Mobile Devices

With the prevalence of mobile devices, everybody is now carrying around a computer in their pocket that is always connected and seems to get more powerful every day. The sheet number and variety of platforms now available make XMPP a perfect platform to run on and expand the capabilities of these small devices and vice-versa.

XMPP, originally designed as an instant message platform, is already well equipped to be deployed onto cell phones and tablets. Lightweight and unobtrusive text messaging can be run without a high rate of CPU use or battery drain, and the always online nature of these technologies fit right at home. Users no longer have to feel alone, as presence status can show users who is online, away, or up for chatting. Even if you don't want to talk with them, you can see their moods, what music they might be listening too, or look up last status. Users, should they choose, can share their location with other friends, and see who is nearby, or someplace near a destination. Let's not forget the voice and video communications available with XMPP, as you could be anywhere in the world and share your surroundings with a friend.

What about when you are going someplace new? Sure, a GPS will get you there just fine, but that is a pretty lonely task. With an XMPP enabled GPS application, you can not only share with friends where you are going, but what route you are taking, how long you will take, and even can see the statuses of other connected friends on their way; all hands-free of course. No longer will you have to pull over and text your friend you will be late, or how long you will be. Your friend can now check the phone and get a real-time update so they party doesn't start without you.

While there, you might participated in an Augmented Reality Game (ARG). These games are making a big splash lately combing physical location and exploration with social features. Players travel to locations around their towns and neighborhoods scoring points for players gathered at specific locations and 'controlling' these zones. These AR games are backed with XMPP housing a central server that houses control point data with thousands of users sharing location, movement, presence, and text chat data.

One drawback of XMPP you might wonder; using the protocol requires the client, in this case the mobile device to be always online and running two-way connections to the server. This can wear down batteries quickly and use a lot of CPU power. But there's good news! Smart developers like Tigase have made mobile extensions that allow devices to go into a dormant mode when idle without severing the connection. This reduces unnecessary traffic and can reduce stress on the battery and radios. With these optimizations, XMPP makes a great fit into any mobile device.

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