Archive for the ‘Development Realities’ Category
This week, Microsoft put its hat into the tablet war with Surface. Now, on the surface, it may seem nothing more than a new competitor looking to take a bite out of Apple’s iPad stronghold on the tablet market… But below the surface, the announcement has a far more significant impact for businesses and their mobile web strategies.
The significance surrounds something that’s been happening for a while: people are moving away from the traditional home computer and embracing mobile. Because mobile devices are used in a different context than laptops or desktops, businesses looking to reach their customers using the mobile channel are presented with new challenges and opportunities. One of the key challenges is optimizing an existing web-based offering for the mobile web. While it is important for a brand or company to maintain consistency between their traditional and mobile websites, it is also important to recognize that people use their mobile devices in a different context than their PCs. In addition, tablets and smartphones have mobile-specific features that are not available on PC’s. As such, when designing for mobile web, both the mobile context and mobile functionality have to be taken into the account.
As part of the Surface announcement, Microsoft said the device “…works and plays the way you [the user] want it to.” This speaks to the growing trend that mobile users are looking for a personal and relevant experience. As a result, it is imperative, now more than ever, for businesses to think about the kind of “mobile-centric” user experience they want to offer. But having a great idea is not enough – they have to be able to deliver that compelling and relevant user-experience across a myriad of mobile device types. A solid mobile development platform or framework will enable that.
Continued mobile growth presents a prime opportunity for companies to reach and interact with their customers 24/7. By developing a “mobile first” web strategy and enabling its implementation with a mobile publishing platform (such as SmartPath), companies can now provide the enjoyable, useful and relevant user experience their customers demand.
The Bottom Line: Mobile has become a way of life and we’re just scratching the surface of its potential.
When it comes to building out your mobile web strategy, we know that sometimes it seems like there are as many development options as there are smartphones—with new ones cropping up all the time. But as with anything, some options fair better in the real world than others.
One option that has been around for some time now, and picked up a bit of momentum with Google’s GoMo initiative, is the idea of building a proxy mobile site, or screen-scraping. Largely marketed as the quickest DIY option to mobile-optimization, screen-scraping is used to shrink an existing desktop site down to mobile proportions by mirroring the HTML data and outputting it into a mobile template.
You might be thinking, “Wow! Quick…easy…DIY…and I just get to use my current site? Sounds perfect!” But don’t believe the hype, proxy mobile sites are not at all what they’re cracked up to be. And many companies who take this route often realize later on that building a separate mobile site is the way to go. Here’s why:
Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this year, I reviewed where the mobile industry stood in terms of fragmentation and reviewed how big of a problem it really was. Well, now that we’re a few months down the road, unfortunately not much has changed. And if anything, the problem is only being fueled with the unveiling of brand new Blackberry device and OS.
In February’s post, I came to an unfavorable conclusion in regards to a fragmentation magic bullet—i.e. that there isn’t one. But today, I wanted to take a different approach to finding a “solution” by looking at the problem from a different angle….
Could fragmentation be actually a good thing? Read the rest of this entry »