Base Mobile Applications

There’s a decent amount of chatter about microcredit/microlending being used in developing regions, and plenty of respect paid to the need to get “the unbanked” represented in mobile payment systems. But what about filling out the rest of the desktop base services with mobile equivalents? Just the normal base productivity apps. What happens once these folks get up and running? Is there a need for a Quickbooks equivalent that’s entirely mobile? How about backups that don’t involve syncing back to a desktop you probably don’t have? If you needed to run everything you did on a daily basis from mobile devices only are all the necessary parts in place?

I’m a developer, so the answer to that question has always been no. Although us developers are pretty much “pure” online interaction – we don’t have a lot of the need for offline interaction that lots of other professions do – everyone just assumes that if you’re going to be a developer you’re going to have a computer system of some kind. What if that wasn’t the case however? What if the knowledge of local conditions or business models trumped the other concerns? What are the tools you could use to get the job done if you had a business opportunity and a mobile phone, and that’s it? These are the kinds of questions that have been dragging me out of bed lately.

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3 Responses to Base Mobile Applications

  1. I always thought the problem was being able to fully work on the desktop and the mobile device offline.
    Take for example conboy & tomboy with their sync abilities. You can use each one offline completely and sync when you want to a central location (or between them). A big plus is also being available as a web only (which ubuntu one lets you) for when you are on a computer that isn’t yours.
    Most other apps miss this (the first part, the second is less important). “Micro-bank”ing is just one of those…

  2. miker says:

    That’s assuming you have something to sync back to. Many folks in the US and Europe do, but not necessarily so in China or Africa or India.

  3. KiberGUs says:

    This can be easily done.
    0) Use only unix like OS, both on desktop computers and mobile phones.
    1) Create a git repository, that would be accessible from network.
    2) Push all files starting with . from your home directory to repository.
    3) Push and pull needed files to sync.

    This is universal method that works for nearly all programs. You just need to use the same programs on different systems. If it is not so (for example you use different browser on a phone and on a desktop) you would need to implement some hooks in repository, which would translate needed settings from one config file to another.

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