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Information about Mobile Access Databases at the CMCC Library

Mobile Devices

Information about Mobile Access Databases at the CMCC Library

Welcome to the LibGuide for Mobile Access to CMCC Library resouces. This guide will help you become familiar with a burgeoning world of mobile apps that are currently available to access library resources and information. Click on any of the tabs above to get more information. 

What is a Mobile Device?

A mobile device is simply a portable computing device such as a tablet, PDA, or smartphone.

Mobile devices come in a number of formats, but their most important characteristics are portability, computing power, and network connectivity. Network connectivity can be through cellular networks or wireless connections.

Mobile devices can have touch screens, qwerty keyboards, phones, etc. built in to them.

Smart phones and tablet computers are the most commonly used mobile devices and the usage of these mobile devices is growing rapidly. In fact, according to the Pew Internet report, Mobile Health 2012 as of November 8, 2012, "Fully 85% of U.S. adults own a cell phone. Of those, 53% own smartphones."

Android Phone Android Tablet


The words used to describe portable devices are confusing and continue to evolve.

App: A software application on a smartphone.

Mobile-friendly website: A website that is specially formatted to be readable and useable on the smaller screen of a mobile device.

Handheld devices, Mobile Devices, and handheld computers are synonyms and include both SmartPhones and PDAs.

SmartPhone: Combines computing functions with phone functions. SmartPhones connect to the Internet via phone networks or wireless networks.  Examples are iPhones, Androids, and BlackBerry phones. Most SmartPhones have a proprietary method for getting apps onto the phone (such as the Apple iTunes Store, Android Marketplace, or Blackberry AppWorld).

Examples: Apple iPhone, Blackberry devices. Many other manufacturers build and market SmartPhones.

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA): A handheld computer. Does not have a phone function and typically and may or may not connect wirelessly to the Internet. PDAs are usually "synchronized" with a desktop or laptop computer when adding software or updating messages or the operating system.

QR code (Quick Response Code): A matrix barcode or two-dimensional code that is readable by a QR barcode reader or any mobile device with a camera. The code is composed of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.  Note: These are websites, not apps

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Operating Systems

There are 6 major operating systems used in Mobile Devices:

  • Apple iPhone/iPod Touch software. Do we need to say more? If so read...
  • RIM (Research In Motion): Blackberry
  • Palm OS (a press release that does a pretty good job of explaining what makes Palm's approach unique)
  • Windows Mobile
  • Android (developed for Google products)
  • Symbian OS (an open-source mobile device operating system) is open source software for mobile devices. A number of major mobile device manufacturers sell devices loaded with this OS. Read Symbian FAQs and look at Devices

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