pTHINC: A Thin-Client Architecture for Mobile Wireless Web

Joeng Kim, Ricardo Baratto, Jason Nieh

Proceedings of the 15th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2006), Edinburgh, Scotland, May 23-26, 2006, pp. 143-152

Abstract

Although web applications are gaining popularity on mo- bile wireless PDAs, web browsers on these systems can be quite slow and often lack adequate functionality to access many web sites. We have developed pTHINC, a PDA thin- client solution that leverages more powerful servers to run full-function web browsers and other application logic, then sends simple screen updates to the PDA for display. pTHINC uses server-side screen scaling to provide high-fidelity dis- play and seamless mobility across a broad range of different clients and screen sizes, including both portrait and land- scape viewing modes. pTHINC also leverages existing PDA control buttons to improve system usability and maximize available screen resolution for application display. We have implemented pTHINC on Windows Mobile and evaluated its performance on mobile wireless devices. Our results com- pared to local PDA web browsers and other thin-client ap- proaches demonstrate that pTHINC provides superior web browsing performance and is the only PDA thin client that effectively supports crucial browser helper applications such as video playback.

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Columbia University Department of Computer Science