Thinking In Mobile

One of the interesting issues with my transition from being a Web Developer (ASP.NET) to being a Windows Mobile Developer (CF.NET) is the issue of memory management.

We all know that the little devices don’t have nearly as much memory as our more basic computers sitting around the office.  So naturally, the memory management side of things will be slightly different.

Awhile ago I was able to consistantly produce an OutOfMemoryException on a form that retrieved about 30+ rows of data from a web service, and then insert it into a Sql Mobile 2005 DB.

Recently I came across a “Memory Problems FAQ” (written by CF.NET MVP Daniel Moth) which is dedicated to memory issues with regards to the Compact Framework. It’s a good read for those moving from the full Framework, to the reduced compact Framework. Oh, and if you’re going to develop for the Compact Framework, it’s always interesting to read about how the nuts and bolts work. Or in this case, how the CF.NET Garbage Collector works.

While i’m still Thinking in Mobile, I honestly believe the Microsoft Windows Mobile powered devices (Pocket PC Mobile Ed and Smart Phone) are getting better with each generation of both the OS, and the devices. And i’m sure it will keep on getting better.

And i’m sure they’ll get cheaper too. Right now there seems to be a new Windows Mobile powered device mentioned on E ngadget every month or so.  So my take on it would be, the more devices on the market, the more the prices will be driven downwards.

I think what we need to see more of though, is 3G capable devices. Especially in the Australian market, given that all four major carriers offer 3G services.

That, and the increased speed and bandwidth available through 3G services over GSM networks.

I know there are a few Windows Mobile devices that are capable of running on a 3G network, such as the i-mate JasJar.

There will come a day when the Telcos, either individually, or collectively just “turn off” the GSM network. Heck, the 3 network (Hutchison & Telecom) have stated that they plan to migrate people off their Orange CDMA network and onto the 3 service. There is not much point for Telcos to run more than one network if the other networks they run add up to a small percentage of their revenue.

I think, if you’re not developing for .NET CF devices today, you should seriously think about it. Mobile phones are everywhere today, and this is a boat you may want to jump aboard. Even if it’s just hacking together something for yourself and a few friends who also own Win Mobile devices. Hehe 😛