China wholesaler preps mobile OS with a twist: apps run in cloud, not on gadget

Putting resource-intensive processes in cloud makes stupid phones look smart

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Alibaba's example should make mobile-app managers think again about the kinds of issues that were big when client/server came in for the first time: namely, how much work does a given app require, how much of that work does it put on the relatively stupid client, how much on the server, and how much data does it have to exchange to keep the two from forgetting about each other.

Alibaba might not do much to help you in the near future – aside from the often lower-priced stuff it sells as resale rep for thousands of manufacturers in China – but comparing the way it plans to structure apps and how you do it now could help identify bottlenecks in mobile, low-bandwidth client/server smarthphone apps you haven't pinpointed, or figure out how to pry open those you have.

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