This week we met to discuss Mobile Web Programming.
We began by looking at a couple of good sites:
- bmw.mobi – This is a dedicated mobile site. If you were on your mobile phone and wanted to check out this site, you’d have to know to go directly to this site.
- amazon.com – Amazon automatically determines that you’re on a mobile phone and redirects you to this subpage in their system.
We found a nice tutorial explaining how this company changed their website CSS for mobile users. Tutorial: optimizing your website for mobile devices
This site shows you how to vary your CSS for different mobile browsers based on screen size. This does not change content.
This searching led to the following questions:
- What mobile phone browsers and capabilities do you really need to support?
- There are high-end smartphones like iPhone and the Android phones that actually have a real browser. All you really need to do for these is create a page that resizes well on the smaller screens. One step up from that is to change your CSS to support smaller screens and possibly slower upload times. Best case is to add iPhone-specific calling and mapping buttons.
- Smartphones tend to be devices that have phone capabilities. The second tier would be newer phones that have web capabilities. These tend to have smaller screens, don’t support applications nicely like the better smartphones, and could possibly have a smaller screen. They still have a decent browser, like Opera, and support most web programming features.
- Older phones run the old WAP browser. If you choose to support this old technology, it’s best to stick with simple images and text.
- Do I have to have a .mobi site?
- No. You can just make a www.mysite.com/mobile site or a m.mysite.com site within your current domain without having to purchase a .mobi site. If you have a professional site, you might want to get the .mobi site so someone else can’t pirate it on your.
- If I don’t just want to change my CSS, but want to have a different content page for my mobile site, how do I redirect the user based on the fact that my customers are on a mobile phone?
- This is the question we ended on. We were unable to answer this question during our meeting.