Constraints of designing for mobile devices

Strive to provide a balance between the best possible user experience, a long battery life, and efficient connections to the wireless network. When you design your BlackBerry® device application, consider the differences between mobile devices and computers. Mobile devices have the following characteristics:

Characteristic

Guideline

a smaller screen size that can display a limited number of characters

Stay focused on the user's immediate task. Display only the information that users need at any one moment. For example, a customer relationship management system can provide a massive amount of information, but users only require a small amount of that information at one time. Design the UI so that users can perform tasks easily and access information quickly.

one screen appears at a time

Allow users to switch between applications using the application switcher.

shorter battery life

Since a shorter battery life can impact the user experience, be aware that the more efficiently that a device handles data, the less often it needs to turn on the radio and the longer the battery life. For more information on maximizing battery life, see the BlackBerry Java® Application Fundamentals Guide.

wireless network connections with a longer latency period than standard LANs

Longer latency periods for wireless network connections can influence how quickly users receive information that is transmitted over the wireless network. For more information on simplifying how an application creates network connections, see the BlackBerry Java® Application Network Communication Development Guide.

slower processor speeds

Slower processor speeds can affect how users perceive the responsiveness of an application. Applications can use background threads to manage processor-intensive tasks. For more information on using multithreading capabilities, see the BlackBerry Java® Application Fundamentals Guide.

less available memory

Memory use also impacts the experience that users have with an application and their BlackBerry devices. For more information on minimizing memory use, see the BlackBerry Java® Application Fundamentals Guide.


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