Whither the “mobile version”?

By Deane Barker on December 28, 2008

My stepson got an iPod Touch from his Dad for Christmas. I was surfing the Web with it, and I was just astonished at the fidelity of page rendering. Pages on this site and others looked dead-on like they do in a full browser environment.

I’ve seen this too with Opera Mini. However, I’ve only used that on my little Sanyo Katana. On a larger screen with a touch interface, I’d likely be just as impressed.

This has left me wondering about the future of “mobile versions” of Web sites. How much longer will you need to code a separate version of your Web site for mobile versions?

I looked through this site, my personal blog, and the New York Times. For the record, if everyone was browsing with this technology, there would be no such thing as a “mobile version.” You’d just need to design your site well, and perhaps make a few very small concessions to mobile devices (or maybe none at all).

Since this technology isn’t likely to go backwards — if anything, it’s just going to get better — will the concept of a different version of your site for mobile devices be a thing of the past?

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Comments

  1. Regardless of how similar a site looks, you interact with it much differently on a mobile device. The more you use that Touch, the more you’ll want the site designers to pay attention to the size of your thumbs.

  2. I use an HTC Touch Pro with Opera Mobile and prefer mobile ‘enhanced’ sites that cater to my fingers, strip out a majority of the ads (which probably can’t happen forever) and seem to value speed, content and usability over a bunch of flash and fluff. When on my mobile I want information quickly and easily.

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