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There are over 3.5 billion mobile phones in the world and they are proliferating at astounding rates across socioeconomic and cultural boundaries. They also provide unprecedented opportunities for enabling social impact and technical activism. To most of the people in informal economies and immigrant communities, the mobile phone is the dominant computing resource which they have access to with limited income to support. In the paper we present a notion of template applications for mobile phones. By developing useful applications as templates for these communities which operate on the limited resources of their existing mobile phone, we gain the benefits of language, community, and country portability and customization. We present the template philosophy and illustrate the concept with two developed template applications and explore their transformation into other application domains.
Date of Conference: 12-14 Oct. 2009