Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mobile web is not all that bad

There was this post from Scott Karp on why Mobile Web sucks for him. I could hardly agree with what he had to say and I really wanted to post this message as a reply to that. I guess lot of others would also disagree the fact that Mobile web is bad and Russel Beattie's post expresses his opposition to the fact that Mobile web browsing sucks (well.. Ahmm.. good post Russ.. except that my ears are bleeding with so many f*** :))

I think mobile surfing (and mobile computing in general) is really picking up recently. As Russ has pointed out, lot of popular web services have started providing an alternate web link which serves mobile-optimized web pages which start with (well not necessarily all follow the same format. For example, Techmeme's mobile site has this URL ). But for web sites who don't provide mobile versions of their web pages there are going to lose out on a huge number of users who browse from mobile devices. As I had mentioned earlier, the are vastly underestimating the need for a mobile optimized web site.

I know lot of us have trouble finding web services which are optimized for mobile browsing. I had the same frustration trying to figure out such mobile web pages. That's the reason why I am maintaining a list of web sites which are optimized for mobile browsing. I have been updating this list as and when I find newer web sites.

Coming to Scott's complain that mobile browsing is slow, I agree with that, but its not really that bad. There are ways to circumvent this. Just like Russ, I too use Opera Mini beta for browsing on my Nokia E61. One thing that Opera does intelligently is that it does not download the web pages to the phone as it it. The web pages are first fetched into the Opera proxy severs and then they are optimized and reduced in size (to a factor of 70-90% approximately) and then pushed on to your phone. So the browsing experience (fetching and rendering them on the phone) is very fast.

Mobile Computing is the future and the whole world is slowly moving towards it. I know there are problems with mobile computing but I am sure these are being addresses as you read this.


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