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Chapter 10. From Desktops to Handhelds > The Technology of Wireless Devices

The Technology of Wireless Devices

To understand these issues better, let's briefly discuss the technology of wireless devices. Currently, handheld wireless devices are severely constrained in terms of their CPU, memory, battery life, and screen size. Among PDAs, for example, the Jornada, manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, has a screen size of approximately 240 × 320 pixels. The more popular Palm devices have an even smaller screen size, falling to approximately 160 × 160 pixels. Mobile telephones, which are expected to hold the higher market share of future wireless users, operate with a minuscule screen size. Usability of wireless devices is also complicated by the constraints of wireless networks, including low bandwidth, high latency, unpredictable stability, and limited availability. To deal with these issues, wireless application developers currently rely on the wireless application protocol (WAP).

Stated simply, WAP is a method for standardizing both data formatting and data transmission for the wireless Web. Wireless device manufacturers have adopted WAP as the industry standard, so businesses interested in developing wireless Web applications can port information to a variety of wireless devices, including cellular phones, PDAs, and wearables.


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