Oracle: Mobile app developers must factor in security, network efficiency

Survey of 3,000 mobile users finds increased acceptance of broadband data usage but a lack of confidence in security

Developers building applications for the growing number of mobile devices must make security and reduced network bandwidth consumption top priorities, based on what Oracle has found in a recent survey of device users. In its second annual survey of more than 3,000 mobile device users worldwide, Oracle reveals a number of expected findings, including increases in mobile broadband data usage, acceptance of mobile banking and shopping, and willingness to share location. But just 32 percent of respondents believe the information on their devices is secure.

For software developers, Oracle's overall findings translate to needs to focus on security and efficient use of networks, said Dan Ford, vice president of product marketing for Oracle Communications. Applications cannot be overly chatty and consume an inordinate amount of network bandwidth, said Ford. "As the [telecom] operators and as Apple and Android continue to build out their application stores, I believe that increased scrutiny will be placed on the applications that developers build."

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Specific findings of the survey, which was conducted several months ago, include:

  • Nearly 47 percent of respondents said their usage of mobile-based data had increased from the previous year.
  • About 70 percent of respondents report using smartphones, which exceeds the 20 percent penetration of smartphones worldwide.
  • 16 percent of respondents had purchased a tablet, and 41 percent intend to buy one in the next 12 months.
  • 55 percent had downloaded a free mobile application, and 25 percent had downloaded a paid application. This represents an increase from the 42 percent who had downloaded a free application and 20 percent for paid applications in last year's surveys.
  • 45 percent of respondents have shared their location with a mobile application, up from 33 percent a year ago.

Findings, released Monday, were part of Oracle's report entitled, "Opportunity Calling: The Future of Mobile Communications," which examined global mobile phone use and perceptions, interest in new mobile technologies and expectations for mobile telecommunications service providers. These providers constitute an important customer base for Oracle software and Oracle/Sun hardware. Also, the Java software platform Oracle inherited from Sun is on about 5 billion devices, Ford said.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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