Many end users now visit their favorite websites via mobile browsers and mobile applications, which can sometimes present a challenge to developers, particularly given the new data constraints placed on end users by their mobile providers. But there are some best practices that can help developers lower the amount of data their applications use.

Kurt Gerstner, VP of application services at Unisys (an IT services and solutions company that manages “mission-critical environments” for enterprise organizations), recommended preloading any graphics, images or icons directly to the application so that when an end user downloads it, the application package is complete.

If all application graphics are part of the initial download, Gerstner explained, the application would not have to make additional calls to retrieve the images from the Web, thereby reducing the amount of bandwidth it uses.

He also said developers need to be aware of the amount of device memory used by individual applications.

Gerstner said mobile phones, despite their new capabilities, improved battery life and slim cases, are still only carrying about 512MB in memory, which is something that can be filled very quickly by applications or mobile sites that cache a lot of data.

Streaming content in applications, he said, is often what pushes the data usage for end users over the edge because of the heavy bandwidth and memory needed to generate the images.

About Victoria Reitano