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Comments

Dan W

What's interesting is that webkit is quickly becoming the standard for mobile browsers. It's used in the iphone and Nokia s60 phones currently and will be the browser for the future Android and nokia s40 platforms. Webkit is more powerful as a browser than the typical desktop browsers and will be a great foundation for building mobile specific web sites.

james (mjelly)

webkit? Is that the one in my N95 8GB? If so, it's pretty good i agree but Opera mini is probably better.

James Pearce

Yes. The word "mobile" in "Mobile Web" is an adjective, not a noun.

It's about serving users who are mobile, not just their mobile devices.

In all the excitement/anger about having to juggle markup for a whole swathe of unfamiliar, often poor, mobile browsers, developers have forgotten that they should think first about the user.

(And now that mobile browsers are finally pretty good, hopefully they will see past the syntax and start thinking about the semantics and the use cases).

After all, who would assert that users on the move should endure precisely the same services as sedentary ones?

(Oh, and of course mobile devices have additional capabilities to desktops too. Even something as benign as a click-to-call link makes a web site more suitable for a peripatetic user with telephony in their hand.)

Your thinking is state of the art. Just wait for the rest of the world to catch up!

(See also http://www.erikjacobs.com/2008/08/13/the-mobile-web-aging-dinosaur/ - suddenly this is topic du jour again ;-) )

james (mjelly)

Hi James thanks for the comment - that was an aspect i didnt really cover directly you are right - people often want different things when they are mobile and mobiles can do things PCs cannot!

The other point I forgot was that as the PC web gets richer and richer (more flash, ajax etc) it is increasingly diverging from what you might want on the phone.

Igor Faletski

Great points, however I think we should call these sites "mobile-optimized" as opposed to "mobile-specific". They present the same portals differently, rather than creating, say, "facebook with people that surf the mobile web". The value of mobile optimization is impossible to ignore.

james (mjelly)

Igor you are right - "mobile optimized" is a much better description for those types of sites. Maybe the classification should be "mobile optimized" (m.facebook etc) vs "mobile native" (itsmy.com, igloo.mobi etc)?

Darren Twiss

I don't think we will see the end of mobile-specific sites any time soon. In fact I think there is a large amount of potential growth there.

The key for mobile sites is 'context'. This basically means that mobile sites will be designed to perform a specific set of tasks relevant to where, when, why and how the user blends the web with mobility. As opposed to a "1 stop shop" for an organizations online presence.

more on this here:
http://darrentwiss.com/blog/2008/08/07/why-mobile-context-is-the-key-design-parameter/

james (mjelly)

Hi Darren - I agree to some extent but there is also a role for a onestop shop approach e.g. in developing markets mobile will be the primary access channel.

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