Mobile web is the future of internet browsing. With HTML5 support for mobile web, there’s no doubt it’ll be easier to access the internet using a mobile device.
Mobile web has become increasingly popular, as most Americans use their portable devices to access the Internet. With mobility and booting-time issues surrounding desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones and tablets are certainly the quickest way to read email and find information about just anything –be it the food you plan to eat or the next destination you want to visit. Mobile web’s extraordinary evolution in the past couple of years is clearly indicative of a future where people will only use traditional computers for work (if even for that).
Why Mobile Web has an Edge over the Computer
- It’s with you, everywhere: No matter where you are, you can always have a mobile device in your pocket. That means you can browse through your favorite websites from anywhere, anytime.
- Convenience: Checking your Facebook status or Tweeting about your lunch menu is easy with mobile. You don’t have to boot a laptop or desktop every time you want to send a quick update to your social circle. With mobile web, you can quickly browse through any website.
- Ecommerce: With mobile web’s acceptance rising, ecommerce will see a major shift from computer friendly to mobile friendly. Google Wallet is already helping to simplify payments via mobile web. You can see it in action at movietickets.com. Right now Google Wallet is available only to selected U.S. merchants but is expected to expand quickly.
- Mobile videos: YouTube has native support for most operating systems, while HTML 5 now supports most mobile platforms with its video features.
- Email on the go: Wherever you are, smartphones make sure email is with you. In fact, according to Nielson Mobile Media View Internet (May 2010), the average time spent using email during one hours use of mobile web was 25 minutes, a greater share than any other mobile activity!
- Shopping is becoming social: Mobile is a great way to shop because it keeps you connected to social networks. With a Facebook recommendation from your closest friend, you can buy your favorite gadget while you’re on the go.
- Near Field Communication is the future: NFC technology is set to revolutionize how we buy things. It will essentially replace your plastic credit card. With an NFC enabled phone for payment, people will be able to use PayPass (MasterCard), PayWave (Visa) and various other payment terminals to make a purchase using a mobile device.
- New Operating Systems for mobile: Mobile web is already in the limelight with developers and investors in the IT industry. Many new operating systems, such as web-based Firefox OS (reference 58), Windows 8, and Tizen from The Linux Foundation, have already announced development. Great news for mobile web community! With more operating systems moving to the web, mobile web is going to see a rise in popularity.
What’s the Criticism?
- Cross platform compatibility: Mobile data usage indicates that developers will have to create websites that appear the same way on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone. Creating a truly cross-platform website is not easy when you’re working with so many platforms. Plus, with market share dominated by Apple’s iOS and Android, developers find it tough to develop a mobile platform that performs the same way on both.
- Screen Size: Small screen sizes on mobile devices make comfortably viewing most websites a challenge. However, with HMTL 5 dominating the scene, developers are creating flexible width websites. These websites automatically load a stylesheet (a file that defines the layout of a website) to auto-correct to device width. This means developers can create separate stylesheets for mobile and computers to load a different layout for each device.
- Public WiFi Access is yet to mature: Public Internet is dominated by many different networks, making it difficult for users to buy monthly packages. Aside from Starbucks, we’ve yet to see a unified, on-demand, public wifi that’s consistently available wherever you are.
Mobile web is on the rise. With more and more people accessing the Internet from their mobile devices, it’s not going to be long before web developers and platform engineers sort out their differences. With mobile devices increasing in popularity, it is going to be a bright future for mobile web.