mobile device. “A whole library’s

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worth of information will be available in a portable, simple, affordable, multifunctional device
that’s already incorporated in almost all of its users’ daily lives. (Curry & Colin).

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References

Bowles, M.D. (2013) Introduction to Digital Literacy. Retrieved from
https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUINF103.13.2/sections/fm

Hanson, .W. (2011) Why Worry About Mobile? Library Technology Reports. Retrieved from
http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/eds

Currie & Collin (2013) Impact of Mobile Computing: Anticipating the Effects on the Campus.
Planning for Higher Education 41.2. Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxylibrary.ashford.edu/eds