Mobile connectivity snapshot

There’s an interesting trend in the market of WAN messaging busses proliferating. Apparently TCP and Websockets are now an experience drivers for mobile and web apps.*

Nice to see that the consumer market finally catches up with simple UX basics after spending years and years on burning all the network and CPU cycles on multi-megabyte dependencies that could be replaced with 5 lines of code.** On the other hand — addressing transport latency finally becomes hot just when it has become largely irrelevant to the actual customer experience.

Constant WiFi and 4G connectivity doesn’t have quite the same problems as 10KB/s GPRS with a hard constant of 10% packet loss rate had. State management of persistent connections is still going to catch a lot of people out. Don’t assume that TCP is real time just because it appears to be 99% of the time — it isn’t.

*) Yes, I’m bitter about having spent years trying to explain to product managers that customer experience will be improved by better connectivity and backend, not by adding that banner with mailing list subscription prompt. Non-functional requirements are well worth the effort.

**) Although only because the available resources have grown at a higher rate than waste can be crammed in an average project. An impressive feat from hardware manufacturers now that we are in the days of 1GB+ mobile applications.

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