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Smartphone, Wireless, and Mobile Technologies Forum

Apple iPhone shows whole web pages
The way forward?

 10:45 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Apple's new iPhone doesn't reduce web pages to fit the smaller size of a mobile (cell) phone display. Traditionally, some graphics are lost and columns reduced to one. (Looks awful.) Apple's approach is to show the whole web page, as you would see it on a desktop PC, and allow you to zoom in on the bits you like. By rotating the screen to landscape, you can read any wide text easier.

Is this the way forward? The demo on Apple's website sure looks good. They have even put the Safari browser on the iPhone.

In theory this could mean no longer having to make a separate page for mobile devices. Assuming every other manufacturer were to show pages the same way.

I am not sure yet whether this is better in practice than the normal 'stripped down page' approach, when it comes to surfing. It's certainly better in theory to show the same page as desktop users get. But there must be some sites that will not work this way (being too wide or tall to zoom in on).

Cool approach, Apple!



 11:02 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

There's also the question of download time.

.mobi fans (resellers) tell us that sites made for mobiles will be quick and easy - it's widely recognised that the perceived cost of internet via mobile phone is the main issue.

Does Apple have an answer to that? Can you decide to not have ads, flash, images ... sounds ... will the device still be as impressive without them?

I'm not knocking it, I'd really like to know ;)


 11:45 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

regardless of how much rotation and zooming you do, you are still limited by a 2 inch by 3 inch display which offers 320x480 pixels.
not sure how much if any display is used for nav bar.
even with pan and zoom of a reasonable-sized virtual display, the typical web page would not be very usable.


 11:50 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

At the price of an entry level laptop from one of the major brands and without a full-size keyboard I can't see what use it is for the internet


 6:26 am on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

It amazed me! The presentation by Steve Jobs on the new Iphone was great. The ability to zoom in and out on websites and be able to get them off of wifi or the Edge network with the fast operating system may be much faster than a Palm or blackberry. This may put an end to the .mobi domains as we know them.


 7:40 am on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you guys saw Jobs' keynote (or a demo at [apple.com...] you will notice that even though the user gets to "see" the whole page, it is not legible. This whole page only serves as a starting point from which the user proceeds to zoom (to a legible size) whatever area of the page he/she wishes. Exactly, how is that good for advertisers? 100% of users will choose to BYPASS any ads and zoom to the text or image they were looking for. For all its wonders, the iPhone does not help advertisers :(


 10:14 pm on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think it may put an end to the .mobi domains. An important part of your visitors won't be able to afford an iPhone; the cost of the mobile internet is another important factor.


 10:28 pm on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

my question is, will the none techie majority of the world population take to this new generation of phones

I thought the HP ipaqs, black berrys, etc were going to run riot, but i always found a reason not to buy one, an i don't see many around

iphone cost a lot more, i just don't see it

a high street salesman told me that they only sold phones when they gave them away free with the contract,

so, lots of enthusiasm from afluent techies, but will the ipod owning folk join in


 11:43 pm on Jan 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

i think the market for iphones is at least as big as the market for video ipod carrying cell phone owners.

of course i thought the same thing about palm carrying cell phone owners when i bought my first smartphone 5 years ago.

in either case - i'm not sure why someone would prefer to carry 2 devices - or 3...


 7:10 am on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

You're never going to be able to use the same web page for viewing on a 2" monitor and on a 20" monitor.

End of discussion.


 11:09 am on Jan 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

100% of users will choose to BYPASS any ads and zoom to the text or image they were looking for. For all its wonders, the iPhone does not help advertisers
As an adsesne publisher, i thinks that's a worry - as a consumer, it's a major plus, and may become a word-of-mouth selling point.

You can bet that .mobi pages will place ads so they cannot be avoided, this one is a very different approach.


 10:24 am on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

You're never going to be able to use the same web page for viewing on a 2" monitor and on a 20" monitor.

Have you seen the Apple demos?

Think about the size of a digital camera image. Huge, right? But you can still view it on a 2.5-inch LCD monitor on the back of your camera, and use the zoom keys to enlarge the bits you want. The iPhone uses the same approach. Remember, it can be rotated to landscape mode for viewing long lines of text. Unless you need to see all of a web page at once, Apple are on to a winner.


 12:53 pm on Jan 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Trouble is, the average web page these days goes for many little boxes, unbolden headlines and slate-grey text.

It looked good in the demos, because they selected sites that looked good in the demos.

Take a glamnce at 10 random pages and imagine that reduced to Elf Vision; it really will not be as easy as Apple would have you believe.

Plus you'd need to download the whole page to see in it in reduced form and select your sample.

I'm not saying it won't work at all - but be wary of Apple's PR launches; they always were expert at PR.


 3:32 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

As people have hinted at above, the mobile web is about much more than just screen size. It's the whole package, including bandwidth, bandwidth cost, processor speed, software compatibility, user interface/typing mechanisms, availability of peripherals, etc.

Not only that, it's about the surfing habbit of the user - in your office, you surf differently to when you're at home, and this is different again to when you're on a bus, or when you're trying to find somewhere to park near than new restaurant. Of course, this is different in every country, as well.

The type of information you're looking for when mobile is quick information-dense factoids, rather than full in-depth news articles or whatever. Your whole mindset is different. So for this reason, I don't think it's just a case of having a phone that handles html and all the other rich standards.

Also, .mobi I think everybody has agreed is a bit of a waste of time. From the very starting concept it was flawed, in that at best it was a temporary stopgap until mobile technology caught up with desktop technology. I'm not in favor of everything blindly ending with .com, but I'm not a fan of .mobi either. Probably best to have mob.domain.com or whatever your regular extension is.

So to summarise, yes, it's a good idea from Apple, and I like the style, but it doesn't solve all the problems.


 4:20 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

ummm. are you aware that Windows Mobile phones have a copy of Pocket Internet Explorer on them? You can also run Opera browser.

I think we will have to wait and see if the iPhone browser is really up to snuff. From what I have heard, it looks like it is in 3rd or 4th place among phone browsers.

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