Over the coming weeks, ACM will be diving headfirst into the world of mobility. Our strategy is essentially two-pronged. The first is the development of a mobile version of the existing CACM Web site at cacm.acm.org. After launching the new site in March, whenever our readers access the Communications' Web site using any mobile device, they will automatically be brought to the new mobile site, which is a cleaner, more simplified version of the main site that enables quick viewing, saving, and sending of articles without many of the extraneous features and functionality present on the main site. Speed, access, browsability, and sharability are the main goals of this new site. We are not the first scholarly or professional magazine to launch a mobile Web site for our readers, but we are among the first and we are certain the usage of this new site will be significant, if the current traffic generated by mobile devices is any indication.
The second component of our mobile strategy is apps. In March, ACM launched its first two apps, which are built on the iOS development platform and include both an iPhone and iPod Touch version and a tablet-sized iPad version. The decision to develop on this platform over other popular platforms such as Android or BlackBerry as our initial foray into mobile application development was based primarily on a quantitative analysis of the devices actually being used to download articles from Communications' Web site at cacm.acm.org. Based on Google Analytics usage reports we generated at the time, iPods, iPhones, and iPads represented the overwhelming majority of the devices being used to download articles and so we opted to accommodate our existing users as our first experiment into mobility. Once we start receiving feedback from the community, both positive and negative, we will take all that we have learned through this process and begin work on developing applications for the Android platform, which is quickly catching up to Apple in terms of penetration on our Web site.
Ultimately, the goal in launching mobile applications is to provide a new and meaningful way to interact with articles and commentary published both in Communications and its complementary Web site. Apps offer a unique user experience and ability to easily access and share articles with colleagues, peers, and students and to reach our readers while they are traveling to work, enjoying their coffee in the morning, waiting for a flight, or simply curling up on the couch with an issue of Communications on their iPad. In coming issues we will provide helpful hints on using these apps and the new mobile site to enhance your enjoyment of these new elements of Communications.
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