This post is the first of three based on a talk I gave at BCS (the Chartered Institute of IT) in December. The title of the talk was Mobile Application Development: Past, Present and Future? In it I gave a brief history of the mobile app, described the various mobile application environments that exist today and did a bit of speculation on what the future might hold.
In this post I’d like to concentrate and expand on the first part of the talk, describing the evolution of mobile apps (and mobile app development), bringing us up to where we are today.
What is a mobile application?
Here’s the Wikipedia definition:
A mobile application (or mobile app) is a software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.
So pretty straightforward then? Not quite.
The history of the mobile app begins, obviously, with the history of the mobile device and the first mobile phones whose microchips required the most basic of software to send and receive voice calls. But since then things have got a lot more complicated.
Where did it all begin?
The first public cellular phone call was made by Martin Cooper of Motorola on 3rd April 1973 in a publicity stunt in New York. There would be another ten years of R&D however before the first cell phone would hit the market. The DynaTAC 8000X weighed in at around 2 pounds, cost $4,000 and didn’t run any apps.
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