Archive for July, 2007


July 7th, 2007 dotted line

Mobile bookmarks

My new cell phone has a 320 by 240 landscape 1.9″ screen, sharp and bright, that actually makes for a decent experience viewing web and WAP pages (or at least as decent as it can get on a sub-2″ screen). The landscape orientation is a real boon when it comes to writing messages and viewing photos as well. Since my mobile plan currently offers me unlimited web access, I’ve been looking at various websites that offer mobile versions of their content over the last couple of weeks – whenever I’ve had time to kill on the train, walking from place to place, and even in the office. This new-found ubiquity of access has actually changed the way I view and use the web – I can’t imagine having a phone without this feature in the future.

Some compromises are, of course, necessary to make reading a full news article for example, possible on a cell phone.

  • The New York Times has an option to either load the entire page at once (useful for when your train is about to go underground and you know you’d like to read the whole article) or sequenced over a number of smaller pages (good if you’re not sure whether you want to read the whole thing yet).
  • When you have a small screen, it’s all about the text-reading experience – not all sites have fonts and sizes setup right, either being too small or too large (though to an extent that can be ameliorated by the browser text size setting). Well-placed graphics are always a welcome inclusion though – such as the resized photos seen at the top of many news articles.
  • I was impressed by the breadth of content you can access, including popular webmail and portals, news, online shopping (yes, Amazon is there), airlines, even American Express has a site, so it’s entirely possible to pay your bills on your cell phone.
  • Typical conventions for a mobile website address – a mobile, mobi, or m subdomain (eg. m.gmail.com); or a /wap, /pda, /wireless etc. section of your site (eg. news.com.au/wireless).
  • Some useful features of the NetFront browser on my phone – a rendering option to never load images; the ability to save a page including its graphics for offline viewing; Javascript (which you can turn off), WAP/WML and SSL support.
  • It would be great if there was an RSS-feed mobile website.

I had been been adding bookmarks directly to my phone, but managing and accessing them there was a little unwieldy. In the end, I created a web page that contains my mobile bookmarks so only a single bookmark is needed on the phone itself:

http://mobile.joshlee.com